March 19, 2010

No More Fun at This YMCA

My YMCA is closing. And I am so bummed. Mike and I can find another gym that really isn't that far away but my friends from the gym who don't have cars and belong to that gym because of location are really screwed. As are all the at risk youth who play basketball there, the men and women from overcrowded shelters who engage in activities there to relieve the shelter's cramped space, the parents who rely on the Y for childcare and the employees who lost their jobs.

The whole thing upsets me so much. When the president and CEO told us in January that we had to find 700 new members by April in order to stay open but then proceeded to tell us about his plan for what to do with money once he closed our Y, I realized no matter how hard the community worked to keep it open under such short notice- it would close. It smacked of insincerity. Also, the president said "the last time I checked, National Grid didn't cash emotional checks." And then when we reached the goal, he subtracted all the non-renewals taking the total down. What a dick.

This is about more than the fact that Mike and I will have to drive to our gym instead of walk. And that we'll have to have an even earlier morning than we already do. Fine. Whatever. It will work out and may be better in the end. This is about the fact that a large part of this community will die on April 1st. Albany will become that much more pathetic and run down. And that is terribly sad. Apparently no matter how hard we try, Albany will just be more of the same. Sometimes the futility is suffocating.