The blight that is in the process of being removed ever so gently from my immediate neighborhood still exists in the larger region. One in four people live under the poverty line. Last year's homicide rate broke records. It is ridiculously easy to obtain handguns. The public schools are atrocious, both in terms of facility and general usefulness not to mention safety. Jobs, like the famous Navy Yard, keep shutting down and or moving away. For decades the city's administration has been identified with blowing up residences, widespread corruption, and cronyism.
So it was with some acceptance, and a heavy sigh that I discovered my car had been keyed overnight. Things like this are bound to happen I suppose, and it's the price I pay for living in a dreamhouse amid the best neighbors ever within walking distance of mad-good coffee shops and homemade pastry. But the words in my 5-month old door cut me short: BICTH. I'm assuming, from the crime and the vocabulary, that this was a child, out after dark, on a school night when s/he should have been at home, who seized this crime of opportunity. (Had it been an older person with more criminal experience, they would've gone right through the window in search of my GPS system.) But instead of articulating an anger -- toward me, or toward this city which for decades has neglected it's children -- the perpetrator came off sounding like Sylvester the Cat reaching for a handful of pens.
Mayor Michael Nutter, if you're reading this, please know that I support you and your administration, that I love this city, and will do whatever lies in my power to better this situation before it gets worse. Because it could very well get worse. This is a city on the precipice, with a recession looming in front of it. And what happened to my car doesn't strike me with fear, and doesn't make my neighborhood look bad, it makes the city look ridiculous. We have kids hanging on by their toenails, who are herded into decrepit schools, matriculated without skills, with no where to go afterwards, and no jobs on their horizon. And before we get in their parents' grills, let's remember that many of them are working two jobs, and can't afford child care. Kids are this city's future, and we're letting them down -- we're laughing off their bouts of rage, and I for one am about to pay a couple grand to obliterate it as if it was never heard. In short, the problems of this city are writ large, three times, over two metallic blue car panels: we need to teach kids to spell before any of this gets better.
Because to-do lists seem the rage, here's mine for today:
2) Get estimate on repair (scheduled for this afternoon) before
3) calling insurance company.
4) Find local literacy campaign to donate books to.
5) Donate money to local after-school program.
6) Email architect, who is coming with a contractor for a meeting on Monday to discuss our kitchen reno, about the possibility of off-street parking structure.
7) Swill coffee, look out window at beautiful Blue Atlas Cedar, exhale, and repeat 10 times: There are worse things this. There are worse things than this. There are worse things than this.