Saturday, August 25, 2007

Homoginize the World Mochachino Land

My youngest sister has an obsession with things being their proper place. Not in an organizational sense, but in a grand scheme of things, people, places, corporations should be aware of their place, personality, and purpose & be as true to them as possible.

The last time I visited my family we drove from our parents house in the middle of no-where into the nearest city. We passed a construction site on our way. A new CVS was being built & the tiny town pharmacy has closed, my sister explained with a frown. CVS, according to my sister, does not belong in a small town. People do not move away from everything to have a CVS on hand. They move so that they can buy their milk fresh off a farm and drive twenty minutes into town to make any major purchases.

I found this opinion amusing since my little sister loves the city. She nearly had a breakdown when our parents bought their large, wood bordered house. "There's nothing there!" she wailed, "People should be able to walk to buy groceries, they should be able to walk to the library! They probably don't even have a library!"

The library was our destination that day. There was one in the tiny town, it is one room of books and not worth the mention I'm giving it. So we cruised into the city, my sister maintaining the speed limit in the passing lane while hurried motorists passed us on the right, as we approached the historical district.

The houses, once the pride of America's 1940s bourgeois, are massive and decayed. They are owned primarily by large families with enough money to buy the house, but not to restore it, or landlords who divide the houses up into apartments and charge $450 a month for the agony of living there.

"And this," my sister said with disgust, motioning towards the ruined mansions and bemoaning the dirty slum our city, once a promising place, has given itself over to be. For my sister, and anyone who lives there, really, the fact that our hometown has neglected its commercial interests is a disgrace. Corporations, high-rises, and malls belong there. It should be the place growing, not the sleepy little town nearby, which would ideally continue its drowsy existence into eternity.

A few years ago I was flying to Paris and on the plane I read a travel magazine about shopping in foreign countries. They shared my sisters distress. What was the point in traveling if the shopping was the same in every country? Why would you leave America just to buy the same things at the same stores as you would have bought here?

I have to agree. I love the city as much as my sister. I love walking to my favorite stores. I love big corporations with slick advertising and well choreographed business plans. But it would be shame if that's all there was.

One of the massive houses that has been chopped up into apartments.Photo taken by Barb Hale. Used without permission.


template by flower brushes by