Remember Arlo Guthrie, son of the great folk-pioneer Woodie? He'd call today "about as dern near good as it gets." He'd be right, it's a God-kissed breezy bright day where no matter what's going on in your life, you know things will be alright. My plant is blooming against all odds and I just got back from my walk.
For those who've been with me awhile, you know about my habitat Why Would I Move? posted 7/29/06. The best part of my place is the immense view from the windows, I'm up high and have parts of five different cities available to my view, including the sadly altered Manhattan skyline. This means that before and on July 4th the big sky is filled with firework displays from all parts, including here. This is Newark, the largest city in NJ and I've called it home about a dozen years.
Yesterday and last night weren't that bad, we only had about 8 non-fatal shootings, between 25-40 stabbings, countless robberies and car thefts, the usual few fires, it was pretty quiet. My telescope is perched out onto the eastern skies which is the main direction I see most of, it's a very expensive one (no name-dropping) and it's why I don't have some of the usual things like a radio, camera or good TV. Saved my pennies for a long time so I could watch what's up there - and last night, early this morning, was even better than Sunday. Tonight promises to surpass that, with the Perseids coming in straight down. I can't lie on the ground even if I were fool enough to go out at night into the park with my scope, so I'm seeing the show from a vantage point which isn't always the best. Yet I have enough "big sky" and a vast horizon so all I see is space no matter in what direction or how far I turn my head. Since it's August, my scope is angled on Cassiopeia. I love this thing. Someday I'll have a camera outfitted to it, right God?
Newark is broke. The previous administration cleared out the till in a slow, sneaky way and our present mayor, a refined Rhodes Scholar, has no idea what to do next. The city needs a renaissance but no one's bargaining to invest their capital just now. This seems to be happening everywhere, but Newark is especially effected because of its notoriety. Maybe you've heard of the recent murders of 3 young people, 2 in college and 1 preparing to enter, who were lined up against a wall and shot in the head. St. Valentine's style. Newark is in mourning and all flags are at half-mast, but I think some of the powers-that-be are thinking with their brain at half-mast too. There's legislature waiting to be passed that will take even more of our privacy rights away. It has to do with this particular shooting. One of the killers was hiding only blocks from my building.
Newark is used to murder, sorrowfully. Worse it's mostly kids doing it and having it being done to. I mentor a few and it really makes a difference, these are near-babies starved for adult guidance and direction, just plain, simple interest in them as people with their own feelings and dreams. Wish more adults would get involved - whether they have time or not.
This last shooting is very news-worthy because of the identity of one of the killers - illegal Hispanic with outstanding WARRANTS why was this guy out in the streets?!? And WHY in the world when he went for his arraignment didn't the judge order a deporation hearing?
My late Father made his business here in Newark, I'm very familiar with my city. I've watched it prosper in the 50s when coming here to shop with Grandma was a treat, it was safe and clean. Then the riots of the 60s hit - all over the country - and Newark burned as fiercely as Watts or Chicago, more so. People with an alphabet after their names say we never truly recovered from those riots which is pretty much the truth. We've built a Center for Performing Arts, we have a Symphony Hall which my late Mother sang in as part of the opera chorus, we have a myriad of churches, a beautiful library, museums, and several well-kept parks. Housing construction has been going on in earnest for several years now, in attempts to attract the working folk. But there's a liquor store on every corner.
I'll be star-gazing again tonight into the wee hours with my Media Player for music, even AOL radio isn't half bad. Now that I joined the rest of creation and got DSL I'm not worried about going online for any length of time. My children and their children can call, my siblings, my friends, even the pesky telemarketers - because every time I sit at this computer and pick up the phone just to hear that dial-tone, I have to smile my thanks to God for every single thing I have. I thank Him for what I don't have, too. Why not.