On Cloud Nine

Man attacked on Bidwell Parkway

Apparently 7:40 PM on a Sunday is no time to be walking through one of Buffalo’s best-lit, most well-appointed and most frequently traveled areas. Good to know.

So, Greg gets robbed. Jess sees skeevy dude of the day. There’s some hoodie-sweatshirted sexual offender running around Chapin. My brother gets robbed. Greg finds one of his windows has been tampered with. Dave gets robbed.

I’ve been banging the “live in the city, it’s awesome” drum for a long time. Now my neighborhood has apparently become a hot-bed of violent crime and burglary. I must confess to feeling more than a little frustrated. Much of the reason I have spent so much of my life behind a desk is to be able to afford a place in a safe neighborhood. This time seems to have been wasted.

9 thoughts on “On Cloud Nine

  1. goose

    Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the trees in the forested ‘burbs calling. They’re saying, “It’s about that time”.

    Reply
  2. John

    I’m convinced these things are cyclical. They are also certainly not unique to the city of buffalo. Several times in my life, I have been a victim of crime; Specifically theft, both violent and passively nefarious. I was mugged when I was 15 while riding my bike about a block from home on lincoln parkway. Over the years, I’ve had three radios stolen out of one of my cars, a couple of jackets stolen at college, and a wallet or two. I’m still here beating the same drum, and I’ll continue to do it. If we all move to the ‘burbs, we perpetuate various wrongs. I could go into a big diatribe, but how about one simple fact to get the juices flowing: people in erie county love to complain about their high taxes. Why are our taxes so high, relatively? Because our population is so spread out through urban sprawl that we are forced to extend services out to the boonies in every which direction (roads, sewer, gas, electric, police, fire, and any number of other civil services). This doesn’t even take into account the large government that results from so many little townships and fiefdoms with their own little agendas. People leave the area, and the ones that stay (and make any money) move to the suburbs. Do the math: it’s a simple equation. So, then what happens? The city becomes so polarized with have and have-nots that we end up with battle ground areas, and people end up living in fear.

    There are many reasons to continue living in the city (and you know them as well as I). There are various reasons for hope, even in poor, poor buffalo. People like us need to carry on, or that hope will waver.

    Reply
  3. Emily

    I’m commenting!

    I guess this is a little known fact, but crime happens in the suburbs, too. I have never in my life heard of such fucked up shit as what goes on at rich white teenage parties in the suburbs. No where is 100% safe, so I guess you have to choose between two evils-living in a city with normal city crime, or living in generic subdivision America where people are so bored they have to think of interesting new ways to torture each other.

    Don’t give in Alex! Although I do think you should alert the police about that creepy guy Jess saw, just so he’s on their radar.

    Reply
  4. Garvey

    I’ve been thinking much the same thing, Alex. Especially with the fam, the thought of a break-in keeps me up at night.

    I think it’s time we start our own commune. You, me, our friends, and a Mighty Taco.

    Reply
  5. The Humanist

    Alex:

    I understand your frustration. No city is an oasis of order and good feeling, but this recent crime spree in our ‘hood is ridiculous.

    I can only add to the discussion that I’ve been a dweller in various cities for 25 years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course, being a bachelor on my own, my situation is different from yours. I’ve experienced the very best of living in a vibrant, exciting city and I’ve seen things in my city life that would should be in the next Rob Zombie movie.

    It’s all we can do to be vigilant, be careful and understand that living in this City entails a certain sacrifice. There are also sacrifices in moving to the suburbs, like not being able to walk to restaurants, a general malaise that infects entire neighborhoods and, most frighteningly, roving packs of bloodthirsty wolves with giant fangs. Ok, not wolves, but I’ve heard things…

    I don’t want to be melodramatic here, but if you move to the suburbs…the terrorists have won.

    Reply
  6. Greg

    I’ll chime in here too, since I’m finally giving up the grudge and leaving. I’ve loved and touted city living for over 7 years.

    I’ve been broken into, had my vehicle vandalized several times, and recently had my apartment robbed during the middle of the day. My street is a weird mishmash of very decent people and inconsiderate self-centered scum.

    The idea that you have either a vanilla burbclave or the city isn’t really true. The best elements of the Elmwood Village aren’t urban ones, it’s the small-town community feel. There are neighborhoods in WNY that have that same walkable shopping/dining/bar strip, but with a much lower crime rate and much more respectful neighbors. Lewiston, Youngstown, East Aurora, Orchard Park and historic Williamsville come to mind as examples.

    Yes, you give up some things by leaving, but I personally have reached a point where I don’t have peace of mind within the city, and the feeling isn’t going away.

    Reply
  7. goose

    W-O-W. I had no idea this would be such a polarizing topic. Having lived in Lewiston for the first 22 yrs of my life and Amherst for the last 7, I can thankfully say that Greg, is 100% correct. The small town vibe, and closeness within the community is hard to top. Yeah I guess there’s “wild” parties here in the ‘burbs, where kids might actually partake in excessive drinking, fornication, illegal drugs etc… But that’s not particularly indicative of a suburbian lifestyle, nor does it infringe on ‘everyday’individuals that live within the community. (i.e. a guy walking in a park that may be beaten for his wallet, or joggers that are assaulted, etc) Are there random ‘fuc#@ up’ parties in the ‘burbs where crazy things happen? maybe. Is it true that no community is perfect? Absolutely. It is simply a matter of preference. No person’s opinion is right or wrong, that’s the wonderful thing about opinions! For myself, I prefer living in a forested area, where I can enjoy the sounds of nature as opposed to sirens. I prefer seeing deer, turkeys, pheasants, assorted birds and other wildlife as opposed to vagrants, bums, and thugs. I prefer lving in the suburbs where I can leave windows open, porch doors open, and not have to worry about having anything stolen. I prefer living here without having to worry about urban blight, vandalism, muggings, robbery, overt drug selling and usage, beggars, rapes, and homicide. I’m all of 15 minutes from the city nightlife, which I rarely partake in anymore, 5 minutes or less from my own restaurant, shopping, entertainment strip, when I visit home in Lewiston I can walk, carefree to any of the restaurants, boutiques etc… in that small, colonial village and that’s the way I like it. For others here, that is obviously not the case, and while I may particularly not like the city-life, I respect that many of you do, and I say, “To Each His Own”.

    Reply

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