#411: “The World Belongs to the Young”
An interview with Daniel Duane, author of “A Tale of Paradise, Parking Lots, and My Mother‘s Berkeley Backyard”
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Today’s issue is dedicated to an interview with Daniel Duane, the author of “A Tale of Paradise, Parking Lots, and My Mother's Berkeley Backyard,” September’s article of the month.
Originally published in The New York Times Magazine in May, the piece explores the housing crisis in the Bay Area and the fears that emerge alongside the inevitability of change. If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to do so — and join our discussion on September 24, if you’re moved.
I got a chance to interview Mr. Duane a few weeks back, and it was an honor. I won’t give everything away, because it’s better to listen, but we discussed a number of topics, including:
his fond memories of growing up in Berkeley
his relationship with his mom, who was a radical activist in the 1960s, but who now feels scared about the changes coming to her neighborhood
how the NIMBY / YIMBY debate could benefit from some compassion and nuance
Most of all, it became abundantly clear in our conversation that Mr. Duane is nostalgic but also does not find nostalgia useful. After all, we need more housing, he argues, even if that means having to make sacrifices for the common good. Sometimes, that sacrifice means realizing our time has come, that the world belongs to the young, that it’s time to let go.
At one point, when I was asking myself, Well, what is this story really about for me? I had sort of a moment of thinking about it as like, It‘s about the fact that the world belongs to the young, and it hurts when you find out that you’re no longer one of them. And that moment comes for everyone.
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