This post is more personal than professional and hits very close to home for me. As a life-long “Long Islander,” I have watched the community change before my eyes these past few years.
The “Great Recession” has hit Long Island extremely hard. Unemployment, empty storefronts and foreclosures are now part of our daily existence with no turnaround in sight. “For Rent” and “For Sale” signs litter the suburban landscape.
Next month, our local troubles will be getting additional exposure in the form of an HBO documentary.
Hard Times: Lost on Long Island
On July 9th, 2012 (9:00 P.M.) HBO will be airing a documentary entitled, “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island .”
The documentary will detail the lives of four Long Island families facing unemployment, foreclosure and financial hardship. Unfortunately, this is a story we are all too familiar with.
The film, produced by Daphne Pinkerson of Blowback Productions and directed by Marc Levin, aims to showcase the evaporating American middle class by profiling hard working, highly educated Long Islanders. The documentary attempts to repudiate the notion that jobs are available and unemployed people are either financially irresponsible or worse, lazy.
As a bankruptcy lawyer , I deal with these same hard working, educated individuals everyday and I can vouch for the emotional trauma caused by financial hardship. I can also attest to the shifting demographic of the bankruptcy filer as profiled in the film.
Long Island: A Birthplace
This hits close to home because Long Island was my birthplace. I was raised here and have lived here my entire life. I have strong ties to the Island and I truly believe this is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.
An argument can be made that Long Island was one of the staging grounds for the birth of our nation.
The producers of “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island” also point out that Long Island was the “…birthplace of the post-war suburban American dream…” Obviously, the recent recession has turned this dream into a nightmare for some.
I truly do not want to see the majestic birthplace that is Long Island turn into a dying wasteland.
As a native Long Islander, as a husband and a father, I maintain hope and optimism that our local economy will return to greatness. I envision the transformation of the “For Sale” and “For Rent” signs into small businesses and newly purchased homes. I foresee a boom in high paying employment and young families returning to the Island to realize their American dream.
We have amazing tight-knit communities made up of wonderfully diverse people. We have beautiful beaches, parks, vineyards, farms, museums, etc. We have the greatest city in the world a train or car ride away.
So, I will be tuning in on July 9th and I will watch a documentary that details the troubles and hardships that I see on a daily basis in my practice.
I will also be viewing with the positive expectation and brightness that this is the darkness before the dawn and a rebirth for Long Island is on the horizon.
Image courtesy of Podknox.