Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 237

The other side of America

I’m getting itchy feet (no, it’s not my new ‘sneakers’) to see the other side of American life – that is, the one I haven’t seen much of yet. I’ve seen glorious America, bright lights, big city, fascinating history and incredible landscapes and views, but I haven’t seen the OTHER America. I’ve encountered some areas in DC and Baltimore, but only fleetingly, and it’s left me curious.

Why do I want to see it? Because I want to get a full perspective on the United States, its people, cultures, demographics and politics. And because I’m nosy and interested and find it fascinating just how polarised it can be.

A recent article, which calls these places ‘the wrong side of the tracks’, made me realise there is still much for me to see.

The article states that Google Street View ventured into ‘some of the most down right dangerous places in the world’, and that these ‘places you really wouldn’t want to find yourself.’ They are, they suggest, ‘some of the most notorious areas ever’.

Liberty City, Miami

Liberty City, Miami

Skid Row, an impoverished area of Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless people in the United States, somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000.

Skid Row, an impoverished area of Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless people in the United States, somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000.

A dilapidated house in a run-down area of Houston's fifth ward.

A dilapidated house in a run-down area of Houston’s fifth ward.

Auburn Gresham, Chicago

Auburn Gresham, Chicago

So those are some of the areas that Google Street View picked up on. Bear in mind that the article also featured Bogotoa, Columbia; favelas in Rio de Janeiro; Ferentari in Bucharest; the Jane and Finch district of Toronto; Golyanovo District, in Moscow, Russia; Troeshina, a suburb of Kyiv in the Ukraine; a Mexican barrio in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City; and Glasgow, Slough and the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth, London.

Out of that list, I’ve only been to Slough and there I think I only went to Debenhams and a Wetherspoons pub, both fairly quickly, before getting robbed blind by a gypsy lady selling me heather, who told me I would wear a crown one day and have six children (what on earth was she on about?!).

Slough. Sigh.

Slough. Sigh.

Anyway, the point is I do want to see these places in America, as well as all the picturesque bits. Maybe when I return to the UK I might have desire to visit the Aylesbury Estate, who knows, but for now, the places that they call the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ have an appeal and a draw to me in America, because I just want to see for myself…..

The Gun Control Debate

Just a little statement that I want to share with you in light of the shootings yesterday in D.C.

“He definitely lived the American Dream and achieved it,” Jain said, standing outside Pandit’s home. “It’s disheartening that the one flaw in the American system is the uncontrollable proliferation of guns.”

M. Nuns Jain was speaking of his friend Vishnu Pandit who was killed yesterday.

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6 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 237

  1. Tracey Ritchie says:

    Wait a minute. The whole of Glasgow? I accept that some areas are of the most deprived in Europe, but, a large part of the city is very wealthy and very beautiful. Obviously I’m biased, but, most cities have a large diversity of wealth. The only place I’ve been that really doesn’t have one good area was Mostar, Bosnia. For obvious reasons. I went in 2000. I’m sure things are much different now.

  2. ThatOtherGuy says:

    I rather think the shootings in DC have more to do with undiagnosed/untreated mental illness. YMMV.

  3. ThatOtherGuy says:

    Also FWIW, I really disagree that the only flaw in our justice system is the proliferation of guns. We have many, many more that are more rampant and egregious but that would fill entire volumes.

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