Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Riverside Drive

Walking by Riverside Park I began to wonder on what makes a first class country. It can’t only be its financial stability, nor the fact that there’s a bigger amount of employed people, nor the quantity of political and social influence the country has over other countries of this world. A first class country must also be one because of the needed implied respect to each and every one of its communities, to the people that inhabit it a in every one of its cities. I’m not sure if immigrants feel respected here, or if the American Dream was more powerful, leading to a kind of human pile-up in where, unfortunately, not everyone fits.

Nevertheless, crossing the contrast of this beautiful mark I could reaffirm many things that I like that I don’t see in my country: great open parks for everyone, free, with sports facilities, as well as recreational and first class cultural areas: all giving a sense of confidence to the community, which is told “I give you this for you to enjoy and you will take care of it because it’s yours, because it belongs to everyone”. I remembered the cement courts constructed by poor buildings in Santiago’s marginal area, full of garbage and in really poor conditions. I remembered our native communities and everything being done to abolish their culture, without any possibility of doing so: there is not even a drop of power capable of doing so. I saw young people, children and adults of all ages enjoying their sportive activities in a harmonious communion, a dignified example that must be imitated!

Later, walking through the park from the important monuments, the landscape began to change. The immigrant’s buildings started transforming into beautiful apartment buildings, owned by Manhattan’s high class. Small parks were full of children, where Latin American, Asian and North American began to interact: colors and accents mixed and filled the public spaces, generated an unusual harmony. Under this scenario is where I thought that this is where you can notice the difference between countries I was wondering about before: in the insured trust within the community, that capacity everyone has of living together with others in harmony, respecting their integrity amidst public space.

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