Friday, December 11, 2009

1 Frozen tear..

I know it sounds cheezy but its true.  Today I rode my bike to school and arrived to find that one of my tears (that come because the air is so cold) had frozen on my face.  Its that Cold!!!!.  The weather has been clear and beautiful here but so cold.  The high every day has been around 35 and the lows have wavered around 5-12 degrees. But I have committed to riding my bike as much as possible, so frozen tear be damned!  I can handle it.  

I don't believe that I have ever lived in a place this cold, although I know the whole nation is pretty cold right now.

This is a picture collage I just learned to make.  expect more.

This entry is actually meant to be about a topic that is hot on the public forum here in Portland and other big cities as well:  Gentrification. 

Its an interesting concept that defines the process of socio-cultural change in an area that is usually urban.  It is usually fueled by rising housing prices and services that cause lower income folks to have to move.  My friend Jeff asked me if it just had to do with whites pushing black people out, and its not that simple, but usually it has to do with a minority group being forced to move out of an area because a dominant, more affluent group has moved in.  What it creates is a division or economical segregation in a community. 

Its something that is happening in Portland and in San Francisco and I find it very interesting and actually difficult to have a strong opinion about. 

As I have mentioned, Portland is made up of these wonderful little communities and neighborhoods, but what makes these communities great is the art, the coffee, the shops, the restaurants, and of course the people.  but when all of these great, expensive, amenities move in, people are forced to move out.  And the cultural makeup of the neighborhood changes. 

As much as I love these neighborhoods and believe that some of the communities are safer and possibly more accessible because of the development, they are scaring and changing the urban population of Portland.  All of us wonderful art-loving, coffee drinking, liberal, white people are pushing others out.  And diversity in places like Portland and San Francisco is changing.  

I am still learning about what all this means, but when I watched one of my favorite Hispanic, poor, students leave the school for a cheaper neighborhood east of Portland, I was affected.  Myself, a privileged, educated person has inadvertently pushed this little student out of the urban portion of Portland.  Should I feel bad?  I don't know.  Should I be aware?  Yes absolutely.  Should cities remain the way they always have been?  probably not.  But cultural diversity makes this city and this country beautiful. 


listening to