I lived in the low ground until I was well into my thirties. The low ground is that part of the cityscape just outside of the hip urban core where rents are affordable, commutes are short, and you are bound to meet all types of people whether you intend to or not. High ground is where you move to put a little space between yourself and the downsides of urban dwelling once you can afford to do so. The town of Berkeley California is a perfect example of this. With every foot away from the bay mudflats you increase in both elevation and standard of living. Eventually you reach the Berkely Hills, where fluctuations in the housing market are irrelevant.
I used to open my apartment door in the morning and peer out a bit before heading to the car. There was a note on my windshield one day: “Learn to park, invasale”. I think they meant imbecile but spelling in the low ground can be creative. I played basketball at the court adjacent Howe Avenue until one day someone pulled a gun. I didn’t play there after that. My college friend lived across town. I’d drive to his place to study in the evenings. It was a boulevard of decrepit churches alternated by brightly lit liquor stores. Hope and faith intermixed with despair and chemical escape. I was pulled over for speeding and then let go because the officer understood my desire to pass through quickly.
My first house was also in the low ground. It was where we could afford to raise our family. The neighbor was Russian, and we would pass a bottle of something we liked over the fence whenever either of us had a child. One night a kid ran by the house yelling that a woman was being raped in the park. I was already outside when the carpenter across the street (whose trash clanked with beer cans when curbed) stumbled out to see what was going on. We went to the park together to stop the crime.
I live in the high ground now. A 25-year professional career makes me immune from a lot of the things I worried about in the low ground – gas prices, interest rates, crime, rent, food prices. But I remember those times distinctly. I have high ground neighbors now and I wonder if they remember the same. Most evenings I walk my dogs by a "no-one is illegal" yard sign. I am pretty sure the wages of that neighbor are immune to the influx of ultra-low wage workers. Low ground problem. Applying equity to the justice system via cashless bail? Defunding the police? Yawn. Down the hill violent crime is up 25 to 50%. Sometimes we high grounders forget to lock our doors.
Community parks are an awesomelow ground perk. I taught my kids to ride bikes there. Second homes in super-high ground Tahoe are way superior. High grounders tolerating a Rio de Janeiro-style favela in low ground parks is well, compassion. Penance for the progressive faithful.
This is why the bussing of illegal immigrants from the state of Florida or Texas to the high ground of Martha’s Vineyard is so very, very delicious. Until high ground people are subject to the ramifications of low ground realities, the virtue signaling of progressive dogma will continue unabated.
The free event at the Miner's Foundry in Nevada City was packed on Thursday night March 23rd, with standing room only. In what appeared to be a significant majority of adults in the 40 plus age range, there were comparatively few teens. The event was catered by The Sweet Spot with a variety of finger foods and drinks and featured information tables, including Community Beyond Violence, NC Citizens for Choice, Bright Futures for Youth (NEO/Friendship Club), Nevada County Pride and Color Me Human. The event, Strength in Pride , was advertised as an "opportunity for a panel of local students to educate the community of Nevada County, and beyond, about the struggles and experiences of LGBTQ+ youth". The stated goal of the student panel was to "uplift and encourage LGBTQ+ youth to share their voices and cultivate resilience by being proud of their identity". The evening was the culmination of Ghidotti High School student, Maddux Eckerling's, Senior Project.