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U.S. Territories Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:53 AM
529 posts, read 988,639 times
Reputation: 492


Beware! This postings is different from most postings that bad mouth Puerto Rico.

I just bought an apartment in San Juan and expect to live there for extensive periods of time. Every one I spoke to thought I was nuts but I also get where they were coming from. I decided to buy an apartment in the metro area far from the third world ghetto constantly described here.

The town where I grew up appears to have collapsed socially, very similar to what happened in towns across the United States when jobs disappeared. Now think, would any one in their right mind buy an apartment in Flint Michigan, Detroit or Camden New Jersey? Its places like these that we hear the horror stories of the island, but most Puerto Ricans don't live under these conditions.

There is another Puerto Rico which can be seen in Plaza la Americas, San Patricio, Bellas artes, Cine Arte, at sold out performances at the Metro theater when projecting operas live from the MET in NY and at La Plaza de las Darcenas on Sunday afternoon where seniors go to listen to concerts and then stroll El Paseo de la Princesa. There are no shoots outs here and the rabble, if there are some , control themselves like they do in the US.

There is another Puerto Rico of high end restaurants that rival New York, and they are not for tourists. There are places where you can actually walk at night without fear. Of course, like any city , one does not venture into poor inner city areas like those in Philly or New York.

Yes there is also the Puerto Rico that lives hysterical at the crime wave pushed by the media in order to continue selling papers. But one has to stop and think that even in the US there is crime but its concentrated in the Black and Hispanic areas and no one really cares therefore it doesn't exist for the majority of folks.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:32 PM
Location: Near you, why?
36 posts, read 76,330 times
Reputation: 30
Very true, and well said...
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:42 AM
1,841 posts, read 4,268,965 times
Reputation: 5002
Whatever makes you sleep better at night...My high school classmates who didn't leave the island (and with an education to support such move mind you, not the Orlando crowd yo-yo that gives Ricans a bad name in the States) merely accept the crime and violence as the cost of doing business. Nobody seriously suggests one can actually insulate oneself from that element in a 100x35 mile island where 50% of the population lives within the same 800 square mile block of it.

One has to adjust one's expectations as a US citizen in order to be content in Puerto Rico. Life is a choice and all that jazz, but it's a fundamentally different philosophy than continental living. To me, a culture inherently accepting of the 'island time' half-assed approach to everything from education to infrastructure to employment, was simply not a prison sentence I was willing to stoically accept just because I was born and raised in the cotton-pickin' place. To be fair, the island simply has no economic drivers to support an educated workforce. So there's not much choice for the ambitious and globally competitive. Which is fine; I don't think an island economy is even supposed to be capable of providing that level of employment as a baseline expectation. I used to fight that notion, but then I met folks from the Bahamas where all but a few of the ambitious automatically assume they'll be leaving to the States to have their lives, and where few locally view such brain drain pejoratively. So I'm much more at ease about the idea of Puerto Rican brain drain, though I recognize it fundamentally seals the fate of the island as a place not worth raising a family and fulfilling one's ambition, for the aggregate.

At any rate, for others, that lifestyle opportunity cost is acceptable. But to suggest one can honestly insulate oneself from that fundamental socio-economic and cultutral mediocrity (and the inequities and violence that creates within the large swath of the idle and underemployed) in such a tiny island is just burying your head in the sand, or being outright disingenuous. Again, whatever makes you sleep better at night.

I'd love to get my parents out of that pleasant-weather jail, but they're too old to socially start over. PR is fine for two week trips and limiting your exposure at night. For living and raising a family? Heck no.
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