Sign of the Troubled Times

Westview's Ron Musto Finds Inspiration in the Latest Graffiti

Ron Musto
Griffiti Not Easy to See But The Message Is So Clear
Griffiti Not Easy to See But The Message Is So Clear
© Ron Musto / Roosevelt Island Daily

Here’s the latest graffiti on Roosevelt Island. Right next to the subway station. 

In the context of the terrible reports coming in from friends across the country and in Canada, I should say that this is a surprising relief. But, it’s not really a surprise. 

When you live in a community like Roosevelt Island that was consciously planned to bring together people of all incomes, from professional to blue collar to folks on assistance, of every nation and complexion, of every religion and from every political system, where the police are local, interactive and unarmed, where no one has been displaced by those who decided to settle here, where residents have long had an important say in creating their community, where violent crime — or any crime at all — is practically non-existent, where distrust of the “other” is something we only read about, then it’s not surprising that hate, discord, and fear have little place here.

Sure, we have long-standing and at times bitter differences here, over politics, planning, real estate, even gardening. 

Yes, this place certainly isn’t perfect, and it lives literally in the shadow of oligarchs in $90-million apartments across the East River, of creeping commodification, and of increasing government indifference. 

And yes, there is occasional graffiti. But I’m also certain that it’s not unique, either in New York City or across the country. 

And when we’re in a struggle of values and freedoms, it’s important to realize our strengths and to push forward with them — really push —knowing we're not really alone and that our values — as well as our problems — are shared by a lot of people. 

We just need to get out and see all the writing on the wall.

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