Visiting Obama's Chicago neighborhood

November 5, 2008 7:43:10 PM PST
Obama's neighbors in the Hyde Park section of Chicago are finding out what it's like to have someone next door elected president.

Police have blocked off the street where the Obama family lives. Eighty-two-year-old Theresa Kentra couldn't get to her exercise class.

"I say I can't walk over there. I need, please give me my car," said Kentra, an Obama neighbor.

She's smiling though because people in Chicago say Barack Obama been a good neighbor.

"Very low key, very Hyde Park. He's very University of Chicago. It's like this brilliance wrapped in a non-shiny package, if you know what I mean," said Sylvia de la Cerna, an Obama neighbor.

They're used to seeing him at Bixler Park playing with his daughters.

"He's a neighbor. We see him in the grocery store in Treasure Island, in Wallgreens," said Mesha Caudle, from Hyde Park.

Mesha Caudle says Obama is just a regular guy.

"What does it mean for this neighborhood, for you, to have him now the next president?" asked ABC7's Mark Matthews.
"Oh words can't express, it's incredible to see somebody as down to earth as he is, as he is a neighbor who you see every day in the store, can be your president!" said Caudle.

Hyde Park, where the Obama's live is tree-lined streets and beautiful old brick homes, but it's also blue collar, down at the Hyde Park Solon, where Barack Obama has been a customer for 14 years even after the shop lost its lease and had to relocate.

"Favorite customer, favorite client. Yeah, long term client he came with us. And now he's the president," said Ishmael Alamin, from the Hyde Park Hair Salon.

A couple of hours before he walked onto the stage Tuesday night to accept the presidency, Barack Obama got his hair cut by his regular barber. Hyde Park may be losing a neighbor, but it may also be gaining a presidential library.

"Hate to see him leave, but at the same time happy to see him leave in that position," said Alamin.

And that's pretty much what everyone is saying. They are proud Barack Obama is from this neighborhood, proud he won Tuesday night and a little sorry to see him go, but not that unhappy about all the attention.


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