Monday, July 02, 2012

What don't I like about this photograph? Popular mayor (he's a good man) up for reelection in November, working the crowd at the large Colombian parade.

The sign with the Official Seal of the City of Elizabeth. Excuse me, but since when does the city officially designate ethnic districts? Is there a sign over by the Jewish Education Center complex saying "Welcome to the Jewish District"? That Jewish community has roots going  back to 1880. I appreciate living near them. Wish someone would open a falafel stand.   Our famous Italian neighborhood, "Peterstown," known locally as "The Burg," doesn't to my knowledge have signs; it's a neighborhood, not a district.  It doesn't even have a predominantly Italian population anymore, just a lot of  Italian restaurants, cafes & meat markets. Ethnic neighborhoods are organic, they change. Elizabeth no longer has an Irish, a Polish, a German neighborhood. In the 1950's, 60's, 70's there were enough Russian Orthodox  to build a beautiful new church around the corner & pay for it. Where are they now? What in this city constitutes an "African-American District"? The Colombians are welcome to promote their three blocks of Morris Ave. businesses through their merchant associations. Go ahead, put up signs on your properties. Have parades & festivals. But I'll tell you this; I don't live in a "Colombian District" authorized by  city hall. Where are the borders? Where's your churches,  your social clubs? Most of the Colombian businesses here  are less than a decade old, many less than five. The new school on Morris. Ave.  is named for a great Puerto Rican educational reformer. That clock tower in the photo is attached to a restored train station housing a fine Italian food establishment,  Michelino's.

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