A recent study says that the under 35 population in our area is one of the lowest concentrations of that particular demographic in the country. They’re leaving in droves. I guess the reason is mostly that you can make more money in the big city than you can here and that’s probably why so many young people don’t bother to stick around.
Still, I read an interview with a former Scranton resident. She’s 26 and lives in Philadelphia. She said, “I left a couple of years ago. Scranton’s not a bad place but the job market is weak...and there’s not a lot of culture.”
Why do they always say that? “There’s not a lot of culture.” What does that mean? What are we talking about when we’re talking about culture, the ballet? Haha. Good one...ballet!
So what kind of culture are we talking about that there’s not a lot of around here
How often do you want to go to a museum? Let’s say you live in a big city, right next door to the museum. Do you go to the museum everyday? Of course not, because first of all, who could afford it? You’re living in the city, you’re spending all your extra money buying more locks for your doors and windows and “The Club” for your steering wheel…if you can even afford to KEEP a car in the city because a space in a parking garage per month in the city is about the same as a mortgage payment. So even if you love going to the museum, the most you’ll go is a couple of times a year, tops. So you want culture, hop in the car and drive two hours to Philly and go to the museum, make a day out of it. Get yourself a pretzel.
Okay, so it’s not museums either, so what kind of culture do you need that you can only get in the BIG city?
Oh, maybe you want to see foreign films. You know the ones that would play to a theater full of empty seats if they tried to book them around here. How many of those can you stomach in one year? You have to READ them for starters.
Even if you ARE pretending that you’re intellectually a cut above the average Joe around here who’s satisfied with a movie full of helicopters and explosions, how long can you pretend that you want to be living somewhere that you don’t even know your next door neighbor’s name and that you’re afraid to walk down the street at night just so you can come home to visit at Christmas time and bellyache to your friends that you can’t wait to get back to Philly so you can go see “Rashomon”? For what? You never find out what happens at the end of that anyway!
So what’s culture then? Opera? Don’t even get me started about opera.
In fact don’t give me that line about “no culture” around here either.
Culture’s not exclusively available in the big city. Culture is about having appreciation for something and appreciation is something you can have for your grandmother’s lasagna recipe or the way your uncle babies his ’62 Chrysler that he only takes out of the garage on nice days.
You have to get out of here to make a decent buck? You don’t have to feel guilty about it. People have bills. But using "lack of culture" to shore up the real reason? Who are you kidding? And let's not even get into the idea that we poor souls left behind must be a bunch of pikers because we put up with no culture. It's weak.
So go! Go to the big city. Get a job, pay off your student loans, get married, send your kids to a school with cops in the hallways, have your car stolen a couple times and pay a mortgage on a 600 thousand dollar house that would go for 60 around here and get yourself some culture.
And when you’re 42 and you’re fed up and you move back here to regret that you never asked your grandmother to write down that lasagna recipe somewhere, hey, at least you saw "Rashomon".