Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The buzzing never stops

August 6, 2013

Hoboken buzzes with the sounds of saws, workmen busy as bees in the pits of this former parking lot under the window I used to look out from when this was still my office a decade ago.
Every day a new building seems to rise up to hide the view of the river and Manhattan, as the future blots out the past for all those who get used to a particular view.
The Manhattan skyline isn’t the same skyline I grew up with and won’t be the same for those who follow me, each snap shot capturing a piece of history we shall not see again.
I keep watching apocalyptic movies from the 1980s, if only to realize how they got it wrong, and how cities did not explode or implode as they once promised, defying the expectations that they might become ghettos, or even places with obvious two classes of citizens, the privileged few and the hungry, dirty, troublesome masses of poor.
In the new world order, poor betray poor to get rich so that they can be privileged, too, and so not to get driven out of the cities entirely, forced to flee the way whites fled in the 1950s and 1960s when they saw an influx of color.
Hoboken clings to the illusion of old and new, battles being waged to allow poor to cling on with the tips of their fingers – used and abused even by their own kind who see themselves as elite, but pretend to be of the people.
But the buzzing won’t stop even then as the city here and across the Hudson finds new ways to reinvent themselves, never satisfied, always hungry, always seeking something new that will always replace the old, not good or bad particularly, but always different.

Those who accept change rarely get crushed by it, and yes, some of us want what was, and is, and fear what will become partly because we never know when it will be us who gets driven out by the new reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment