Cant the people have anything to themselves? And cant corporate chains leave anything alone?
I have seen downtown..its dead as cardboard and it reminds me of every personality stripped, non ethnic, boring city I have seen across this nation.
Leave the barrio alone. Better yet, live there and then you can make decisions about how to destroy a neighborhood.
If this were Boston a bunch of horrid yuppies, art snobs and 'others' would move in slowly and genrify the place.
The barrio is not like a ghetto back east. People respect things in an old fashioned almost Italian way and they seem to live and let live. I visited there briefly and all I saw were families and people going about thier daily business.
I didnt see white children looking long faced and suspect of thier new world; I saw people playing with thier babies in thier carriages and babies who laughed and smiled.
I didnt see WASPy parents who have every safety gear sans a helmet for christs sake now adays for their kids safety which seems to always be in danger nowadays from some far off percieved threat; I saw people who act intimately with thier children the way peopel used to back when I was a kid...in other words they seem to outwardly love them and play with them freely. I felt safe..safer than I have in years in snobby survaillence obssessed 'modern' neighborhoods. Like any true neighborhood, the community itself IS the security. There is nothing cold about the barrio. Nothing lifeless. And if you are an artist or a history lover the archetectuer is to die for. It used to be dangerous years ago but locals say that the gang issue is alot better than it was. I went there freqently. OK so you shouldnt go out after dark..big deal. Its a community still and life is not supposed to be so safe all the time its living in a vat of Lysol. Go live in a hospital ward if you want clean and perfect all the time.
Its no wonder art, music, true cultrue and languages are dying nowadays. No place is left with any character or personality.
Here is how we did it in the old days. Stay in your own neighborhood. Simple really...
And I bet theyll market it under PC and diversity. Both a land developers best friend nowadays and both concepts conveniently EXCLUDE CLASSISM AND CLASS WARS. Do you see class diversity in rich neighborhoods?
Build a strip mall? THAT is diverse and vibrant? That is the height of corporate conformity.
I have seen this place and it is a community where people live end of story. It is full of people who come from a culture that is passionate, unafraid of music and art in daily life and these people are what is vibrant.
They also can claim lineage to an ancient native culture...I as an artist have gone to heaven and back while visiting this area, taking in the bone structures and features alone. The barrio is the real deal.
And perhaps ironically, the height of racism is that the people in the barrio are being punished for being all those wonderful things I just mentioned.
Its on the border and I have not been so charmed as a writer and an artist..and a human being in many years. And I have travelled alot.