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Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Abandoned houses on 7-21-15--North Philadelphia 2

[North Philadelphia]



Rudy said...

Looks like parts of Detroit, but I haven't been there for a while.

I've been told that the ball wreckers and bulldozers have been at work in places...

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Rudy,

Since the abandoned houses in Detroit tend to be bigger, with more land around it, they look sadder. Staring at one, I'd think, Such a big, beautiful house, and the people had to flee!

Gentrification is pushing out from Center City, but I seriously don't think it will last much longer. With the economy even more obviously in distress, there will be more crimes and civil unrest will explode. My guess is you will see another wave of white flight.

David Swanson wrote recently, "Yes, I also want to say Free Mumia. In fact, I want to say Free all the prisoners. Turn the prison holding Mumia Abu-Jamal into a school and make him dean."

Only a white man living outside a city can even think of writing, "I want to say Free all the prisoners."

Most city dwellers, white, black, brown or yellow, would retch in disgust at such a statement.


x larry said...

all of it is engineered. there's now a terrible situation. one wants to live a whole life, to test oneself. one way, at least for me, was to 'do' the big city. i came to philly so naive i can only laugh in a way. i walked through west philly streets, 43rd and spruce area, and said hi to everyone i passed on the sidewalk. within six months i had been taken in by every possible scam. when i first got there i walked everywhere, and remember heading to center city then south philly way down, back through the italian market. i was in love with the place, but i had great ambitions and thought, i could be mayor. it didn't take long, no not too long. i wandered north of market to lancaster around 40th and right through the project grounds--first time i began to feel scared. people really stared for sure, long haired white boy! i worked a year and a half at a shelter for teenagers. this is what did it for me, changed me for life. i could no longer relate to white people or black people. i became hard, though--at least i thought so, and it was true too in many ways. it's just a defense or in a place like north philly a survival mechanism. but i came from a very soft place, totally priveledged, a suburb without a city (a corporate headquarters in the midwest, a company town, most people i knew were very comfortably off). after a couple of years in philly i scoffed at everywhere else, even chicago. i walked through kansas city while visiting relatives there and had to keep from laughing--glad i didn't venture too too far east of troost ave, though, i had forgotten temporarily that it was not long before the murder capital.
anyway, this is too long, but i had a point or two i was trying to make.
one, i don't believe it has ever been so bad--the poverty and misery, yes (eg dickens' london or any other big city then or now), but the absolute hatred and downright terror (just to walk to 711 for a snapple), no. only in modern american cities.
two, this is engineered. remember the sixties and the strong black leadership, church and otherwise--destroyed, very deliberately, with assassinations, with crack, with gangsta rap, etc.
three, it all seems so unnecessary (here i agree with the lame quote above about freeing prisoners--obviously just in theory, in an ideal world, extremely far from what we have now). even a mike tyson--there were so many of that type i came across, worked with, even a twelve year old short boy with a hard man's face--yet tyson himself in some interview i read turns out to be something of a cupcake inside. he regrets/hated boxing, he loves peace and raising and rescueing pidgeons.
finally, bring back the death penalty selectively--let's say 100 murders. if you're implicated in any way in 100 or more murders, you should be killed. bill clinton (crack epidemic, 500,000 dead iraqi children), ZAP. kissinger, blair, and on and on.

Rudy said...

Yo x larry,

Back in the 80s a friend of mine,a pilot,knew the pilot of the Chrysler corporation executive jet. Since it wasn't always in use they used to rent it out. Mike Tyson once hired it to take him and his entourage to Jamaica. The story that I heard is that Tyson was a very personable,friendly guy. He rode with the pilot and asked lots of questions about flying. When they landed,he opened up his suitcase and handed each member of his entourage a wad of 100 dollar bills and told them to go and have a good time.

x larry said...

hi rudy,
thanks, good story. did he fly iacoca around? i remember reading his autobiography in high school and thinking this is what a great man should be, essentially: famous, probably did something great, and famous. luckily i was clueless (and have always remained that way) about 'bidniss'. thanks as well lee for helping destroy detroit (i grew up in midland--you're in ann arbor if i remember correctly?).
thanks again


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.