Friday, January 18, 2013

Broken Windows Theory

I could leave it there, with this photograph, and say nothing. What can you say about New London that is more eloquent than a picture of a painting of a waterfront scene in a window that is held together by tape?

But I am a writer, so...

I think about moving all the time, which has as much to do with me as it does with New London. Every time I've moved before (including both times I moved to New London) it's been a spontaneous decision. Now I find myself looking at maps and trying to be logical, reasonable, to find the place where my lists of wants and deal-breakers overlap. 169 towns, and not one that fits my ostensibly simple needs.

And thus...New London. A city overwhelmed, sometimes paralyzed, by its own potential. A city of empty storefronts and train whistles and seemingly unscheduled nuclear emergency siren tests and sand that leaves the beaches and ends up deposited, no matter how often I shake it out, in all my shoes. A city that turns its back on its river - its raison d'ĂȘtre - and marches uphill looking for something it never finds. A city that fights itself in its narrow streets and crumbling ornate buildings, while high above a litany of frustration and affection is recited daily by a chorus of enormous seagulls.

It's a place one might give up on, or get tired of, but one doesn't want to betray. If you think that sounds silly, you've never lived in New London.

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