I live in what is not entirely kindly referred to as the Rust Belt, which means my city used to be Big and Important, and now it isn’t anymore. Being Big and Important brought with it all the good and the bad that you would expect, and it can be thrilling to read about our history, what with all the money and power and fancy things and extravagant events. Our history also includes plenty of bad news – deindustrialization, disinvestment, crime, poverty, and race and class conflict. (And then there’s prohibition, which is a whole other fascinating good/bad story, but that will have to wait for another time.)
We had it all, then we lost a lot of it, but still we have a lingering greatness, and there are those who believe we are experiencing a resurgence. What has always been true is that the people (most of them) are wonderful. And a lot of the great architecture still stands. And as fascinating as I find our history (and as crazy as things can be right now – did you read the news today, or yesterday, or this year?) I’d rather be alive now than any time in the past. It was a lot tougher to be a woman even 30 years ago. Forget about 100 years ago. I don’t know about you, but I really like having an education, and a job, and being able to own property.
But I have my moments of nostalgia, too. I have a soft spot for urban decay. Something about aging buildings just speaks to me. I love the traces you can sometimes see on old brick walls, remnants of ancient hand-painted signs, or the outlines of long-gone adjacent buildings, complete with stairs and rooflines.
I just can’t get enough of that stuff.
(Restaurant advertisement photographed by me, some time in 2011. That’s all I can tell you, because it’s all I remember.)
(Posted today as my Day 20 entry in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge)