When you have a piece of something great in your hands, often times you know it, overuse it, and don't put it down until the stuffings have come loose. At that point we often walk away from that piece of greatness for a brief moment of time, consider our other options, and perhaps we pick something else up that fills that void. Neighborhoods are just the same, and though the loyalists stand strong during the times of stress, many of the others fade like the sound of supersonic sky traffic in passing.
Streets get worn, weathered, and bear divot holes like acne cratered teen faces. Buildings too show the signs of time having been beat against them just as dusty mats are by older women leaving simulated smoke signals in the wind, but the strength isn't in the aesthetics of a building, or in the cosmetics of our streets. It's in what lies beneath the surface. It's in the foundations of our buildings, and in the nails that hold our walls together under our roofs. It's in the brick lain roads that sturdy the pavement laid above, and in the soil that lays just below that.
Our Germantown neighborhood has seen its share of rollercoaster ups and downs, and ten years ago I would have rightfully agreed with most anyone that said that it had fallen to shit, but I stayed loyal even though it had fallen from its prior perch. Today, homes are being restored, the property value is going up, and businesses are being revitalized for the patrons that still want to frequent these establishments. It's not always true to say what's good will always be good, but it's definitely safe to say that greatness is hard to come by.
Photo courtesy of Damian Gerlach
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