Adjusting Focus

Willy Street Blog is confronted by geography

The Willy Street Blog may be zooming out, but will always keep 'the street' in the frame.

The Willy Street Blog may be zooming out, but will always keep ‘the street’ in the frame.

In about two weeks the Willy Street Blog will celebrate four years of chronicling Near East Side life. It hasn’t been the definitive voice of the neighborhood as I, the only writer on staff, have focused on ubran development, impacts of city projects in the neighborhood and our glorious leisure businesses and community events.

For the Willy Street area that is a lot to cover and I have focused on what I felt was quite interesting and consequential to our neighborhood and honestly, what I have had time for. Lately I have not had much time for anything and that is what this post is about.

I was born and formatively influenced in this neighborhood. For the last forty-plus years I have on and off lived within it’s “mom always wants you to visit” embrace. It has been my permanent home and the identity I have represented to others throughout my whole life.

Seeing the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood evolve into the most enviable place to live, and for many just be; is ratification of the efforts of my elders and their progeny. We never stopped loving this place when the rest of the city, at times, smirked and chortled.

That success has bred some problems. Over a year ago my wife and I welcomed our first child. In about two months our second child will arrive. Now, even our double-income family needs more space, but can’t afford to purchase a home in this wonderful neighborhood.

Regular readers of this blog will notice that the number of posts over the past year has been inversely proportional to the increasing age of my son. My dedication to my family and a job that requires travel four days a week has subjugated blogging to a low priority.


The Guyot family is expanding in numbers and in living space, lamentably outside of the Marquette neighborhood.

Finally, in a matter of days our family will move from Willy Street to the East Moorland neighborhood, a lovely place, but entirely outside of the isthmus that I have called home for so many years.

This is not the end of the Willy Street Blog. A journalist never tires of telling stories but there must be a time of reflection and an adjusting of focus. That lens will always be trained on the isthmus but it may be a wider angle. At this point I just don’t know.

Early last year a reader complained about a political endorsement I made on the blog for a local race. The person felt that the Willy Street Blog was a neighborhood blog and I should keep my opinions on my “own blog”. It was gratifying to know that neighbors had taken ownership in such a way that it should remain neutral.

Such a perspective presents an opportunity. If you have enjoyed this blog over the years, consider contributing your own writings. Opinions, essays, poetry, summations of important neighborhood events or monthly meetings are all welcome.

The staple of the Willy Street Blog blog has been coverage of local meetings and the decisions that impact us all. The thrust has not been to hold our leaders’ feet to the fire; rather to act as a megaphone for the rhythms of our neighborhood and to hopefully spur increased involvement by all in our collective future.

– Fareed Guyot, Editor

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10 thoughts on “Adjusting Focus

  1. Congrats on baby #2 & your new home Fareed! Thanks again for such an amazing contribution to Willy Street life and culture these past 4 years. Best wishes! -julie

  2. Hi Fareed,

    I started reading your blog about two weeks ago and now have it bookmarked on my toolbar. I hope you continue to make quality posts about the Willy St. area!


  3. Thanks for all you’ve done (and will continue to do) for Madison and the ‘hood, Fareed – and huge congrats on the impending new arrival! I am, of course, a bit disheartened to hear of yet another longtime resident who’s being priced out of the isthmus. It seems to be the sad trend, though, as development continues without much consideration for maintaining diversity in terms of the incomes necessary to live here.

    Anyway, thanks again for everything and good luck with what’s to come!

  4. Hi Fareed, your blog has been a regular part of how I keep up with all that’s going on. I’ve really enjoyed your perspective and careful coverage, and will really miss more regular posts. I’m sad you didn’t find an affordable home here–it just ain’t a good sign for really healthy community development. Congratulations though! And enjoy all the new adventures.

    • The photos on the banner rotate. Refresh the page and a new photo will appear. The Willy Street Blog was never focused on just Willy Street…that is too literal, By that definition I shouldn’t cover the Jenifer Street reconstruction or any of the development on East Washington Avenue. This was always a Near East Side blog which basically covered all of the 6th Aldermanic district with some national stories mixed in and of course stories about airplanes…LOTS or Airplanes.

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