APATHY.........that is the key word in all this, simple apathy.
Or maybe ignorance, not for what is going on at present, but for what started long ago that no one saw as the start of the decline.
Little things that most chose to ignore thinking it would go away, only to find over time that it had become the norm in the neighborhoods. When it became a nuisance most decided to avoid it.....someone else would take care of it, "Shut the door Fred, let one of the neighbors deal with it." Now you hear....."Shut the damn door Fred and get away from the windows before you get hit too!!!!"
And this is where we find ourselves.
When I first got into the work I was doing in the community, it was out of disgust for the what the neighborhood had become. That and several "johns" trying to pick up my teen-age daughter who was waiting for her afternoon bus to take her to Proctor for finals one summer. She came home from the corner crying about it and that was the start of my journey......the straw that broke...etc.
The edge goes to the hoods, they have no rules to follow and no Miranda to worry about as the law abiding folks or LE Officers do. They don't have paperwork to complete after each arrest or worry about going home..........they don't care.
They don't care about the Noise Ordinance, Loitering Laws or Nuisance Abatement. They don't care if they spoil your dinner, ruin your lawn, litter your yard or piss on the side of your house! They care even less about getting arrested and going to jail. It's a vacation with "three hots & a cot", a roof over their head and free cable TV..........ALL for free, even their attorney.
I didn't get half that last vacation we took!!!!
Now I have the very element I strove to eradicate from the neighborhoods living next to me!!!
I have seen it all, from all sides of the coin: I have been shot at and missed, shit at and hit. Had my tires slashed, my windshield broke, windows on the house broke, threatened with death, my children harassed, chased people from my yard with my riot gun and a couple with a sword. (But I would have been charged if it was seen)
I worked with LE in a professional capacity......I understand their frustration totally!!!! I worked with neighbors in the community......I understand their frustration totally!!!! I ran a NFP dedicate to the poorer people in the community.........and we got robbed!!!! ?!?!?!
No one......and I mean absolutely NO ONE can understand the total frustration or helplessness or whatever you want to call it that one feels about being in the center of this SHIT feels until you actually LIVE IN IT!
If I could walk outside with my shotgun tomorrow and blow these scumbags away with impunity........I would be up at friggin' DAWN with bells on!!!!
But I can't. I am not immortal, I am now merely another frustrated hateful resident that doesn't wish to live in the middle of the battlefield anymore.
I love Utica, I was born and grew up here. Though I moved around the country a bit......I always came back "home". A home we have owned for generations. I have played here, loved here, and cried here.
I refuse to die here.
Though it will break my heart to unfound depths to leave, I must. If I wait any longer I will be in the same boat as Bobbbiez.
I may come back to visit, but the only time I will reside here again is when they bring me back in a box.
This IS what it is like to live here in "da hood". It isn't a game, it isn't even survival....it is life on the edge, each and every day.
Ralph - My heart goes out to you, but I can understand your reasoning for moving out of Utica. Personally, if I didn't have my family close by, I would also be doing the same.
As a Policeman once told me recently............"New York is a great place to live if you are a criminal". He was talking about all the "liberal" laws that have been passed in the past 20 years that PREVENT our Policeman from locking up these scumbag hoodlums and throwing the key away. Afterall, we have to "protect" their "rights" (the hell with the rights of the law abiding citizens).
We need to go back to the days when parents were allowed to control their children with their own means of discipline (no broken bones allowed), and letting our Police arrest these hoodlums for every single law they break and vandalism they do.
However, I don't see any politician ready to take a stand and run on the platform "Let's get our cities back"!
As Bobbbiez has said before, we all will hate to see you leave - but we all will fully understand why it is the best thing you and Betty need to do. Good Luck; our hearts will be with you when you leave.
Post by Disgusted-Daily on Apr 22, 2008 12:15:11 GMT -5
Whew, Is really over, I forgot who's turn it was. I will give clipper some karma because he was able to handle the double team.
bobbbiez, I have read and fully understand yours and clipper's threads. But I have to ask why is it you are truly hanging on to a house that is declining in value by the day. Seems like one would want to get rid of their life long castle when it is worth something and you still have good memory's of your neighborhood.
If you think of it as winning or loosing, one will always loose because of upkeep, safety etc. I am by far not lecturing or telling you what to do but merely my concern to you. Although I am much younger than you and have not seen as much as you, I am not oblivious to our declining neighborhoods or crime on the streets as you are not either.
One or two people will not make a difference if they stay or go. It will always come a time for one to leave way before they pass on to a better life. Please please please reconsider your thinking before your son's have to respond to a call that they pray will never happen.
Sometimes I feel safer in Prison than on the streets or in the mall. I constantly find myself turning around to see who is near me. I will sit not anywhere near a window or with my back to a group of people. I always leave a escape route for myself. I remember the layout of rooms if the lights were to go out or a fire started, such as exit doors, number of stairs etc. Most would say that is paranoia. As for me it is merely because I have seen first hand what people are capable of doing on a daily base.
Again my offer to help move is always on the table, during the day. Haha! Good luck to you in what ever you decide in your life and you and everyone on this forum will always be in my prayers.
Nobody knows any better the ability to get empassioned in posting on the forums than myself, and that is an understatement.
You are correct. Those that live there have much deeper understanding of the daily life there. I never professed to know ALL the problems you face. I only know what I read, what I have experienced while working nights for years, way back when I rode the ambulance and up to when I worked from 10PM until morning at the OD and roamed the streets addressing problems with my drivers and delivering missed bundles.
I don't know why I am conceived as against your cause. I can't move there, but I can do what I am able, to help your cause. If you don't want that help, I guess I could be like "everyone else" and say fu-kit and move on, with no concern for the city I love.
If one doubts my love for the city, simply know this. I have traveled the world, both in the military, and as a civilian. I have seen ALL of the US, and I mean EVERY state in the union. With all that in mind, and all the beautiful places I have visited and lived, I STILL ALWAYS COME BACK TO UTICA AND CNY! To me it is HOME. "I can't wait to come home" whether you believe me or not.
I have advised others on here not to wear their hearts on their sleeves if they don't like criticism. I WEAR MY HEART ON MY SLEEVE most of the time, and don't give a shit who doesn't like it. If I have a thought or an opinion, you hear about it. You don't have to like it, or like me, but you will get my honest and forthright opinion on any subject I address. Do I get offended? Sometimes! Do I give a real shit about what anyone thinks about me? Hell no! I am me, take it or leave it.
I seem to be labeled because I don't happen to believe that the city's problems are all "race related" or caused by people of different ethnicity. Tough shit! If that makes me a liberal, I will wear the badge proudly!
Ralph, the sad part of it all is that it snuck up on people like yourself. It snuck in and grew like a fungus. By the time you realized it was happening, it was too late to get the TRUE value of your homes. It was a case of taking a loss on your real estate, or sticking it out, and hoping to make it better. YOU above all, TRIED to make it better, and got shit on. Not by the people you were trying to help, but by politics and bullshit. I am not apethetic to that situation that you live in, and are trying to escape from. I am sympathetic though.
When I return to Utica, I have an advantage. I DON'T live in the inner city, and I can do what I feel neccessary for the causes, and be very active in trying to bring about change. The advantage is that when and if I am shit on like your were, I can change my sympathy to apathy and retreat back to my own neighborhood, and hope the problems take a long time to get to MY neighborhood.
My heart aches for you and Bobbbiez, and I am sad when I think about how hard you must have worked to maintain your homes, only to watch their value go down with each year. It is very sad and unfair. I have true respect and admiration for what you have done for the people of the city, and I hope they realize the loss that it is going to be when you move away. If I am not mistaken, I remember when you used to provide traffic control and barricades at accident and fire scenes, and without pay. I remember how you were respected and loved at the Patio Drive-in, by the customers as well as the police. I used to see you in there with Betty, at night when I would stop for coffee after work at central coach lines. We have talked and sat next to each other there, a long time ago, when Gussie and Ike still ran it, before Tony took over. When you see me in person, you will realize that we have known each other vaguely for many years. Am I wrong? Do I have the wrong person in mind?
I am sympathetic, not apathetic. Believe me when I tell you that. God bless you and yours in you endeavors and in your new home when you get there. Indiana's gain will be Utica's loss.
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 13:08:55 GMT -5 by Clipper
Todd, thank you for your sincere concern but it has nothing to do with the value of my home. There are much more valuable thoughts why I'm staying then money. It has everything to do with it being my Home for over 28 years now and being born and raised in W.Utica. This is my HOME, my pride, my joy and all the years, blood, sweat and tears of making it my castle.
Raising five kids as a single parent and busting my a-- to make those damn mortgage payment till the glorious day I burnt the mortgage book. God, I can still remember that day and how happy I was and how proud I was that I accomplished giving and paying for a wonderful home for my kids to live in.
Not going to give up and as far as my boys I have the same courage in me that I instilled in all of them to be good Police Officers. For almost 20 years now they've had to face the dangers on a daily basis and I'm going to do the same if that what it takes to be able to stay in the HOME and area I love. They might have their fears for me but it's the same fears I've hold for them throughout their years of service to our city. They'll have to deal with it. Plus, just might have them over much more to visit. ;D
I along with my good neighborhoods here with me have fought for many years to get the city officials to address the problems we were having starting many years ago. We didn't have the apathy some voice and I don't think any of us are going to just give up and leave. We're pass that. As far as most of us are concerned, the scum might have won the battle but together, me and my good neighbors, will win the war. Plus if we gave up, sooner or later, unless you live in the woods the scum will follow and the fight will start all over again, as many who have left are already finding out.
Clipper, I think you have me confused with someone else, at least as far as the Patio goes.
I haven't been there in over 25 years, give or take.
Most of the work I did was inside and around the neighborhoods until I got in with the DOJ program. Though I was pretty deep into things, that gave me the opportunity to go even deeper. And possibly make things different than they were. I truly believe if we had kept the course we were going it would be better now than it is. But that is only my opinion and I was relieved of the option in favor of everyone else padding their own wallets
I know my little rant there may make me sound more bitter than anything else, and I suppose at some point I may be, but I am just being realistic.
Over the last five years or so I have developed the same habits as Todd describes.......almost to a "T"!! When drive to the store, visiting, shopping, even the few blocks to work, I never go the same way twice When I go out for a walk I do so like I own the place, but I am looking in every nook and cranny up down sideways, etc.
I have been practicing martial arts for almost 30 years now, but I am not an idiot, I can run very fast...........faster when it's dark!
But I don't feel like continuing on in this vein for the next 20, 30, 40+ years. I can do it now at 49, but you know damn well in a few years the only person around here I will scare is my life insurance agent. I understand where Bobbbiez is coming from, and I wish her well. We all do what we feel is best for ourselves and our families.
Betty can't defend herself unarmed, our birds hate the loud people and the music, let alone worry about someone trying to break in and steal them! I used to wheel their cages out on the back porch for some sun and fresh air........not anymore. It doesn't do much good to have a yard that looks like a park when you are sitting in it listening to earth shattering Rap from the next door drug dealer who is token' on his blunt 15 feet away.
Just for the record, my rant wasn't directed at you or anyone else here......just venting in general. So many people see it from the outside in, not many from the inside out. Most that do are sorry for the view.
I understand your anger and frustration "somewhat". As bobbbiez says, you can't completely know the situation unless you live in it.
I guess I was wrong about the Patio, and have you mixed up with someone else that looked a little like you.
Was I right that you used to do the traffic controll volunteer thing? I thought I recognized the van when you put it up the other day. I do remember someone with a van, not neccessarily the same van, but the same selfless configuration with lights paid for by yourself. I am sure that the van I remember would have been traded up by now, haha.
I always thought that to be an admirable thing to assist the police. I remember once encountering the van and it's owner doing traffic and barricades near the old Steam Engine and Boiler Works on Whitesboro St. in the West end, while the fire department was fighting a fire.
I have often wondered why cities don't have "fire police" like the volunteer departments do. It is a voluntary position, many times filled by former firefighters that are too old or have some reason for not fighting fires. Probably a liability issue for a city to have that type of thing, or a union thing.
Hey Ralph, feels good to vent my friend. Be my guest. I do it all the time but so far I've controlled myself from shooting out my window during my rantings. ;D God help the mother-freakers if I can't restrain myself in the future.
I hope once I move back to my hood shorty for good that I'll be able to visit you and Betty again in your hood before you move. Keep me informed.
Hopefully we'll be here long enough for that, and Clippers anticipated re-arrival this summer. But we want out before the summer is over so we can get where we're going and get settled before fall sets in.
I have everything set to go and pretty much everything set on the other end but a place to live.
I bet you are thinking of "Goerge" . That is not who I had you confused with, haha! WE won't even go there my friend! He also went around town "helping the police" and hung at the patio, but he was a pain in the ass, and not all were fans of his on the police force. Let's leave it at that! haha.
No comparison. He had wife that made one side of the van hang down, and was a little squirrely. ( Although you ARE a little squrrely now and again.hehe : His wife was nowhere near as pretty and slim as Betty.
No, there was a younger man, about your age, that had a van with lights on top, that helped out at accident scenes when I rode the ambulance and when I drove for coachlines.
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 15:26:55 GMT -5 by Clipper