This phrase is one any number of New Rochelle citizens can relate to when looking at our city. The book, The Wizard of Oz, is the story of New Rochelle in its present day.
For many people who have lived in New Rochelle for a number of years, this city was beautiful, enchanted and a great place to raise a family, shop in fine stores and an easy commute to Manhattan.
Did a tornado travel through our city? Did this cause the political upheaval we have today? Our taxes are growing each and every year and we receive less and less services.
Like many politicians, our mayor (the Wizard) is unwilling to help without a quid pro quo: “I never grant favors without some return.” Noam is simply a manipulative politician who appears to people in one form, but works behind the scenes to achieve his true ends. Such figures are terrified at being exposed.
Like the Emerald City, everyone is required to wear green glasses with golden bands, so that nearly everything appears in a resplendent green.
We can all name the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion on city council. But I keep looking for Dorothy Gale, the person who represents an individualized ideal. She is each of us at our best. Where is Toto? He barks at the little man behind the curtain and it is he who realizes the Wizard is a fraud. The winged monkeys are apparently intelligent enough to obey commands, but do not speak. Will their spell be broken or will they keep repeating what they are told by the Wicked Witch?
In the mayor’s eyes, the citizens of New Rochelle are similar to the Munchkins because we represent the little people who work for a living. We keep the economy going and the businesses running. We were manipulated by leaders for our votes and workability. We are not super powerful or super wealthy.
How will the story end? Does Noam take off in a hot air balloon leaving New Rochelle. Will downtown New Rochelle have a yellow brick road? The silver slippers (changed to red in the movie) represents the power to vote, but will we exercise that power.
Does New Rochelle only have to click its heels together three times to return to a city that is successful, flourishing and thriving. No, it will take hard work and coming together as one city and then we will be able to say “there’s no place like New Rochelle.”