This town ‘o mine is humorously split into two social distinctions by the mighty Will-Uh-Mette river. These broad, sweeping profiles of people are distinguished by tattoos, luxury brands, cliches, dirtbags and douchebags. Both sides seem to exhibit an image that implies that they belong to either a higher or lower economic class than the bourgeoisie from which they actually exist in. Whether it’s downplaying cleanliness and looking like a street urchin while wearing designer clothes or buying irregular designer clothes at a discount store so the M3 can get some ground effects. These fashion statements are sometimes painfully obvious and always a joy to mock.
Collars are bluer on the east, flipped up on the west, choppers and beat-down naked bikes ride on the eastside while only Ducatis and custom Harleys are found on the west. Women are closer to the earth, hippie, rocker, unkempt artist types in the neighborhoods of the east while the salonified, meticulously preened swans of the west stride the hills, gratuitously unapproachable.
All the demarcating and stereotyping in the world won’t change the fact that I’m from the east side of the river and have now recently transplanted to the west side. And I must say, my inner swank and humble desire for fine things in life has found a neighborhood that wallows in all things old and beautiful as well as things new and flashy.
Generalizing never did anything accurate or positive so it essentially means absolutely nothing that a river decides who you want to be and for every phony there’s two legitimate characters that just passed by, unnoticed. For the record. (I rarely and barely ever know what I’m talking about.)
Regardless, I’m 60 seconds from downtown and 10 minutes from every neighborhood in town and my awareness of the couture and culture in this city is a new-found infant yet growing superpower. The streets are a fascinating display of styles from varied backgrounds both pedestrian and garish, a vision of vast economic disparity on one corner and the organized generosity that helps those unable to help themselves on another. The intricate architecture and ornate design of many of the buildings that sit on old, tree-lined streets that lie in the midst of the city is a step back to another century while the sharp-edged modern movement of downtown still hums into the night.
I’m a baby bug acclimating to the beauty of the city and the only thing a river ever divided was a gorge or a canyon.