I once spent a very small amount of time in Stockton, CA. I hated every second. No, I hated every nano-second. I felt superior to it, contemptuous of it and nauseated by it. I hated the soul-less neighborhoods. I hated the omnipresent freeways. I hated the blandness. I hated that I hated it so much, and now hate to admit it!
Now, I say, Stockton, I am sorry! I apologize. Profusely. I had no idea that as miserable a place as I thought
you were, you were actually even more miserable than that -- by several orders of magnitude!
Here's the thing: The Associated Press has noted that Stockton, which lies 80 miles east of San Francisco, has had one of the worst foreclosure rates in the country since the housing crisis began and, for most of the time, the
worst. Neighborhoods that once bustled with activity have been destroyed by fiscal decay. There's no tax base. Unemployment stands at 16 percent.
Stockton scored near the bottom of a Forbes ranking
for commute times, income tax rates, unemployment and violent crime. The Los Angeles Times
has christened the city, "Foreclosureville, U.S.A." and even the Brits have dubbed it "America's Most Miserable City."
The point is, now I feel bad. I find myself sort of regretting being one more person who's down on Stockton. I don't know if I'm ready to embrace Stockton, but I think I'd like to to pat it on the back and say something very British, like, "Pip, pip! Carry on!"
I mean all this stuff sort of confirms that I didn't at all misread Stockton. And I still never want to return to its city limits. And I grit my teeth at the mere mention of its name.
But it has my sympathy...sort of...kind of...in a way...just a little.
No. No, I guess I have to admit that I pretty much still loath Stockton and always will. But at least I know I'm in good company about it.