Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Proof Why Living In The Ghetto Sucks.

A few months ago my neighborhood hardware store shut down on Gerard Avenue. It was a tremendously useful store, even though I didn't make as much use of it as I should have. But with it gone the only other alternative for household fixtures and such is the Home Depot, which is a hassle and a bit farther away.

However, with this mom & pop shop closed, it did leave me wondering just what would take its place. I could think of many good opportunities for such a large space.

A book store? Nah, get real. Nobody reads around here.

An electronics store? Nope, too plum a target for jackers.

What I'd really hope for was a produce store, like a Korean grocery-type of place. We used to have one on the same block, until that, too, was closed down and a useless tax prep place put in the space instead. So much for providing good, fresh fruit to the poor masses of the ghetto. Why should we try to eat healthy and live longer?

See, this is what's wrong with the Bronx. Good stores close down, and utterly useless crap is put in their place. I know this. I've been living here all my life. But even I was unprepared for what eventually took over the prime spot the hardware store used to occupy:

I mean, WTF? How more cliched can you get? Seriously? Do we need this? We already have a liquor store half a block over! Why the fuck do we need another ghetto ass poison-water dispenser in the same neighborhood? You think this kind of shit happens in Gramercy Park or Murray Hill?

And I wouldn't even be complaining all that much if the spirits were at least good quality. You know, maybe a nice selection of imported mature wines? Make the place real classy. But even though the store is not yet stocked or open for business, you can just tell from looking at that awning and the big ass "Discount" portion of the sign and know that sophistication is not going to be on high demand here.


Guess it's true after all. The "man" really just wants liquor stores and greasy fast food joints on every corner of the 'hood.

Thanks, man.

(P.S. --And don't even get me started on the Army recruitment center located just above the liquor store. The symbolism is not lost on me.)


  1. Yeah, I saw this a few weeks ago. I'm still feeling kind of sideways about it. I meant to talk to you about it but I think I tried to forget about it!

  2. David, I am living proof that living in the ghetto sucks and I am fighting mad at my luck in life. I came to NYC from Cincinnati to pursue an acting/writing career. As a younger, idealistic actress, I didn't mind sharing an apt. in Harlem or Brooklyn "for a minute." Soon, my work afforded me the ability to move to LA for a few gigs before returning to NYC and moving into a modest, but well apportioned studio in Long Island City overlooking the East River. The neighborhood was convenient to NYC and the amenities were numerous. Police presence was obvious, lawns manicured, streets clean, take-out great and varied and a slew of specialty shops and services. Suddenly, an illness for which I was not financially prepared to deal with downsided me resulting in my not able to work in my field. I found myself renting a room in Bed-Stuy. I cried everyday. I wouldn't even walk my little dog for fear she would get sick from all the debris on the streets. I lived on a block where a $1M brownstone would be adjacent to a SRO.

    Finally, getting back on my feet and not willing to give up on my dream, I got an apt. in East NY, Brooklyn in working class neighborhood. Sadly, older homeowners who maintain their properties while witnessing the influx of Section 8, working Section 8 and drug dealers. The #3 train is notorious for being ghetto transport. Why don't I move now? I must expend thousands of dollars getting back into the industry, i.e., pictures, mail outs, classes, workshops, etc. This rent is cheap and the apt. itself AFTER I completed my own renovations is cute at most.

    There is NOTHING even redeemable about living in the ghetto. It's not cool unless of course you've got some warped sense of "being down with the peeps," while being able to flee via your trust fund or family's help when it gets too intense. Most people I run into contact with don't even like me. They can sense that I don't belong and I refuse to belong in that sense. I make no apologies for being college educated, articulate, refined and stylish. I don't want to sound like an evil classicist, I am not. However, a neighborhood is not a ghetto until a certain mindset determines that it is such. Neighborhoods across the US with far less per capita incomes are clean and safe because proud, hardworking people live there. They are considerate of their neighbors. They take pride in their appearances, surroundings, etc. This urban ghetto mindset is an abomination.

  3. Here, here! Thanks for the reply. You should never stop being you just to please another group or mindset. Especially if doing so means "dumbing down." Living in the ghetto can't be helped sometimes (as I well know), but that doesn't mean you have to "ghettoize" your mind. Good for you for being a classy and well-educated lady!

    And good luck with the acting and writing career. So exciting!


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