Comment 52286

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 26, 2010 at 19:42:56

One of the most important parts of truly observing a city is to let go of your own assumptions, and appreciate things for what they are. This is why people often appreciate cities so much more when they travel to exotic lands, even if they're a million times dirtier and more crime-ridden than here. Lacking the social cues which we've been taught designate a "bad" area, it's a lot easier to appreciate simple beauty and elegance.

My neighbourhood may be full of slums and have a bit of a "drug problem", but it's constantly filled with playing children, friendly seniors and generally interesting people. While not every property is maintained to suburban standards, I have a hard time believing that nicer gardens exist anywhere in the city than what some of my elderly Portuguese and Italian neighbours do with their properties. The aged brickwork and old-time mouldings still have an impressive and imposing character, enhanced with trees just as old which cover the area (take a look off the escarpment in summertime).

There's a serious problem in this town's discussion of inner-city issues where anything and everything in working-class areas falls under the image of "crippling poverty". There are a lot of problems in poor areas - I'll be the first to admit it - but just because someone has a pony-tail and a Nascar hat doesn't mean they're unemployed, addicted to drugs, mentally unstable or any of the other stereotypes applied to people in these areas. The fact is that a very large chunk of this city thinks things like sports-bar karaoke and pickup trucks are really really cool, and it's not our job to "re-educate" them. Middle class preferences (Survivor and SUVs) are just as ridiculous - most culture is. But unless we appreciate and accept people for who and what they are, we're just going to be left bickering over silly aesthetic preferences.

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