Its a City, Get Over It


Its a City, Get Over It

My neighborhood was up in arms when six police cars, 12 police officers, and a chopper all descended on us last week. Seemed one of our local characters was walking around with a cap pistol and someone called the police. “Man with a gun.” They responded as they do whenever such a call comes in. In force.

There is a petition going around because Verizon is putting up a cell tower on the corner. People are irate that a new building is going up a block or two away — egads, it will be four stories tall.  There are signs in every other merchants window to recall our city councilman. “Got Traffic — Recall Bonin.”

All anyone can talk about is the fact that Wilshire Boulevard is blocked (Metro underground going in). The schools are crowded, parking is problematic, and don’t get me started on the traffic.

Crime is everywhere (actually the rate is way down), and the billboards. At least we stopped the video signs. (I kinda liked them.) Dogs bark. The guy next door plays is bass guitar in the evenings. And of course, there are people who actually don’t look like us all over the place.

The rant above was a compliation of a few days conversation with my neighbors. I asked them all. “What do you expect, its a city.”

They respond that its wasn’t like that 40 or 50 years ago.

Whenever you have a lot of people living close together, you get conflict. Its the nature of things.

People criticize New Yorkers for being standoffish and ignoring the world around them. Why not, its how they survive surrounded by millions and millions of people in a very small place.

You can look at your city like my neighbors above or you can see it as a wonderful blend of cultures, smells, sounds, and life. If you prefer not to live like most people in the world, so be it. You can always move to that small town in North Dakota or Idaho. But don’t complain when you find out the nearest Costco is 150 miles away.

Cities have plays, symphonies, universities, international airports, shopping, restaurants, clubs, street theater, food trucks, museums, sports, and the rest. To get all that you have the ‘problems’mentioned above.

Personally, I didn’t mind seeing the police. They did their job professionally. They chatted with the folks who came out to see what was going on. We saw a side of the police we would seldom see. No shots were fired. No harm, no foul, no arrests.

When the cell tower was finished, you could barely see that the site was there.  It was newly planted, looked great.

We have traffic. That means business. That means shops and restaurants within walking distance. Try that when you live on a farm in Iowa.

Living in the city is a trade off. But somehow, I still love it.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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