02 December 2007

Houses of the Holy -- East Side

"Houses of the Holy" By: Steel

Recently I took myself on an impromptu East Side tour. It is an area of the city that I hardly know, and as such, offers great opportunity for discovery. I do have vague memories of the Broadway Fillmore area from my childhood. It was my grandmother's favorite shopping destination and I accompanied her there often when it was still in its prime. By the 1970's the once busy retail area on Broadway was fading fast but the surrounding residential neighborhood was still extraordinarily pristine. There was no part of the city more immaculate than this area known for its strong Polish heritage and big extravagant churches. In less than a 15-year period of time the bottom fell out of this inner city enclave. White flight hit Broadway Fillmore with a vengeance. As a prosperous tight knit population fled, the poor filled the void in a story that is familiar to all. Poverty and all its ills consumed the neighborhood, shredding it emotionally, socially and physically...

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