In the south Bronx The City paints the bricks red to hide the graffiti. They paint the lampposts black to hide the decay. In the 80s they even painted the bricked up windows of some tenements on Bathgate Avenue with flower pots and curtains-- like some modern incarnation of the Potemkin Village. Anyone passing by from afar would think people lived there. It would seem normal. It's scary to look right through a building and see the sky. They didn't want people on the Cross Bronx Expressway to see just how many of the buildings were burned out. It was a cover-up if there ever was one.

When I research the South Bronx I feel like I'm looking for something-- but I don't know what. An explanation maybe. Last week I walked down to Yankee Stadium. If you look carefully you can still see the graffiti that once covered it. Now it is patrolled by paint crews with manila paint-- They cover the graffiti. I don't like graffiti mostly, but it is there for a reason-- I don't know if it's right to paint it over. It's like something is being hidden.

The papers claim that the Bronx is "reborn" but it seems to me that not enough effort is being placed in to remembering what happened here-- or trying to understand why it happened.

It's a cover-up.

What would be the point of remembering the South Bronx as a burned-out ruin full of defaced walls enclosing charred remains and rotting filth? Why not repaint and forget and let the past bury the past?

Is there a point to wallowing in the fruits of our labor?

The Potemkin Village vibe might be creepy, but it's better than the post-apocalyptic wasteland vibe any day. It tells you that your city cares and is trying to fix the broken windows and set right the future by erasing the past.

Forget and forgiving is irrelevant.

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