7/23/20 | U.S. Politics |
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Now, we are told that, “silence equals violence.” Indifference is no longer tolerated in Urban America. Protests on the National Mall like “Earth Day” or “The Women’s March,” the kind where activists gave speeches over megaphones and colorful signs demanding this or that were standard in DC—and, importantly, easily avoided. That style of protest is gone.
Now, we have riots, vandalism, and looting. “Protesters” set fire to an historic church and tear down statues. The protests, they say, must disrupt the status quo—and egging them on are media personalities like CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who said live, on the air, “please show me where it says protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful?”
Mayor Bowser broke her contract with residents like me. So we’re leaving.
During the last night in my condo in DC, I had to walk my dog an extra lap around the block because a crazy person was outside screaming obscenities. I wasn’t afraid. I just didn’t feel like getting into it with him or having to listen to his story—his “Let me just tell you something,” attempt to get money from me. It was 1 A.M., and I was tired from a night out—but more so, just tired in general. Tired of it all.
I’m a city kid, through and through. And not a recent one. Not some Nebraska transplant who moved to the city and immediately thinks of himself as a local. A woman tried that on me once. With her affected upspeak cadence, where declarations sound like interrogatories, she told me she was from “Brook-LAN?” “No, you’re not,” I retorted (obnoxiously, being the 6th generation New Yorker that I am). “You LIVE in Brooklyn. People who are really from there don’t pronounce it like that.”
My uncle Bob, the family historian (and former Congressman representing our neighborhood from Queens) traces our family in Manhattan since the 1840’s. Between my Irish dad, from the Irish part of Manhattan, and my Italian Mom, from the Italian part of Brooklyn, we have family or friends in practically every part of the city. New York is not just where we live; it’s like a family member, as loved as offspring, as revered as a grandparent, as formative as a mom and dad.
I left that family member in 2003, when I moved to Washington, DC for work. It’s not New York, but it’s still the city, and, for the past 17 years, it’s been an exciting time to call it home. I’ve witnessed the birth of entire neighborhoods: Shaw, 14th Street, The Atlas District, Navy Yard, Ivy City, The Wharf. Parts of DC you couldn’t even drive through at one point now had Michelin Star dining and outdoor beer gardens. From abandoned streets with burnt-out buildings—many still bearing the scorched marks from the fires of the ‘68 riots—multi-million-dollar row houses were restored, new condos arose, and wine bars and gyms multiplied like Abraham’s offspring. READ MORE