by Paul Fleischman
If you're looking for the town snoop, you've found her in Ana. This woman is curious as a cat and has the binoculars to prove it. She's an older Romanian woman, and there's just one thing she likes more than anything else: people watching.
Lucky for Ana, she lives in an apartment overlooking the vacant lot that becomes the community garden. After growing up on Gibb Street, Ana lived in a different Cleveland neighborhood before she moved back to her childhood home to take care of her parents. And since she spends a lot of her time indoors with a view of the garden, she can indulge her nosy habits and people watch all she wants. And boy does she have some stories to tell from all her binocular gazing:
Why do I need TV when I have forty-eight apartment windows to watch across the vacant lot, and a sliver of Lake Erie? I've seen history out this window. So much. (2.1)
Okay, we'll admit it, Ana's people-watching is borderline creepy. But despite her slightly stalker-like tendencies, Ana is the curious creature inside all of us. According to her, she doesn't just see people coming and going. And she doesn't just see businesses changing over the years. Instead, she actually sees "history" as it's happening. Sounds pretty good to us.