Monday, October 22, 2007

Out Of Molehills

It has recently occured to me that my fellow Annapolitans may be just the slightest bit afflicted with a tendency to over dramatize. Just a wee bit. Two examples:

My neighborhood, and pretty much all of Annapolis, MD, is a pretty even sprinkle of white and black people, with the very occasional non-white, non-black person thrown in. Yet in certain areas, there exists racial tension. Contrast to Northern Virginia, where you can encounter five different languages and seventeen dialects thereof by traveling the distance of four stoplights, and no one really cares what you are (as long as you're here legally. That's a whole 'nother bag 'o beans that, as a former Northern Virginian, I have decided to only have former opinions on).

In my son's old high school, students spoke a total of over two hundred native languages and hailed from fifty different countries. In his present high school, the Spanish Language Parent Coalition consists of approximately six people whose grandparents relocated from Puerto Rico fifty years ago. Well not exactly, but not quite the same. How can there be tension?

Second example: crime. Downtown Annapolis recently got into an uproar over the fact that there have been four homicides in the city this year. The story was printed in the Washington Post literally the day after Washington, DC had had four homocides - in a night. Bit of a difference. Not that each life isn't precious, but seriously - more people died from being struck by lightening this year than died violent deaths in Annapolis.

The newspaper cited the fact that living in Annapolis is much like living permanantly on vacation. We are the only state capitol which has no major transportation hub - no airport, no train station, piddly poor excuse for a bus route. Little evidence of real city life. It's very easy to walk on the cobbled streets or along the Chesapeake Bay and forget that you are not on vacation, that in fact, you will be getting up in the morning to go to work like everyone else. Still - you don't hear other vacationy destinations calling city hall meetings to discuss low crime rates. Imagine Kennebunkport getting its panties in a twist over every bit of crime. The Kennedy clan would have to vacation elsewhere.

Drama Queens, I swear.

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