Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I've tried on off through the years to locate something specific in my hometown I could "mythologize,"never with success. But Roselle Park (one square mile) is also quite close to New York City, & is a commuter town. I was allowed to go to NYC to see first run blockbuster movies with friends when I was teenager. The Port Authority Bus Terminal was at one end of 42nd St & the theaters were in center midtown. The Terminal itself was an eye-opening zoo. I also spent a lot of time in one of America's most legendary resorts; Atlantic City, past its glory days & fading, still had an incredible boardwalk, The Steel Pier with the Diving Horse, major acts & traveling shows at Convention Hall, huge old hotels & newer what are now called "do wop" motels. It was, perhaps the opposite of spending time in Las Vegas during the same years, the years of the Desert Inn, The Sands, The Stardust, The Sahara, as those famous places gave way to hotels like The International. Whether Atlantic City on the way down or Vegas on the way up, one had to come away knowing one had been in an incomparable place. By contrast, every thing is a small town is comparable to the same thing in another small town. When I describe my hometown, I don't have to name it. The downside to the virtues of small town life is its insularity.