Thursday, June 01, 2006

grime vs. green

this post from andrea really has me thinking. andrea just moved from a block away from my house, to the east bay.

i think a lot about moving to the east bay. a lot! and i think about moving to portland. and i think about moving to sweden. i think a lot about moving. but i also have been known to use moving/the idea of moving as an escape from personal troubles. and i realize those follow wherever you go generally. and so i try to think about making my home where i am, making my happiness where i am.

but like andrea, i'm tired of the grime and ready for more green...

i like this comment of hers: "It's as if this self-respecting environment fostered even more goodness." i think about that related to sweden a lot, a country whose environments (urban, suburban and natural) are generally clean, cared for and respected. and it seems in turn, people respect their enviornments/themselves/each other more. in sweden they have allemansratt, which directly translated, means every man's right. it means everyone has access to nature in sweden and can be in it respectfully (picking berries or flowers, but not all the berries or flowers, camping anywhere, but not leaving your trash, etc.) when everyone has equal access, people take care of nature better.

my housemate erica talks about wanting to start a campaign with community leaders to make mission street (and the mission) clean. there is the argument that this will lead to (more) gentrification of the mission and push a large Latino population out. cleaning up the Mission would also threaten homeless, drugusers and prostitutes. and will all these people just be relegated to a new, uncared-for neighborhood then? and if i move somewhere cleaner, more beautiful, will i be more inclined to ignore the existence of uncared for places and people/racism/homelessness/others' suffering? at the same time, it seems the lack of city interest/funds in making the Mission clean is a kind of racism. it's complicated. all the problems are interconnected. (like andrea also says in her post, one gets in trouble when one only looks at it from one angle.)

do we just try to deal with these issues locally, or do we need a revolution? can't we all have green and beauty?


shash said...

ps. but then i also think, maybe i'll feel more myself in a green place and have more energy to deal with uncared for places and people/racism/homelessness/others' suffering. ???

mati rose said...

i feel you. i go over this same debate in my head. everytime i visit hugh's sisters in north berk it feels so calm and green. simultaneously, i love our hood-- it inspires me daily on an artist level. i love speaking spanish regularily. i love the convenience. i love atlas. i love bumping into all our friends. i love tacos. i love my community garden... do you have one? do you want to plant in mine? i need to re-plant it for summer. it saved me.
until we do move i think we just need to keep living it up where we are, right?! i like your post and how it got me thinking.

trudesign said...

I read her post yesterday too and it really made me think.