The trouble with Q Street

Stephani Boyd is a Sacramento mortgage broker/real-estate agent, hip downtown mom, musician and artist

When my significant other died a few months ago, I decided to move back downtown after 10 years as a suburban homeowner. I had no idea that the downtown I loved so much for all its art, music and weirdoes had mutated into a scary, yuppie police state.

As a real-estate agent, I’ve been watching the downtown market, selling clients on the benefits of downtown culture: nightlife, diversity and music in the park. Sure, there are more sex offenders downtown than in any other part of town I have looked at on the Megan’s Law Web site, and of course there’s more noise than in a gated community, but there are also music, art, culture, nightlife and weirdoes: way more entertaining than suburbia.

What I failed to realize when I rented a lovely Victorian on Q Street is that some people who decide to buy downtown are not like my clients, in search of a funky, urban experience. They seem to prefer the noise from their leaf blowers and the semi-trucks getting off Interstate 5 to the sounds of children playing music.

According to the police, they have been called out upward of 30 times in less than two months. Most of the calls have been about the kids’ music. Never mind that they are within the hours and decibel levels set forth by the city noise ordinance. Never mind that there’s a band that for two years has practiced twice a week in the apartment behind my house.

The problem seems to be that some of the neighbors don’t like fatherless, urban adolescents or women with opinions.

For example, in my opinion, music is therapy, and it is a much better plan to give these boys a guitar, some guidance and a safe place to hang out than to give them a fistful of Ritalin and a television and then wait until they grow enough resentment to become criminals.

Another opinion I am fond of is that the police should be called only when there’s some type of crime being committed. This would free them up to deal with more serious problems on Q Street. Unfortunately, they won’t have time to do that, because someone keeps calling 911 on my boys’ guitars.

When did it become illegal for teenagers to be annoying?