Sheryl Crow’s melancholy song “No one said it would be easy” sure fits the Neighborhood Council life.

“You can’t seem to ever fold up a shirt/And I bring it up, and you think I’m a jerk/but I think we’re here to stay/And I can’t imagine it any other way” feels a little like the relationships here. Except we’re not putting away laundry, we’re sorting out who does what — who manages what streets get sidewalks? Which City meetings do *I* need to be at, what are all these meetings about? What does the alphabet soup of city acronyms really mean?

Kudos to Annie Deasy of the City’s Office of Neighborhood Services for trying to answer my endless questions as I try to wrap my brain around this. And if you’re a policy wonk who likes attending meetings and then summarizing, drop me a line at, won’tcha?