I went to Seattle recently to visit my boy’s at Mars Hill and get my retrain on, and me and Mike Anderson had an interesting conversation. We were talking about crime, impoverished neighborhoods, and the gospel. He then told me about the “ghetto” in Seattle, and some of what are considered the “rough” areas. You may notice that I have placed both ghetto and rough in quotations, it is indeed to show sarcasm, because what I discovered in seeing these areas made me come to the conclusion that if these were the rough areas of Seattle, then Seattle truly had no ghetto.
You see, in true ‘hood areas, there are things you find and things you don’t. Banks, Grocery Stores, Coffee shops, Sushi Bars, Target, Barnes and Noble etc. you do not find in the ghetto…why? Because these businesses generally do not feel they can be profitable in depressed area’s of the city. What you do find in depressed areas of metropolitan cities are Liquor Stores, Pawn Shops, Corner Stores (that charge 80 cents for one pack of Kool Aid, true story, a couple blocks from my house), Burned out or Abandoned Buildings, and masses of people standing on street corners. The “rough” area’s of Seattle had all of the former and none of the latter.
Something interesting seems to be taking place in recent years though in some major cities. As Young Professionals, and Urban Hipster’s are moving back into cities, and gentrification is happening in once depressed area’s, we are starting to see some light and some severe culture clash. Example…I live in Grant Park (Downtown Atlanta) Atlanta’s oldest and most historic neighborhood. I live off of MLK, and everyone I know who doesn’t live here or isn’t familiar with what has taken place here always asks me, “you living in the hood now?” Well technically, yes, but conventionally, no. I live in what was once an abandoned warehouse turned chic overpriced loft space, with gated parking. More directly, I am living in what I would consider a mostly gentrified neighborhood. And it is diverse by race, ethnicity, culture and class. It is amazing to me to see $40,000 BMW’s drive past homeless guys pissing in the street, and yet, I see it everyday. We have what is now a culture clash, and it is starting to spill over in more severe ways.
to be continued