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94Re: [Unmuzzled Ox] Re: CITIES TO INHABIT

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  • Kirby Olson
    Jul 6, 2005
      Hi Steven, This was very helpful. I looked it up.

      Where was the kid with the IPOD killed? This was in E. Flatbush I think
      they said. So north of Prospect Park is ok and south of it isn't?

      I like Prospect Park. Has everybody on this list seen the Camperdown Elm
      outside of the Aududon Bathhouse? It's a strange little warped tree that
      Marianne Moore wrote a later poem about trying to save it. It's still
      there. It must be the ugliest tree I've ever seen. It's so ugly it's almost
      elegant.

      Almost. She compares this tree to the massive elms in the Asher Durand
      painting set in Kaaterskill Falls which is worth a visit. She must have
      been joking to compare such a stunted tree to such a massive canopy of elms
      and other stately trees.

      Definitely worth reading the poem and scheduling a day around its visit.
      Bring a weird lunch of odd Asian crackers that smell like fish just to
      complete the weirdness.

      East of the park were a string of nice stores and restaurants. West of it
      is the Brooklyn Public Library and so on. I'm told by my multicultural
      students that the best place for a white dude like myself to get killed
      would be Flatbush. So I went along Flatbush in the car to investigate. For
      some reason there were a lot of young black men weaving through the traffic
      on tiny bicycles -- barely children's bicycles. It made a neat effect.

      I was in lower Harlem at 126th St. and a nice older black fellow in
      Morningside Park told me to get out of the park before I was killed.
      Imagine someone telling Oprah to get out of Hermes or else she'd be killed.
      The double standard just kills me. Well, not literally. My students say
      that they are just as likely to be killed in the same neighborhoods so I
      shouldn't take it personally.

      I think the problem is that if one out of a thousand people is violently
      racist or just plain violent then in a community of 20,000 there are 20
      people who will hurt you. In a multicultural tapestry like Brooklyn this
      means always watching your back esp. if you are sporting an IPOD. There
      used to be a Norwegian American community somewhere in East Brooklyn but for
      some reason Robert Moses killed that community by putting an elevated
      highway right through their main street and wiped out all the businesses but
      that could be more tendentiousness by Robert Caro his demented biographer.

      I used to like living in Seattle. I liked living in Portland. Prices
      quadrupled there. I hate the south. I live in the Catskills and it's
      somewhat isolating but my 5 bedroom house cost less than 200 grand and
      overlooks an untouched mountain and a beautiful river which fills up with
      fog every morning and then slowly lifts and my kids are very safe here (the
      last murder in this county that wasn't solved was some 40 years ago, but of
      course friends and lovers do kill one another). There were more people in
      this county the size of Rhode Island in 1800. There are now only 40,000.
      There is one bookstore. Mostly it's a nature park for the New york City
      water department. Giant straws reach from here into Manhattan and tiny
      unmanned submarines patrol the huge cement straws looking for cracks.

      I only make about 46,000 here but I think if I went to a larger area I could
      get 60, possibly, if I really tried. What about Providence? What about
      Philadelphia?

      Hey, who's on this list, and where do you live? I need your information.
      Please function.


      -- Kirby Olson

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