Thursday, September 28, 2006

I went back to Ohio....

and my city was gone. Well. At least my part of the city.

A few nights ago I took a cab from the East Village across town. We cut across 13th street. I couldn't believe all the buildings that have been torn down and replaced with new construction. The new structures are at least 15 stories high. Probably more, but I'm not used to counting that high in my neighborhood.
First you see your community get fucked up by drugs and violence. Then finally it climbs out of that hell hole to be destroyed by the greedy real estate developers.

Seriously, will anything be left of the East Village in a few years from now? The artists are pretty much gone. The drag queens are pretty much gone. Regular people are being replaced with rich people each day. Now the buildings are gone. Maybe they'll leave a little piece of land where they can hire people to do East Village reenactments - like Colonial Williamsburg.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know what you are saying. Last year we came North for what will probably be our last visit. We visited the places where we had grown up and where we went to school and even where we had vacationed as young marrieds. In many ways I wish we had never gone. There was so little that was familiar. I was left with a feeling that something had died and should be grieved. I almost wondered if it was me. What I had always thought of as a part of me was gone, disappeared. I finally learned what was meant by, "You can't go back".

east village idiot said...

You are so right. What's weird is I can't "go back" to the place that I'm still living in. The process is speeding up much faster than I ever dreamed it would. Thank you for your thoughtful and wise post. We can't go back - but the beautiful memories are real and alive in our hearts.

jin said...

I think that happens everywhere.
Here, too. They chop down a forest full of beautiful trees & build 'cookie cutter' mansions so close to each other you could jump from rooftop to rooftop. Then they sit empty, becase no one here can afford them.

They tear down beautiful old buildings & put up fast food restaurants. BLECK!

It depresses me too much if I dwell on it.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I was in the city a few weeks ago and couldn't believe how much the skyline has changed. I used to live in Chelsea, 16th and 5th and when I headed down to the Village I felt like I'd never been there before. And one question I really wanna know, Who the heck is able to buy these luxury places?

east village idiot said...

Jin - you're right. it does happen everywhere in the country. When I lived in Cambridge MA the same thing happened shortly after I left. It can be sad to dwell on it.

Dr. Serani - There is a much larger uberwealthy class that has developed over the last 15 years. I see it in fund raising. It's becoming like Paris. The rich move into Manhattan and everyone else is pushed outward. Seeing the wealth around you building after building is a daunting experience. Wall Street has produced many a 30 year old millionaire..and the law firms must follow.