Adventures: Part 1
[Part 1 of 2 of a series of adventures I had on Wednesday]
On my trip out from New York out to Jofish's in Ithaca, I decided to made a stop in Newark, to get some pictures of the building that I did a report and simulations on for my case study class.
First of all, it is in a kinda sketchy neighborhood of Newark (are there nice parts of Newark?)--the place was renovated as subsidized housing. As I rolled down the exit ramp, I saw a sign for Martin Luther King Boulevard. Chris Rock has a routine about getting a call from a white friend who says that he is on MLK, and asks what should he do. Rock replies, "Run!" He followed that up with:
“Martin Luther King was all about non-violence,” said Rock in his popular 1996 Comedy Special “Bring the Pain.” “I don’t care where you live in America, if there is a Martin Luther King Boulevard, there is some violence going on.”
So I was already feeling awfully white when heading to the jobsite... more in the direction of scary Dorchester or Roxbury, as opposed to the mostly innocuous mid-90's Central Square that I once lived in.
I also remembered a quote that I read from a police chief from one high-crime city in Jersey--might be have been Camden, Newark, or Hoboken. It went along the lines of, "Well, they say in Iraq that the government cannot maintain civil control, that it has no 'monopoly on violence,' and the police are overwhelmed--why are we spending all this money over there when we need to fix those problems in my town?"
My time at the jobsite was just fine--I got a bunch of pictures, and the building superintendent came out and chatted with me. When I told him who I was, he gave me a tour of the inside of the building, including the boiler room.
But while taking a last few photos, a kid started yelling out of an upper floor window at me:
Yo white boy!
Hey white boy!
High time to leave, I figured.
[Adventure to be continued...]