I remember 30-40 years ago, growing up in a south side
neighborhood, that we knew each other, even as city dwellers. Of course, we
did not know everyone in town, but we did know most of our neighbors, and
nearly all of the people with whom we did business. I remember Art's drugstore,
where I used to get comic books, model airplanes, and candy. Art knew most
of us, and we certainly knew him. I also remember Malek's Market, and Resler's
store. All of these were little neighborhood shops. The owners, and employees
were people we knew. Their kids went to school with me.
When I was about thirteen years of age, we moved into a lakeside highrise on Milwaukee's East Side. What a contrast! What I was seeing, in microcosm, is what has been slowly happening to the culture of our nation over the last fifty years or so (some people would even put the start at 100 years ago). No one here, knew or particularly cared about anyone; it was not a neighborhood. This has always given me a rather soft spot for the Bay View area, and some other portions of Milwaukee's South Side.
This new culture we are building ourselves consists of Mega Marts, high rise condos, and apartments, chain stores
Many of us have found refuge within ourselves, or our
homes. We no longer go out to eat, to watch movies, or to meet others. More
and more, our peer group becomes he people we work with, or go to school
with. We also don't stay put. Most people do not buy a house, put down roots,
and build a life. Instead we rent, move,