On Facebook there is a group called "Bronxites who have moved elsewhere". (The Bronx is one of the five boroughs of New York City.) The name is self explanatory. At the time I started writing this blog entry, there were 1,364 members. Now there are 1,379 members. In the outside world, there are probably about 500,000. potential members. That's my guess anyway. Maybe even more.
The Bronx was and still is a big place.
We're all having a great nostalgia fest on that site, but let's think about it a minute.
All of us in that Facebook group, we all left.
In a way that doesn't speak highly of a hometown, does it.
We from the Bronx aren't the only ones who left hometowns that couldn't keep its young. There are small towns and large towns all over this country where the young people have left, or are leaving. There are many reasons: lack of opportunity and crime, for all I know, are the top two. Maybe hopelessness, which is tied to these both. Boredom.
I wonder how universal the urge to leave is as you approach adulthood. My son made a lot of noise as a teenager that this place (upstate NY) was the pits, etc etc. but....he's still here.
Spouse drove him and me through my old neighborhood about 5 years ago, and let me tell you, he was much less than impressed. I wish I didn't have to say that but it is the truth.
What an irony, my father who loved NYC, his daughter who left and never look back, and his grandson who has many opportunities to visit "the city" but hates it.
In some ways I wish I never did have to leave the Bronx. It's good to have a virtual Bronx but we can't live in our memories forever.
So let's enjoy our nostalgia (and I'll continue to participate in the group) but let's also remember why we left, and wish all the best for the young people in the Bronx who are its future now.