Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Love Hate Between the Local and the Visitor

I suppose this strange dichotomy has existed for years here in Sullivan County, but I think like everything that makes SC different as a “tourist” spot , this relationship is a little strange, and sort of passive-aggressive. In comparison to locals in the Hamptons, or the Jersey Shore, or further up, where the hostility is a little more apparent, and such nicknames as Cidiots and Massholes, Full-timers here in SC, I think are a little more protected from the influx, so the annoyance is kept to a minimum.

Though, as the internet has made the world smaller, I think in some ways it has brought this clash a little more to the forefront. Most (much livelier blogs) have this undertone, and as issues like gas-drilling and property taxes are discussed, it becomes more apparent. Full-timers feel it is a necessary evil, and put up with a crowded Delaware, less parking, longer lines at the movie theatre in town, or the grocery store, because our sluggish economy is driven by the weekender. Right now estimates are between 30-40% of our money for public schools come from the pockets of people who do not claim SC as their primary residence. That is a huge portion, and really shows how dependent we are on the weekender.

On a whole other level, the Hasidic community is more openly frowned upon and muttered about. The rumors that they do not pay taxes, seem to pave the way for this dislike. (Which according to those in the know, simply isn’t true. The property that is off the tax roll is minimal.) At any rate, what is true is that their bungalow colonies do tend to be run down and in disrepair. Our townships need to do a better job of keeping those communities up to code. I also think that they simply stand out which makes them a target, and the influx, from Memorial Day to Labor Day is so apparent, it helps fuel the dislike.

Not sure where I am going with this, just an observation I had. I suppose neighborly resentments have been a staple of any community forever, and ours is no different.

But in some ways it is different, and mirrors the County. Even this sort of dispute you can enter into only when you want. Or, you can choose to just keep to yourself, and enjoy springtime in the Catskills.

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