|Robinson Street in Hudson|
"I think Robinson is our next up and coming street," said an acquaintance at a community event. "It's the next street in Hudson to be discovered."
It's great to see houses and streets being improved, but statements such as these do not sit well with me. They are directed at the surface of things, and ignore the cultural realities taking place, or that could be taking place, beneath the surface renovation of bricks and mortar.
Hudsonians who are satisfied with the first model are being very short sighted about our city, about the urban problem generally, and about the causes of and cures for America's cultural ills. They don't understand that, comparatively speaking, one isn't repairing much of significance if all he repairs is a building. They don't understand that the embedded problems of a culture are not being addressed when struggling people are forced out of a neighborhood and out of a city just so its buildings can be renovated. All this does is put Hudson on the winning side of a zero-sum game. But so what? these folks seem to think; that is a problem for Troy or Albany or Schenectady to figure out.
But I will admit that my friends are right about one thing: the people moving into Hudson are making a difference. They indeed are.