Thursday, July 07, 2011

Still haven't installed the window a/c. Last year I had to use it in May. Two 90+ days but it's dropping down to 80 Friday & staying in 80s all next week. But I may get it going over the weekend, becoming muggier, & the traffic picks up on the street after 6 am,  with garbage trucks passing  as early as 4. Some nights I keep the fan on & if noise wakes me early I close the window & get the cool, white noise going.

Newark NJ City Council passed a sad, disturbing law. All restaurants seating fewer than 20 persons (pizzerias, Chinese, fried chicken, etc) must post armed guards after 9 pm., or close. A lot of these eateries have bullet resistant plastic protecting the employees, & security cameras, but these don't protect the customers.  Response to Newark cop shot to death at Texas Fried Chicken & Pizza, a drive-by, the alleged perp aiming at someone else who escaped unscathed.  Cities must have some safe neighborhoods. They stabilize property values, middle & working class people buy & renovate homes in those neighborhoods. Newark has some attractive  neighborhoods, but it has no safe neighborhoods. There are murders in Ironbound, murders in the north ward's Forest Hills & Roseville. Weequahic & Clinton Hill are overrun with gangs, although during the day many of their tree-lined streets appear deceptively   quiet & suburban.  There are murders around Beth Israel Hospital. No part of Newark is safe anymore. An off duty cop can't buy a slice of pizza. A few weeks ago there was a slashing in front of Penn Station. . It was  personal dispute, not a mugging.  But it still bothered me. I've always felt safe around Penn Station, even at 4 am waiting in the concourse for the first train out. There's always a transit cop in sight.

Suburban white folks got little  to worry about.  Sure, some of the crime travels beyond Newark. Profitable white suburban demand for drugs invites it.  But most of the crime stays right where it is. Don't complain how much it costs to keep it there. The economic devastation of the young black urban male is almost incomprehensible to suburbanites. Newark is a city where a part-time $8-an-hour job gets a hundred applicants.

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