Just freaking great……

I log onto the computer this evening and find this blasted all over Yahoo’s news page. Ain’t this just freaking wonderful?

This is the kind of story that has friends and relatives who live elsewhere going absolutely apeshit. “How can you live down there?” “Is everyone a bunch of animals?” “You lock your doors!” I’d come visit but I’m afraid I’ll be shot!” etc etc. Nononononono.

Fact of the matter is this: we sit on our front porch every evening — sometimes until late hours. We are not afraid to walk virtually anywhere in this city (within reason). We do not overly worry about being random crime victims. I mean, we lock our cars and we don’t flash expensive stuff (like we have any). In other words — we’re less worried about being crime victims here than we would be if we lived in most large cities in the US. Why? It’s easy….

1) We know our neighbors. All of them. If there’s an unusual car, a strange person, an odd approach — we know it. And this person is questioned. Under observation from the other neighbors — seen and unseen.
2) We are not involved in the drug culture.
3) We do not associate with anyone who is.
4) All of us spend a lot of time outside, subconsciously watching what’s going on.
5) If someone is doing something we don’t like, we’re not afraid to confront them or pick up the phone and ask for some assistance.

And I guess I should add something here. It’s not like we feel like we’re safe because we’ve moved out to the ‘burbs and we’re ten miles from the problems. We’re ten blocks — maybe– depending on where it is. Sometimes it hits a lot closer to home than that — but it’s rare and it’s still the same situation.

It’s really pretty easy. As has been mentioned here before — if you stay away from the Problem Element, the Problem Element stays away from you. And, in nearly every case (I said nearly), it’s been this Problem Element that’s been preying on itself. It’s not a general, citywide problem. This is explained in the news story, but most folks don’t bother to read down that far.

We got our problems for sure. But, these days, I feel a lot safer walking across a strange parking lot at midnight in this city than I do in so many others around the country.

5 Comments so far

  1. Richard Layman (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 10:04 pm

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Worry about people who want to live in cities, not people in suburbs who want more reasons to not live in cities.

    Right now, DC is experiencing a run in murders and an increase in robberies, although overall, crime figures are down, and murder generally isn’t a random crime. It’s getting coverage because this crime has “leaked” into areas that don’t normally experience such.

    At the same time, Philly is experiencing a serious crime and murder problem, and if I didn’t read the Philly Inquirer most days of the week, I wouldn’t know anything about it, because it hasn’t made the national news to any real extent.

    You have plenty of other stuff to deal with…


  2. Mike Hoffman (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 1:45 am

    I love the CNN article that waits until halfway to mention that the shootings were in Treme and not “blocks away from the French Quarter”.

    Even before Katrina, you can look at the crime maps and see that the violent crime happened and still happens in select areas of the city.

    It all reminds me of the chapter in Freakonomics that statistically proves that if you let your kid go to someones house with a gun and a pool, your child has a better chance killing themselves in the pool than with the gun.

    It’s easy to freak out about lots of things taken out of context.

  3. dangerblond (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 2:15 am

    Those shootings were in what is called Treme, but the part of Treme that is on the other side of Claiborne from the French Quarter. That area of town was pre-devastated before the flood. It began when Storyville was replaced by a housing project and the coup de grace was the elevated interstate and its auxiliary concretscapes that replaced New Orleans’ most majestic avenue of oaks on Claiborne. That area is an ugly place now and it divides that neighborhood. The Flood made it even worse.

  4. rick (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 3:37 am

    your m.o. of how you and your neighbors handle your block is the best thing you can do. i have the same modis in my block and it allows me to sleep soundly at night.

    the thing that worries me is that even tho my block is tighter than a bulls ass in fly season i live in new orleans and i want what i have to spread out to the whole city.

    thats why i have educated my self with information since katrina.

    i have been a voter my whole adult life but i have never done as much homework before going to the polls as i have done post katrina.

    im allways talking to people who are outraged by things they read on the net and yet they cant quote the source of the info.

    the nolablogsphere has been a great source of info but people shouldnt be lazy and take every thing they read for gospel.

    and that goes for you fox news watchers and air america listeners.

    any way this was supposed to be a thank you note to all you nola bloggers for opening a line of info and a jumping off point to seek answers..

    p.s. please let me know about the fromage. i will be one of your first customers if you go retail.

    p.p.s. im not a writter so this post doesnt really flow in a coherant way. but i bet i could cook your ass off in the wrought iron chef competition.. :)

  5. Craig (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    Oooh! A challenge!

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