Thursday, May 15, 2008

to some, the bronx is (still) burning

Strangely, a few days ago I was excited by the recent NYT article, Borough Gets Scant Notice for Hospitality. And then yesterday, I found If the Bronx Builds (and Updates) It, the Tourists Will Come which excited me even more though I must say I was surprised to read the harsh, insensitive thoughts of one commenter, who said:

better idea not to waste one cent designing the bronx website. most of the residents, outside of riverdale, don’t even have computers, and those that do can’t use them. who wants to go to the bronx anyway? to get shot or robbed? it was a good place many years ago but now it’s the ghetto.

Though his language is stark, his opinion isn't uncommon. I myself know of a few people (one who's a close friend) who are wary about visiting the Bronx. These stereotypes are nothing new even though much has improved since the 70s and 80s when these images became a part of the lexicon used to describe America's decaying urban centers.

What excited me about these two pieces was the fact that this subject was even highlighted. I was comforted by the idea that what I'm doing - photographing the Harlem River Bridges and areas of interest nearby - is perhaps helping in some way to address the very stereotypes and outdated assessments that were raised in these articles and by this ignorant commenter.

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