Sunday, August 12, 2012


On the way back from Tanya and Jamie's we drove down 9G for a while instead of going straight to the Taconic.  When we got close to Hyde Park, we saw a sign for the Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site and drove in to check it out. It was a lovely looking place, nice house, fields, a pond, bucolic. Everything a white person could want.  Except Graham, who just wanted to get back to Grandma's house to beat her again at chess.  So we stayed in the car, kept driving.

Heading south into Poughkeepsie, things went downhill fast. At one point in time, 5 of 7 businesses we passed were shuttered:  pizza joints, delis, drycleaners, etc. All told, the city was a close to being a ghost town as I had seen in some time. Really derelict. No hope.  Nothing going on. Nice houses rotting. People lounging on front porches or insolently pushing their way through traffic at stop lights, as if to assert their humanity in whatever context offered itself, like Dostoevsky's Underground Man.

Somehow Beacon got the Dia Foundation to come in and do a lot of good. Poughkeepsie is still waiting, as, I suspect, is Peekskill.  Vassar ain't done shit.

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