Straight Outta Topton…


(click on photos for larger image)
photos © 2009 Donna H. Chiarelli

Well, not really, actually Kutztown right next door, but Topton fits NWA’s rap song much better :)

Here is a little photo tour of our hood. It’s hard to explain why I call our home the Dutch Ghetto ©, but this might give you a little indication of the strange juxtapositions and why people from Jersey and New York come here on weekends driving slowly and point at things. “Honey look, it’s just so quaint here. I wonder what these people do for a living…” It’s hard to let it all not get on your nerves if you live here any length of time. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good things about this area of Pennsylvania too. The bus to NYC is a few blocks from my house, I can be at my Mom’s in 45 minutes, it is relatively safe here, taxes are reasonable, there is a college  university a mile up the road…But culturally it is challenged, and to say the majority of people are very closed and conservative is a major understatement in my experience. I grew up not 40 miles from here, but as long as I am in this town, the locals will never say I am “from” here. (I have lived here 19 years now) It is hard for an artist, or for that matter, anyone who has not grown up here in many ways. Great if you want to hide out and enjoy the bucolic surroundings, but if you want to work at a job that actually pays something, see the latest movie or get some Indian food, get in your car or on the bus. To explain my feelings as a love/hate relationship is a bit too strong for sure, but “wtf” comes to my mind here more often than not. For right now it’s home :)


~ by dutchghetto on January 14, 2009.

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