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Archive for June, 2008

I was sitting with B in the Prospect Park the other day. Mothers with SUV sized baby carriages, moving en masse up the pavement, the guy with the hands-free pacing back and forth nattering in business speak about deals made, deals yet to be made. A few joggers. The usual Park Slope side of the park scene.  

   We wondered if if the recession wouldn’t put an end to gentrification, speculating on it from both sides. The fact is, I think the suburbs have come to the city, in a reverse of white flight – the inner cities have been made safe so the suburbanites are re-colonizing them and giving cities a whole new identity. 

   And, recession or not, I don’t see it getting any better. The oil crisis might even make it worse – as driving becomes more and more expensive, city centre will become the place to be and all the poor people will have to go somewhere else. Maybe American cities will follow the European model (I hear cities like Philedelphia and Boston, not to mention Washington DC, already have), with cute city centres dominated by yuppies, and the poor in sprawling housing projects around the periphery. 

   In a way this is just returning to the old pattern – neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and even East New York were originally built for the bourgeousie – but the difference is in the homogenity. No more working class areas side by side with the rich, like what used to exist in Manhattan. Less and less middle class. Gentrification is, above all, a blitzkrieg of homogenization. 

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Spent the week at Rockaway Beach . . . Rockaway Beach’ by The Ramones:

Chewing out a rhythm on my bubble gum
The sun is out and I want some.
Its not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride
To rockaway beach.

 


Up on the roof, out on the street
Down in the playground the hot concrete
Bus ride is too slow
They blast out the disco on the radio
Rock rock rockaway beach
Rock rock rockaway beach

We can hitch a ride
To rockaway beach
Its not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride
To rockaway beach.

 

 

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Well, it’s early days yet. But Obama is one step closer. 

Interesting portrait of Obama in NY Times: 

Calm In the Swirl Of History

Too black for some, too white for others, educated at Harvard, self-made, raised by a single white mother after African father took off, deliberately chose to identify more with his black side (‘remade himself as a black man in Chicago’), arrogant, driven, a little ruthless, an expert on constitutional law, liberal, inexperienced, charismatic (etc) – as a Canadian, the figure Obama most recalls for me (substitute black for French-Canadian) is Pierre Elliot Trudeau,. Depending on your perspective, the best or worst prime minister in Canadian history (my vote is with the former). 

For American readers, Trudeau was Prime Minister for 16 years. 

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Because I have a new camera and I can . . .


                             New Yorkers Love Their Air-Conditioners

 


                                                View From the pond on Central Park

 

Natural History Museum

                                   Natural History Museum

 

Natural History Musuem

                                                Natural History Museum

 

 

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