Dappling: my mother's house is in your general neck of the woods and I am deeply familiar with the problems that have come up. I grew up in that neighborhood.
Bright spots are Monettes, good neighbors (still), and easy access to things she needs (although Kroger's moving out of their location will be another blow if it happens). What distresses me are the same things you see--the continued encroachment of Section 8 slumlords/tenants (who are not all the Ozzie 'n' Harriet "just need a helping hand up" folks the idealists would have you believe) and the formerly bustling Reynolds Road which--now that I think of it--reminds me a lot of "Radiator Springs" in the movie Cars (a whole lot of empty buildings and former glories with a couple of stalwarts hanging on).
My mom has had things stolen from the patio or near the garage (stupid shit like garden shovels and a weed wacker---???); car has been broken into as well in the driveway (now it's garaged). Shit that never happened when I was growing up. Little punk bitches who feel they can just wander through people's property because generally in that neighborhood there are no yard fences. At night.
I feel like the border between safe and crappy is being held back by Swan Creek Metropark...and sooner or later, the infestation will cross and we'll see more of the crap that happens near Byrne/Airport (shootings, stabbings, robberies, etc.) make it's way to Eastgate/Airport, then down the stretch they come towards Cass/Eastgate/Glendale. Maybe I'm just fatalistic.
I feel safe, but I worry about my mom. I still feel like it's still a nice neighborhood, but I do share Ace's...what can you call it...claustrophobia? The feeling like the criminal crap that was contained in certain places is encroaching on my neighborhood. The one my mother and father worked so hard to make safe for their kids and neighbors. And it's not a good feeling.