I have been struggling to decide if I was going to write this post, but I guess being more open won out.

Last Wednesday night, two men were shot about four doors down from our new apartment. I don’t think that the paint had settled on the walls when our world froze for a moment while watching some vapid reality show. Moving to Bed Stuy in Brooklyn wasn’t a big deal in our minds. We’ve spent a bit of time down here and we have two friends that live in the area, so we figured that it was safe. Even the New York Times wrote a piece on how Bed Stuy is changing.

But Wednesday night all of that disappeared. Within moments, the road was blocked off by the police and everyone on the street had come out of their homes to see what had gone on. Being the newest suburbanites to move into the neighborhood, we were some of the last people to leave, opting to look out the windows to make sure it was safe to come out. What Amber saw when she looked was a body, dead, laying in the middle of the road.

I’ve been trying to take a cue from our neighbors in dealing with this. they don’t seem scared of the neighborhood, or the people that it might attract. I can’t tell if that’s because they’ve been here for so long and are immune to this kind of thing, or if they really believe that this was something isolated and targeted. Either way, it’s pretty frightening.

There were murders in Bridgeport when we lived on the city line, but never so close. They were as close as two or three blocks away, but it was different because of the space difference. Here, I walk by the memorial every day on my way to work. Here, the brother of the man who died walks by me as I walk the dogs. Here, there is a police presence on our street nearly 24/7 (I appreciate that).

This has shaken Amber up, rightfully so, and now we’re contemplating moving again. It’s been almost nine months since we made the decision to move to Brooklyn, and it’s been no vacation trying to move. If we don’t feel safe here, then that’s something we’re going to have to face by never leaving the apartment at night or moving to a neighborhood we feel safe in. We’ll see.

2 thoughts on “Grounded”

  1. Sorry to hear that man! I had to deal with moving in June and there were so few places available that I looked at a couple places in Bed-Stuy. I felt comfortable, but my girlfriend wasn’t too happy. We ended up in Park Slope, but in this supposedly idyllic neighborhood I’ve had my bike seat stolen and my scooter was almost stolen, then towed away by cops thinking it was abandoned. Brooklyn is its own experience, and I think things are getting a lot better, but there are still those outlying cases. Stick in there, I’m sure you’ll feel more comfortable as Fall hits…

  2. From everything we’ve heard from neighbors, this is the worst that it’s been for years now. There’ been some rough stuff in the area, but nothing along these lines. What I keep telling myself is that these guys were “bad guys” and they had done something to anger someone else. I take a lot of cues from my neighbors being new to the area.

    We came home tonight and there was a ROCKING party across the street complete with bands playing in a living room and a bunch of people that we could relate to. It helped a whole lot, and hopefully making more friends will make us feel a little more at home.

    Park Slope? We should catch a few drinks some time.

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