I’m originally from a neighborhood in the South Bronx. 143rd and Willis avenue was our first neighborhood. My Dad was the super for the building. We lived in what I described in a grammar school essay as a “picturesque” tenement. My dad said I was mistaken to use the word picturesque – I disagreed. My Dad was amused.
As these apartments were packed one on the other, 4 stories high, they were possible fire traps and there were notable tragedies for those tenements with no way to escape.
I think Congress is presently more like a tenement, hardly picturesque, my Dad I’m sure is nodding agreement from the hereafter, and our Republic is going up in flames for congress’ failure to follow its oath and to act In the manner dictated by our constitution.
My Dad who was a carpenter, electrician and a plumber often said a poor workman blames his tools.
The founders gave our Congress the tools to restrain a chief executive with a monarchical bent.
But our Congress doesn’t even use the tools the founders created for just this kind of circumstances.
Again about tenements. What saved tenements from the fear and danger of fire were fire escapes that not only could and did save families.
(Incidentally, these fire escapes, for us kids, was like having open air balconies – as good as any populating the elevator towers on the east side silk stocking district – it was our place of freedom and, yes, escape.) Continue reading