bernal heights cont.. There are no symbols in the city.
though i was staying in a house at the End of a (Moultrie) Street (another phenomenon for another time) most of the way down the hill of bernal heights, i could still look down on more housing. at the very bottom of the hill, right next to the highway, behind noise barriers was a housing development. would it be as scary if i didnt hear shots coming from down there a couple of nights a week? the discarded bicycle wouldnt have menace. the two vans that never moved from their spots on the curb would have fewer associations. the delapidation of the units, the raw, patchy grass, the total lack of people walking around, it would all feel less of a type. but it shouldnt be this way. cities defy this sort of associative, unimaginative thinking. this is not an evasion of statistics. its defiance of the statistics. crime may occur way more often in certain neighborhoods. then those neighborhoods become branded. you think you know what you are getting to any given place. it sickens me when i hear someone refer to a place (Harlem is a good example) as though a place 'means' something. a place gains associations and accrues statistics. but to limit a place by trying to bound it is irresponsible. the victims are the people who live there. they must live with the facts of their neighborhood AND the associations. how can their lives not tend more towards self-fulfilling prophecy? this goes for The Bottom of the Hill and Belle Aire.
so lets all skip down through the jackgrass at the end of moultrie st. and have a hootenanny in the projects.