Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hilly Billies

Patti made an interesting comment on the Tourism, Museum, etc. post. She wrote about the tourists who take the #7 train from Manhattan to Flushing (Queens) for the big tennis event - whatsit called? - you know the one..it's up there will Wimbleton but happens in Flushing (Queens). Anyway, these people, tennis fans, dress as if they are playing tennis not watching it. They wear bright white clothes with a flash of pastel or pink here and there. I suppose I could say something about their bright, white skin too, but that may be uncalled for. The reason they stand out like sore thumbs is that the #7 train is rightly called "the international express" because it carries the richly diverse population of Queens to and from their work every day, every hour. It is a train that is always crowded no matter what time you get on it because there is always someone headed in or out of town to work or play. This is our train, when we are in NYC, and I have strong affection for the train and the people who ride on it. But these tennis people, as we call them, are less complimentary. They get on the train in Manhattan (of course!) and look with horror at the unwashed masses, talk loudly as if no one can understand English, and pretty much show no respect for the people for whom this train is a lifeline. As Patti said, no one would mind them if they would just keep their judgements to their starched and fragrant selfs.

It reminded me of an interview that was on the radio some weeks ago. The owner of a new "luxury condo" development that is trying to get off the ground in neighboring Meadows was being interviewed about whether construction would happen this summer. The owner, who is no doubt a lovely person, kind to children and animals, etc., spoke very enthusiastically but bit by bit revealed that they realized that they had unexpected expenses totalling $800,000 to get the basic infrastructure put in and that one of their largest investors pulled out of the deal. When asked why, the owner (who is German) said the investor thought the area was "too hilly-billy like."

Now this owner sold the idea of this project to the town of Meadows by telling everyone that it would have all sorts of wonderful facilities for the community: a shopping area, a pool, rec center, etc. Apparently he got a standing ovation at the meeting. Now those who were cheering him are hillbillies. I couldn't help but wonder how long it would take before residents of these luxury condos started complaining about the hillbillies in the pool, the rec center, etc., and the gates go up.

No one minds if others see the beauty of this place and want to share in it, but please, keep your judgements to yourself.

1 comment:

OfTroy said...

OH my, oh yes!

the 'we moved here to the country to get away from the city.. only now please,pave all the roads, add sidewalks, and keep the cows away.. the road apples they leave attract flies.. and while your at it, can you do something about the rooster? i don't want to woken every morning at the crack of dawn."

I live on E/F (well actually a local stop, (R/V))of the subway, but it too, has an international compliment of riders (as does my building elevator!) so i miss the US tennis open riders for the most part, but.. have you seen the latest stat's? WASP are quickly becoming a minority..

well that's fine by me!