Monday, October 22, 2007
“Dresden reminded him of Dayton, Ohio...”
Omi's Note: Several of my homies have asked me to write about my view of the city. After living here for close to 3 months, here it is:
When Kurt Vonnegut said that line in his monumental book, Slaughterhouse Five, I was shooked. Dresden, Germany was a beautiful city that was fire bombed by the Allies during WWII killing more people than the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Slaughterhouse Five was a fictional story centered around the bombing of that city. Of course Vonnegut wasn't saying that Dresden after the bombing looked like Dayton, Ohio. He meant that Dresden looked like the city that was once home to the Wright Brothers before the bombing. The homes are spaced out dramatically. There is so much open space here.
After a few weeks here, I noticed several things. The first thing I noticed is that there are several closed businesses. I have never seen so many closed businesses in my life. Well, I take that back. The Bronx during the 70s and early 80s was in the same situation. There are also several vacant homes and buildings. On my block alone there are close to 4 vacant homes. The home we moved into was vacant for close to five years.
The people look beaten. I know that in the last couple of years several manufacturing jobs have left the area leaving the economy depressed. Many people are moving out of the city. I have realized that people don't even want to be associated with Dayton. I can't say I don't blame them. In the daytime, you can see scores of people in the street drunk and impaired. I have learned that the city is filled with assaults, drunk and disorderly, and breaking and entering. Heads still throw the hands out here.
On the news, I expected to see the same ol' same ol', but even though the city is half black, I find the local news filled with acts committed by whites. Here in Ohio, I have learned that white folks can't stand po' white folks. I think I am reminded of that every day. “You live in Ol' North Dayton with the po' white trash?” (I am dead serious! This is coming from white folks!)
Despite the decadence, I can see the mass potential here. I mean surround Dayton, Ohio so much is going on. Here is an opportunity for folks to come in and own there own with some land, too. I do feel lonely here. Very few conscious folks here. Very few. I think I build with the same person over and over again. I miss building.
Dayton is very family oriented however. There is much to do here for the family. Their children's museum is so gangsta. I love playing there! The park system is the dopest I have seen. All the parks in the system are connected via bike path. While it is true that some folks have been found dead on these paths, I see folks ride them everyday all day.
Dayton has a dope farmer's market. Better than Norfolk and Virginia Beach's are. Dayton is surrounded by several farms so the opportunity to purchase organic food at crackhead prices are everywhere. The cost of living here is so so fly. The dollar really stretches out here. Overall, I give the city a C-. Yet the potential for growth is exponential. We just need some dedicated folk.
Time to build.