Last week I went through training and did a few practice interviews as a census taker. We come around to properties that did not send in the written form by mail, for whatever reason, and conduct interviews to determine the status of the property on census day, which is April 1, 2010. The most important feature of these interviews is their confidentiality, so I will not be sharing any information of a sensitive nature. That said, the pursuit of these properties takes me into little pockets of the city I never would have dreamed existed. For instance, one neighborhood is a large, hilly complex of McMansions with perfectly groomed grounds and public spaces that have been clipped, blown and fertilized within an inch of their lives. Having canvassed that area pretty thoroughly, my maps led me down some twisty back roads, and finally down a rutted road that would have been impassable to an ordinary sedan. I was amazed when there came a spot where the trees thinned and I could see that the fancy neighborhood was only a stone’s throw away. The back woods and the exurbs existing cheek by jowl.
I am making mental notes of some of the most striking sites to revisit, camera in hand, when I am off duty. Stay tuned.