A while back, I wrote about how much I liked Sherman Alexie’s rambling wit and lusty love of life. In particular, I mentioned the clear, raw love of basketball that comes through his prose.
Turns out he’s not just whistlin’ Dixie. He gets from this point…
When Starbucks built a shop at 23rd Avenue and Jackson Street, many folks cursed and condemned that development as gentrification.
How’s that store doing now?
Tonight, I walked inside and approached an elderly black man in a tweed suit.
“Excuse me, sir,” I said. “Do you think this store is an example of gentrification?”
“What?” Tweed Suit asked.
“Do you think Starbucks gentrified the neighborhood?”
“You some kind of politician?”
“Nope, I just want to know what people think about the social and economic impact of this franchise on the Central District.”
“I’m sitting in this here store, drinking this here coffee. What do you think I feel about it?”
…to this point…
So, do me a favor right now, and think of the thing you love most, and imagine that it has been taken from you. Imagine yourself so bereft. And imagine that you live in a city where most, if not all, of the citizens don’t care about your loss.
“But, Sherman,” you might say. “It’s just basketball. It’s not as important as feeding the poor or educating our children or providing affordable housing.”
And, of course, basketball is not as important as those other social issues. But the health and pride of a city depends on more than its politics. It also needs art and, yes, it needs athletics.
A great city needs to work on its soul, mind, and body.
A great city needs to embrace as much greatness as it possibly can.
…and I’m not quite sure how he did it. It’s magic, I suppose, like the perfect fade-away jumper. Please read his column.