- Greg Cravens
About the Flyer's editorial, "Suburbs of Nothing" ...
Please let us folks in the 'burbs know when Memphis becomes one of those walkable, lively urban environments. By 'lively," I don't mean lively with gunfire, either. Or perhaps the Memphis mayor could start to heal the breach by simply sitting down and talking with the suburban mayors, something that has not happened in years.
Perhaps he could start the conversation by explaining why the city filed a lawsuit in federal court during the schools debate and described us as racists. Actually used that word, too. Because that is one of those things we still, as the article says, "perceive as undesirable." Until then, I think we are happy being "nominally independent." Seems to be working for us pretty well.
"Seems to be working for us pretty well." It's all relative. Compared to other metropolitan areas, suburban Memphis is performing at about the same level as the central city. What the article did not mention from Mayor Cornett's speech was the fact that demographics show that those under the age of 35 are overwhelmingly choosing to reject the suburbs of their parents' generation for vibrant central cities with more urban settings. They are choosing community and character over acres of bermuda and lengthy commutes. If a metropolitan area's central city lacks the quality of life this group prefers, they are simply bypassing the entire metropolitan area for destinations with vibrant urban centers. In other words, the decline of a city inevitably yields a decline (or stagnation) of its suburbs.
The only "under 35s" moving into Memphis are those without children, those with children who can afford private school, and those who have no idea what they are doing (the uninitiated) because they transferred here from wherever and made the mistake of believing what HR-recommended realtors told them. And those without any other choice.
Sorry, but a bad day in Midtown Memphis is better than a good day in Arlington.
About Bruce VanWyngarden's column on magical thinking ...
"No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby." — H.L. Mencken, 1926.
About Bianca Phillips' post, "CBHS Student Not Allowed to Bring Same-Sex Date to Prom" ...
Maybe this Catholic school needs to listen to their leader, Pope Francis: "Religion has a right to give an opinion as long as it is in service to the people. If someone asks my advice, I have the right to give it to them. The religious minister, at times, draws attention to certain points of private or public life because he is the parishioners' guide. However, he does not have the right to force anything on anyone's private life. If God, in creation, ran the risk of making us free, who am I to get involved? We condemn spiritual harassment that takes place when a minister imposes directives, conduct, and demands in such a way that it takes away the freedom of the other person."
About the Cooper-Young Fest ...
I attended the Cooper-Young festival Saturday and had a great time, except the crosswalk at Central and Cooper does not have a cross signal for pedestrians.
This event was heavily attended. I crossed the intersection twice. The first time, there were no police to direct or to ensure the safety of pedestrians. On the return trip, there was a policeman with his back to Central so he could not see, and he was engaged in a conversation on his phone. When he got off his phone, he finally realized the 200 pedestrians had taken matters into their own hands, or their own feet, so he began blowing his whistle and began yelling at the final stragglers.
This was a great crowd of decent respectful citizens. Can't the city afford an automated crosswalk? It would utilize the cops better and would be a hell of a lot safer for everyone else.