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Cities and souls

March 7, 2014

Leslie Cochran

I recently visited south Austin, near where I was raised as a child, and had spent quite a bit of time in years later, to find a city I did not at all recognize. Not a bad city, just not the same city. So I sympathize with San Franciscans who worry that the influx of techies from the current boom is altering the city they once knew. But cities always are changing. Which means that time spent in them can never be recovered. I loved working in San Francisco during the first internet boom. Its pulse no doubt is different now. If I visit Mexico City again, it will not be the gay, loud, and impoverished Mexico City where I spent so much time in 1980. Leslie is dead, and Austin is not as weird as once it was.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    March 9, 2014 4:26 pm

    Mexico City is much cleaner than it was back then. The buses don’t spew black diesel exhaust, the cars run unleaded (and alternated days for awhile), and the factory pollution is regulated… you can see the Popo from Chapultepec if that means anything to you. Some of the old neighborhoods like San Angel and Coyoacan look just like I remember. There’s a direct flight now from Austin it’s really worth a trip.

    • rturpin permalink*
      March 9, 2014 9:20 pm

      I may have to make that trip. No doubt, things are much improved. I won’t romanticize the smog, boiling a pot of water each morning, beggars at every turn, or having four families living on the apartment building roof. But…. even amidst that poverty and grime, it was a fascinating city then. A city that now is but a memory. “Fortunately,” yes. It just seems so close, to have forever disappeared.

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