Living for the City

President Obama took his case for an $800 billion economic recovery package to one of the most distressed places in America on Monday as he opened a series of campaign-style events intended to press Congress to approve the plan by week’s end.
– At Town Hall Rally, Obama Pushes Stimulus Plan from the New York Times

I gotta admit that when I first read that opening passage I thought Obama was up in the Bronx and following in the footsteps of formers Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. (Brief aside: Are the Bushes scared of the BX? One has to wonder.)

Let’s put my Bronx pride to the side for a second and ponder on President Obama’s Urban Policy.

As a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, President Obama learned firsthand that urban poverty is more than just a function of not having enough in your pocketbook. It’s also a matter of where you live — in some of our inner-city neighborhoods, poverty is difficult to escape because it’s isolating and it’s everywhere. Our job across America is to create communities of choice, not of destiny, and create conditions for neighborhoods where the odds are not stacked against the people who live there. President Obama is committed to leading a new federal approach to America’s high-poverty areas, an approach that facilitates the economic integration of families and communities with efforts to support the current low-income residents of those areas.
– Opening to President Obama’s Urban Policy

The list that Obama’s team has put together gets it right when it comes to most of the factors in modern urban living. The only beef I have is that the Crime and Law Enforcement subsection doesn’t make any mention of funding community organization to help curtail gang violence (Note Luis J. Rodriguez’s Community-Based Gang Intervention Model). Otherwise, it feels like urban development and growth is getting some proper consideration in the overall outlook of the Nation.

This isn’t to say that any of these steps will be followed through but I also never thought that a President could get so animated about getting a domestic policy followed through with the kind of fervor you see on this video. Not only does Obama mention food stamps (Hail the Purple Five!) but you also get the feeling he is so close to saying: Don’t fuck with me, I’m the God Damn President… now get this shit passed!

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today

At (Ole) Yankee Stadium
Originally uploaded
by geminipoet
Oh man, today is the last game at the Stadium.

I can’t say I’m sad about the move, since the Yanks are only moving across the street and stayin in the Bx. (King) George was always threatening to move em to Jersey and, for a second, it looked like that might be the way it would go and having the Bronx Bombers become the New Brunswick Bombers woulda been whack in every kinda way.

My last few visits back to NYC always had me going around the Stadium(s) and seeing how the legacy will continue. Everything I saw says that this new home of Yankee Pride will be all that, the bag of chips, and a dirty water dog. My only real complaint is the loss of Macombs Dam Park. Urban (over)development is the way, business, and reality of New York but the loss of this park is a real tragedy to the neighborhood and the plans to replace it–acre for acre, tree for tree, field for field–have been convoluted and rife with delays.

Still, I have my memories and they are all good (even when my best friend and I paid $200+ each for field level box seats to see the Yanks get SPANKED by the Braves in Game 1 of the 96 Series) and the next time I am in the Boogie Down, you best believe I will be up in the (New) Stadium making more memories.

[ETA 9-22-08] Yanks win 7-3 over the Orioles.

More on the Last Day of the House Ruth Built:
Mike Lupica’s Daily News Column
The Sporting News
Live coverage at the Official Yankees website

X-Post: McCartney’s ex donating $1M in vegan food to the Bronx

Hunt’s Point art
Originally uploaded by NotTheDuck

Make no mistake, Hunts Point is one of the roughest parts of the Bx. Its main function is the home of the Hunts Point Market, the world’s largest food distribution center, providing fresh meat, fish, and produce to the New York Tri-State Area’s various food industries.

The irony is that most of that fresh produce doesn’t make it to the local hood which thrives and suffers from the Market which provides many low paying jobs to the residents but little else to the Point.

I hope that Heather Mills’ donation of $1M in soy food is not just another Anglo Santa one-time charity stunt and actually turns into a rallying cry from the residents of the Point for more quality food products from the local bodega.