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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Photo Wednesday 04/14/10 : Guard Your Grill Edition

Taken on Franklin Avenue near corner of Lincoln. (No bailout here)

Franklin Avenue in the (say it with me) Crown Heights section of Brooklyn has had a lot of rough and occassionally violent goings on lately. To be fair, ten years, twenty years, even thirty years ago, this would not have been news. But the Ave has been getting noticeably better, garnering news coverage, blog posts, and a neat crop of new businesses especially eateries, so it can be shocking to hear about rooftop snipings (I'm sure they were targeted, but still) and brutal slashings (again targeted but still..) Anyway, we live in a big city, not everyone in this and often other city neighborhoods beamed down from college, loaded with dreams and a taste for IPAs. There's at least two worlds existing side by side, with some broad overlap but not alot.

Some people (especially young ones) are living in a state of mind that offers extreme views and more extreme choices. Last night while I was sitting at Franklin Park (a fave) on St. Johns, a series of loud screams erupted outside in the street. Suddenly a line of figures went sprinting horizontally like two-dimensional characters in a Scooby-Doo episode. They were teens, across the street, running top speed, police officers followed right behind, and inexplicably another line of teenagers ran after the cops. All of them yelling at each other.
After, I and the rest of the outdoor beer garden patrons of Franklin Park watched the HDTV like scene and then turned back to our beers and socializing.

It's logical to fear random violence, which by definition can happen anywhere to anyone but these recent acts aren't random. Sad but not random. A friend living on Crown St. is considering a move after hearing about the rooftop shootings, and I can understand that. I would say that you generally can't escape New York's mean streets entirely, but staying aware is a big part of not being a victim.

UPDATE* Media reports the rooftop shooter suspect apprehended by Police (according to reports the 21 year old was a "rival" of the intended victims and was found hiding under the bed of his sister's apartment. Classic.

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