Murders, Binge Drinking Up in Park Slope Last Year

beer-funnel-0109.jpgWhile overall crime was down in Brooklyn South last year, murders were up more than 35 percent to 92 from 68 a year earlier. Such was the case in Park Slope where the number of homicides rose from one in 2007 to three in 2008. Meanwhile, says The Post, binge drinking was higher than other neighborhoods around the city: 20 percent of Slopers ranked binge drinking as their favorite activity. “It’s the real people, and you feel like you are on ‘Cheers,'” said Samantha Stewart. “I can just go to the bar and see 10 people that I know.” The preference ties in with another borough-wide stat for 2008: Drunk driving violations were up 1.6 percent in Brooklyn last year, reports The Daily News, while they were down 3.4 percent around the city as a whole.
Murder Rate Skyrockets in 2008 [NY Post]
Home Is Where the Health Is [NY Post]
Increase in Brooklyn Drunk Driving [NYDN]

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  • It is truly sad what is becoming of Park Slope.

  • According to the NYTimes, this thread will very shortly veer into a mean-spirited discussion on class and race. Try not to disappoint them!

  • Overall the crime rate was down in NYC. Can we give the Police officers of our great city some credit? Why is it that we have to point to the negative even when there is so much positive?

    (#23 Member Team BULL)

  • “20 percent of Slopers ranked binge drinking as their favorite activity”

    This is hilarious. Completely untrue, but hilarious.

    Quick (ok, not-so-quick) anecdote: Before moving to the neighborhood, I came out one day for a “walking tour” where I basically wandered the area from Flatbush to 20th street between the park and 5th avenue (my feet were very sore).

    I was due to meet my wife at 9:00pm around 3rd street, and by 8:00pm, I was tired and wanted to sit down and have a few drinks before going to meet her.

    I was on 7th Avenue around Lincoln and just started walking south looking for a bar or pub to sit down and have 2 or 3 drinks.

    There were a few restaurants with bar areas, but I didn’t see any honest bars, so I kept walking, and walking, and walking, and finally turned around to go meet up with my wife without a drink.

    “So,” she say, “what do you think of Park Slope.”

    “Well, it seems like a nice enough place,” I say, “but it could use some more bars.”

  • almost wish there was a hint of truth to this since the bars as a whole are pretty sedate. maybe its the private school kids you see hanging bored on the corners/pizza parlors binging in their parent’s house.

  • The only truly reliable crime statistic is murder (and felony assaults where someone is hit with a bullet – but this isnt broken out generally). Yuo can reclassify a dead body or hide it.

    Therefore the SMALL increase in homicides is worthy of note but it is still up only 5% (from a record year in ’07) and 2008 was still one of the safest on record.

    The fact that homicides are up in Brooklyn So ( one of the safest patrol bureaus) may indicate that the NYPD is strapped by sending additional resources into Brooklyn North (for example) – NYPD is down over 5,000 officers since its peak.

    or it could indicate nothing. again overall 2008 was an amazingly safe year for a city of 8+M people.

    And seriously this post shouldnt dissolve into a argument of race and class – given that Brooklyn So – is whiter and richer than Brooklyn North

  • FSRQ;

    Agreed. These articles are just plain silly, and not even worth a serious discussion.

  • Sorry meant to say – you CANT reclassify a dead body

  • I have seen those binge drinkers flipping Bugaboos. It was horrible. All the while they were yelling “Stroller Nazis are here, get use to it”

  • Overall the crime rate in NYC is on the way up. Ever notice that all the major cities with the highest crime rates are run by Democrats, if u don’t believe me check it out. Detroit, Baltimore, Wash DC. Los Angeles, Newark to name a few. It wasn’t until Guliani came to NYC things turned around, I know because Im a retired NYPD Detective. Now with the rise in crime in NYC we have our Mayor Bloomberg, who is a democrat at heart and changed his party just to be elected. All my fiends who are still on the job tell me crime could get to where it was if we don’t maintain the Guliani-Bratton Strategy. It appears though that Ray Kelly is helpless because of the cuts being made in the Police Dept.and the focus on Terrorism. Safe Streets and effective Law Enforcement requires money, especially in a city like NY if Bloomberg does not allocate more for Law Enforcement we could go back to the “Good Ole Days”.

  • harry,

    how do you explain the better part of a decade of decreasing crime under Bloomberg? Was he a republican then, and only a democrat now that crime might be ticking up?

  • Agree Harry. Philadelphia is THE poster child for ineffective governance at the mayoral, district attorney, attorney general (all liberal democrats) and police level. Crime there is out of control yet they continue to be totally ineffective.

  • When I go out in Park Slope bars it’s complete mayhem. Locals drink for hours and hours nonstop.

    By midnight everyone is hammered, slurring, and often upchucking in the street.

    I have a strong feeling many of you folks haven’t been out much lately.

  • Binge Drinkers in Park Slope are:
    Hopeless, hapless and definetely lacking hipness.

    Or is that true of all residents of Park Slope?

  • Brownstoner:

    New York City’s crime rate started its descent under David Dinkins (a Democrat) who, with Police Commissioner Brown, instituted “community policing.”

    And safety is a relative thing. Today’s stats are similar to what I remember as a boy in Brooklyn around 1960 — when everyone thought the city was spiraling out of control!

    As for the “good old days” there were more than 700 murders per year in the city around 1900, at a time when the population was about three million. That would be the equivalent of 2100 annually now, a little under the peak of the “bad old days” when Dinkins took office.

    New York and Brooklyn have always been tough places to live. Remember Bogart’s great line in “Casablanca?” Speaking to a Nazi officer he said, “There are some neighborhoods in New York I’d recommend not even you try to invade.”

    When watching the film at the old St. Marks Cinema, the audience would cheer the line. We all knew what he meant (and were defiantly proud of it).

    Nostalgic on Park Avenue

  • harrythehat : Compstat will not allow the good old days to return. Plus with new technology it’s almost impossible to go back to the high crime days. The City is installing cameras everywhere, computers have combated crime in ways that no human ever could. I agree that Bill bratton and Jack maple were the innovation behind the machine, but the machine is now on cruise control.

  • wow bayridge, really hucking stones from that bay ridge glass house today. the shiny guido-gates and greek columns must be glimmering extra bright today down there.

    i kid i kid.

    please let me know where these wreckless bars are. i need to make plans for tonight.

  • “When I go out in Park Slope bars it’s complete mayhem. Locals drink for hours and hours nonstop.

    By midnight everyone is hammered, slurring, and often upchucking in the street.

    I have a strong feeling many of you folks haven’t been out much lately.”

    Where u drinking?

    I mean, there is that one big sports bar on 5th Ave near union, and Bogota looks like it gets a fairly lively crowd, and then there is that tiny hole in the wall place up 5th near flatbush where I suspect everyone just grumbles constantly about the smoking ban, but, c’mon…

    Park Slope is not the East Village.

    Frankly, it isn’t even Hoboken when it comes to boozing it up.

    I mean, it might be triple A, but it is still minor leagues.

  • The bars that I frequent (you can find one by following the smell the aforementioned upchuck left by your trully) are pretty wreckless.

  • The bars that I frequent (you can find one by following the smell of the aforementioned upchuck left by your trully) are pretty wreckless.

  • NOP;

    I think your post is not entirely accurate. “Technically speaking”, the murder rate did start to decline under Dinkins, BECAUSE, the peak in crime had been realized under his reign. However, the significant drop in crime started under Giuliani, and continued under Bloomberg.

    I don’t want to bash Dinkins, but he was pretty clueless about crime when he first entered office. Crime got so bad, and folks were so outraged, that he finally was forced to act. I will give him credit that he began the build-up of the police force.

    More importantly than the sheer number of police, however, was the approach to crime-fighting. Dinkins had no use for the “broken-window” approach to crime fighting. Indeed, he felt that minor offenders were in need of social services.

    It is no accident that Dinkins was a one-term mayor. Picking up on what harrythehat said, the irony of Dinkins’ reign is that it convinced the majority of New Yorkers that the Democratic establishment could not get a grip on crime. Thus, an overwhelmingly Democratic city threw him out, and put in Giuliani.

  • So Benson, indeed crime started to drop under Dinkins, and if it was because people were demanding he do something, he did something, which is what a politician should do.

    As for Giuliani, he won by a whisker the first election, largely because Staten Islanders were voting on a secession initiative, a cynical ploy by borough Republicans to bring out their vote — and put Giuliani over the top.


  • “The bars that I frequent (you can find one by following the smell of the aforementioned upchuck left by your trully) are pretty wreckless.”

    lol. Is that you in the picture with the funnel?

  • NOP;

    Aw come on, you’re REALLY stretching here. Spin it as you wish, but here are some of the facts:

    -Dinkins was forced to act because folks were fed up with him, not because he responded to a need. The Democrat establishment knew that he was a disaster, and read him the riot act. Remember his inept response to the boycott of the Korean green grocer, in which he allowed a bunch of racist thugs to take control of the situation for 1.5 weeks? Even the NYT was outraged over his lack of action.

    -Shall we talk about his response to the Crown Heights riots, were he let thugs roam the street unimpeded for 3 nights?

    -How about his response to the murder of a utah tourist on the subway platform? Remember how that helped the city’s image? Somehow, he couldn’t find the time to visit the grieving family, but he did manage to find the time to stand next to the mother of a convicted drug dealer and shout to the crowd “Justice will be served”. Remember his embarassment when the police tapes revealed that the cop in that case was in a life-and-death struggle, as this drug dealer was trying to wrest his gun from him and kill him?

    -Saying that crime dropped on his watch is the same silly “news” like the above-referenced articles. Bloomberg achieves a record low crime rate, and when it goes up the next year, the Post has the breathless headline “Murder rate skyrockets”. Using your logic, would you say that crime began its “increase” under Bloomberg? Please, give me a break.

    -Spin Giuliani’s election as you will, but the fact is this: he was elected for a second term (unlike Dinkins) in an overwhlemingly Democratic city, AND, a Democrat has not gained the mayoralty since that time, thanks to David “Tennis Anyone?” Dinkins.

  • “lol. Is that you in the picture with the funnel?”

    No, if that were me, the funnel would be going in the opposite end.

  • Well put benson.

  • do think park slope attracts the more frat boy, middle of the road types, and binge drinking is their thing for sure. BRG is right on the money about the lack of hipness.

  • “And safety is a relative thing. Today’s stats are similar to what I remember as a boy in Brooklyn around 1960 — when everyone thought the city was spiraling out of control!”

    Thanks, NOP. I’m not in favor of crime, but some of these complaints make me laugh. Today’s NYC is so much safer than when I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, it’s laughable. If you’d have asked us back then if we could ever imagine a mostly clean NYC with a visible police presence even in tough neighborhoods, we’d never have believed it. NYC and Brooklyn have always been rough-and-tumble. What a bunch of crybabies.

  • Gee, Benson, you don’t like Dinkins, do you?

    But 1) to use your term, “technically” crime did start to go down under his administration and 2) Giuliani won by about 50,000 votes the first time he was elected, a small majority, thanks to Staten Island.


  • Sebb,

    All compstat will do is drive all the commanders crazy like it always does. The PD will be made to do more with less and until the PD keeps up its hiring as it should the crime will go up. Or until the whole city is gentrified.

  • Harry, typical case of correlation that doesn’t imply cause and effect. Urban people tend to vote Democrat.

  • Where is Rob? Out drinking?

  • harrythehat : I agree with the hiring but crime is down this year.

  • NOP;

    I’ll give crime reduction credit if you give credit for the 90’s economic boom to George Bush (Sr.) – since technically the recovery started under him.

    Benson’s rendition of “the failed Dinkins Administration” was on the money. – although he left out the Korean grocery boycott (one of the most disgusting organized racially based demonstrations in modern NYC – with virtually zero response by DD).

    [BTW the term ‘Dinkins Administration’ must ALWAYS be preceeded by ‘the failed’ – lest anyone forget]

    You are correct that Guilliani only won the 1st time B/C of SI secession – so what? Guilliani is still responsible for huge decreases in crime and Bloomberg – even more so.

  • most bars in park slope are pretty low key. 200 Fifth is a shithouse tho.

    Bars in PS are pretty small which limits the amount of drunken stupidness that can occur. Black Sheep Pub for example is the size of a large studio apartment.

    but seriously maybe its me but bars like O’Connors are the kind of bars I enjoy because they arnt filled with drunk idiots looking to fight people.

  • FSRQ;

    I did mention the Korean grocery boycott, as such:

    “Remember his inept response to the boycott of the Korean green grocer, in which he allowed a bunch of racist thugs to take control of the situation for 1.5 weeks? Even the NYT was outraged over his lack of action.”

    I agree with your characterization of this event. I think that when historians look back at this period, they may mark the Korean green grocer boycott as the low point in the city’s decline, as well as the state of its racial relations. Thankfully, we are well past those days.

  • Yep, for such non-prime areas as Park Slope with their rising crime rates and degenerating public behavioral standards, 2009 is going to be tough.

  • “but seriously maybe its me but bars like O’Connors are the kind of bars I enjoy because they arnt filled with drunk idiots looking to fight people.”

    Maybe not. But I’ve heard you can ride the White Horse there.

  • wasder, clearly Clinton Hill is the new Park Slope!

  • Sorry Benson missed that line…..

    but we are in full agreement – the failed Dinkins Adminstration was a disgrace

  • ha ENY.

    im pretty sure thats the case for most places in the city.

  • Thanks, Benson and FSRQ, for confirming my points: crime did start to go down under Dinkin’s administration and Giuliani was first elected because of Staten Island’s secessionist movement.

    My family’s lived in Brooklyn and New York for five generations and has seen mayors of all stripes. In the arc of history, Dinkins and — yes — Giuliani, are mere blips.


  • NOP;

    You are being disingenuous in this discussion. You brush away the historical arguments against Dinkins by noting that he, as well as Giuliani are mere blips in the arc of the city’s history. At the same time,you want to make sure that one “blip” – Dinkins – is credited with a positive achievement, while trying to cast a negative spin on another “blip” – Giuliani – by implying that was elected by a secessionist movement.

    I would say, judging by the reaction of the posters in this thread, that such spin will did little to refurbish Dinkin’s record. Moreover, history does note that some mayors -such as LaGuardia and Giuliani -are not just blips. They made a significant difference in the life of this city.

  • Buy a townhouse in Park Slope and broker will give you a complimentary drinking funnel and a map of all the local bars.

  • What’s a good place in Bay Ridge to buy “mawble calwlumns”?

  • What’s a good place in Bay Ridge to buy “mawble cawlumns”?

  • Binge drinking is anything over 5 in a sitting. As a self described lush, after a cocktail, couple of glasses of wine with dinner and an after dinner digestif, you’re techinically binge drinking and a statistic.

  • Benson,

    I’ll stick to my original points, which you and FSRQ confirmed, respectively.

    Now, I’m done.


  • There is currently no international consensus on how many drinks constitute a “binge,” but the term is often taken to mean consuming 5 or more standard American drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about for a typical adult. This is called the “5/4 definition.” However, these numbers vary significantly based on weight and numerous other variables.[1][unreliable source?] Other, less common definitions are based on blood alcohol concentration. For example, the NIAAA recently redefined the term “binge drinking” as anytime one reaches a peak BAC of 0.08% or higher [2] as opposed to some (arguably) arbitrary number of drinks in an evening. Whatever the numerical definition used, rapid consumption (shots, chugging, or drinking games) is often implied when the term is used colloquially, since one can remain relatively sober if the 4 or 5 drinks are spread out widely over the course of a long evening.

  • I cannot stand by as this thread is hijacked by conservative ideology, criticizing NYC’s first and only black mayor, who tried desperately to change things for the better. He was very well intentioned, albeit pummeled by bad timing, a belief system (his own) that harmed his ability to implement necessary changes, and shifting priorities. Love or hate David Dinkins, he was not responsible for any surge in lawlessness. AND love or hate Guiliani, he was likewise not responsible for the City’s plummeting crime rates – though to hear him tell it, he was practically the left hand of God both here and with his “heroic” handling of 9/11.

    Anyway, off to Wiki:

    “He (Dinkins) was hurt by the perception that crime was out of control during his administration, although crime actually declined during the last 36 months of his four-year term, ending a 30 year upward spiral and initiating a trend of falling rates that continued well beyond his term.[2][3] Dinkins also initiated a hiring program that expanded the police department nearly 25%.”

  • Thank you Noklissa. Dinkins’ strategies in fact were responsible for the beginning of the decline in crime. Had he been re-elected, he would have got more credit.

    Since he’s getting slammed for not cracking down on rioting, I’ll join the party by slamming him for not cracking down on the infamous police riot at City Hall.

    It always fascinates me the amount of anger a black man receives because he happens to like tennis. People still hating on him for that today! What was happening when Ghouliani was out banging his two different girlfriends (while he was still married, I might add) with protection furnished by the taxpayer.

    We paid a high price for some of that reduction in crime under Ghoulaini. The price was paid in race relations as minorities were stopped and searched constantly and for no reason. Thank goodness Bloomberg elected to keep the good efforts developed by his predecessors while attempting to reach out to the city as a whole.

  • “It always fascinates me the amount of anger a black man receives because he happens to like tennis.”

    Quote of the Day.

  • No, thank YOU, Denton. Geez. We have such a short and romantic memory when it comes to Guiliani. I truly and painfully hated him at the time. The complaints to the Civilian Review Board went up something like 500% under his watch. He mercilessly slashed budgets of any program having to do with children or poor people. Many of them, some really really doing good things, folded within 2 years. He treated anyone who disagreed with him as a peasant. He cheated on his wife countless times, and she learned of his intention to divorce her via a press conference. I mean, I know those things are private, and I don’t ordinarily care much where any guy other than my husband sticks his “hoo hoo”, but that was ridiculous, and showed the kind of character flaws for which I think we all shredded our late governor.

  • Nokilissa;

    You really don’t do your side any favors with posts like the one above.

    Please leave race out of this. Nobody mentioned it in the previous posts. Are you implying that the fact that he was NYC’s first and only black mayor makes him immune from criticism? How patronizing is that??

    Also, no one here is criticizing his intentions. I found Dinkins to be a pleasant person and a gentleman. We are talking about results here, and in that regard, he was a failure.

    Please respond to the factual points FSRQ and I made. Did you feel safe when Dinkins was in charge? Did the vile Korean green grocer situation continue unabated for 1.5 weeks? Did he let the Crown Heights riots run unimpeded for 3 days, until his own Commissioner of Public Safety (Mollen) sat him and his police commissioner in a chair and read them the riot act? Did he not stand next to the mother of the convicted drug-dealer and potential cop-killer, Jose “Kiko” Garcia, and announce to a surly crowd “Justice will be served” and made the citizens of NYC pay for this thug’s funeral? Did, or did not crime peak under his watch?

    To say that Giuliani (and, for that matter, Bloomberg) were not effective in realizing double-digit percentage decreases in crime is just not reality. The statistics are there, plain as day. If you want to deny the reality of the situation, folks will know who is talking fact, and who is spinning because of their ideology. I readily acknowledged above that Dinkins initiated the increase in the police force. Why can’t you acknowledge the reality of Giuliani’s contribution?

  • Denton;

    Thank you for trying to make this become ugly and racially charged. Thanks for stooping to that level.

    My criticsm of Dinkins was based upon the way he ran this city, per the facts I outlined above. If you disagree, try to make the case in a factual way, rather than make it ugly like this.

    In case you have forgotten, I’ll let you know the background of the “tennis” comment. If you recall, that tourist from Utah was murdered on the subway platform when he was returning from the US Open. During the next few days, Mayor Dinkins never found the time to visit his grieving family, YET, he had time to take in the US Open.

    I have nothing further to say to someone who hits below the belt.

  • Denton…that was VERY FUNNY!!

  • Really BRG – that was funny, huh?!?!?!!? Accusing someone of being a racist is funny in your book?? I guess I should expect it, coming from someone who wouldn’t think twice about accusing a particular person of fraud in a publci forum. Yeah, it’s riot. Well, Biff even thinks that we should make it QOTD.

    Screw the both of you. I’m out of this forum.

    Denton: happy that your below-the belt shot is receiving accolades?

  • Dinkins was the Jimmy Carter of NYC mayors. Well meaning but ineffectual. Perceptions rule in politics.

  • I just re-read his 3:15pm post. Please explain to me what’s racist about his post. What line or lines? I can’t find any!

    “It always fascinates me the amount of anger a black man receives because he happens to like tennis. People still hating on him for that today! What was happening when Ghouliani was out banging his two different girlfriends (while he was still married, I might add) with protection furnished by the taxpayer.”

    If it’s the tennis line…Yes, Benson..It is FUNNY! And well crafted I might add.
    Lighten up, Benson. You need to read it as humor. There’s nothing at all racist about it.
    Clearly, you don’t know a racist comment then.

  • So how bout those drunks in Park Slope?

  • Bayridgegirl;

    Denton is accusing me of being a racist. I criticized Dinkins based upon his record, as I do all politicians. He is saying that my “tennis” comment and criticsm is fueled by my anger at the memory of seeing a block man playing tennis. This is an ugly, racially-charged remark.

    If you think that folks who like to hurl ugly, racially-charged accusations at others merely because they have an opposing POV are funny, then you are either a simpleton or someone who will find a laugh in anything.

  • Really guys?

    Who would have thought that a post that has a picture of a man drinking from a funnel would somehow devolve into, yet again, race.

  • You know what folks;

    I’ve decided to leave Brownstoner. I’ve had it – I am angry as hell.

    In these types of forums, you can expect to meet an idiot like Denton – a person who is always ready to besmirch any POV that he doesn’t agree with by making it personal and below-the-belt, in this case, by throwing out ugly accusations of racial animosity.

    It’s one thing to come across an idiot like Denton, it’s another thing to watch people not call him on it. Rather, Nokilissa thanked him for the post, and Biff felt it merited QOTD. Then, we have the conclusion, with BRG telling ME I should lighten up.

    If I were some person who posts occassionally on this forum, it might be one thing. I post alot, however, and I think folks can know where I am coming from when I make a case. I think I have some intellectual integrity, and I’m not going to watch a person throw mud all over me, to applause from the crowd.

    Screw you all. I’m outta here.

  • “Denton is accusing me of being a racist.”
    Benson, where??? I just re-read his post and don’t see it. Again, the tennis line?? You should read it as more a funny generalization than a supposed attack against you!
    I clearly don’t think he meant it in that way. I didn’t read it as such.

    Again, I don’t see a racial hurl
    Believe me I’m not a ‘simpleton’ to humor and comedy…far from it, my dear ūüėČ (shout out to me). My sense of humor is very sharp and keen (again shout out).I don’t laugh at ‘anything’…you have to work for my laughter….heck, I have to work for laughter ;-).

    Believe me I’ve very in tune to words and wording. Re-read his post, objectively. Take your name out of the equation, cause he never put it in there.

  • Please don’t Benson. It’s nice to have opposing views.

  • 65 posts and i still dont know where to find the wreckless sordid debaucherous (real word?) bars. off to patio or bar reis tonight i guess.

  • Well, I was in middle school in California when Dinkins was mayor, but I can say a lot of binge drinking is going on in Ditmas Park these days! [Begin shameless neighborhood promotion] Come on down to Cortelyou Road sometime, people – after this discussion, you all need a few drinks anyway. Especially you, Benson – you’re welcome to join me anytime!

  • Benson, don’t go!! In all sincerity.
    You were starting to grow on me. I started to like some of your posts and views and funny comments.

    Don’t take any comment from anyone (including myself) personally. At the end of the day, just turn off your computer and get on with your life.
    Believe me, I have no interest in defending anyone, I’m just saying I don’t see racism in this one.

    I wish other people would speak up on this matter.
    Should we take a poll. Mr. B?

    Do you think Denton’s comment was racist?
    o Yes
    o No

  • “Who would have thought that a post that has a picture of a man drinking from a funnel would somehow devolve into, yet again, race.”
    THL, certainly not I, unless we were talking about the beer drinker’s race against the clock.

    Benson, I also didn’t think Denton was actually accusing you of being a racist. I thought his line was very funny as a stand alone statement and not meant to be accusatory in the way you took it. In fact, at that time I hadn’t even read your reference to tennis in your post. I’ve read enough of your comments by now to believe you aren’t a racist and, although we don’t always agree on things, like THL, I would be very disappointed to see you leave.

  • “I can say a lot of binge drinking is going on in Ditmas Park these days! [Begin shameless neighborhood promotion]”

    I would if I could, but the only thing shameful about the drinking situation in Brooklyn Heights is there are way too few places to go to engage in binge drinking! :-(

  • benson, 100% on board with your posts, but also didnt see the racism comment. racially oriented maybe, but not racist.

    breathe, move on, dont leave.

  • Yeah, Biff…get drunk!
    And type away.

    God, I hate alcohol!

  • I’m confused how a post about Park Slope binge drinking turned into a racially charged debate about Mayor Dinkins’ policies.

  • Brownstoners:

    Although I “signed off” a while ago, now that I’ve checked back I see that the Giuliana/Dinkins debate spools on.

    After more than half a century of living in and out of New York (it’s my “tertiary” residence now), I’ve seen a lot:
    the post-war boom, suburbanization, urban renewal, “white flight,” riots (or rebellions, according to one’s political persuasion), fiscal crises, rampant crime, historic preservation, gentrification, 9/11, a new boom and — now –the most frightening recession I can recall.

    Through it, New York’s endured, as it has since enslaved Africans and indentured Irish in the 1700s together fought against their English “masters” (not once, but twice!) and were drawn, quartered and set ablaze in the public square and later, during the Revolutionary War, when the Brits burned the town down.

    Dinkins, Giuliani and -even!- LaGuardia are part of an historical parade. More important is what ordinary people do when confronted by the realities of their time, generally unacknowledged except as the background in history books but setting the context for leadership that can accelerate us in any direction, bad or good.

    We’re facing the Big Bang. How New Yorkers respond as a community will determine the city’s next decade, or more.

    I’m cautiously optimistic, given my vantage point. But the next few years are going to be hard. Today’s Times announced cut backs in unemployment insurance. These are our neighbors who’ll be hit! And they have kids (some at Catholic schools, a number of which are soon to be closed, also announced in the Times). Those “Neediest Cases” in the back pages? They’ll soon be widespread, and may very well include people who’ve considered themselves “comfortable” most of their lives.

    So, agitate, whether it’s Bloomberg or Weiner or Quinn. (I don’t vote in New York, to my regret, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pick up the phone, write my neighborhood association’s newsletter, or squawk here on Brownstoner.)

    And don’t let Obama off the hook, either.


  • Biff, can we do it on your stoop? We’ll all anty up if you get fined.

  • What’s there to be confused about dirty hipster…it’s a typical day at!

  • by the way dirty hipster..welcome aboard.
    You wouldn’t happen to be ‘PittbullNYC’ aka *Rob*, our very own real life dirty hipster?

  • I think all future racially charged debates should take place in person, after a long night of binge drinking. That would make things interesting!

  • Attention, excuse me please, could everyone please gather their soapboxes and reconvene 4 threads up in the open thread. Single file, no shoving.

    Thank you!

  • Yeah, Biff…can we do it on your stoop??

    So, if 10 people are drinking on a stoop, do they each get a fine or just one fine for the homeowner?

  • benson, no need to get so hot under the collar. I have agreed with you on many discussions we have had in the past. I wasn’t accusing you of being a racist; in fact there’s nothing I find funnier than a bunch of white guys debating who’s the biggest racist.

    What Goldie said, it was a racial comment, but it wasn’t accusatory to you in particular.

    You may have forgotten but this accusation of Dinkins playing tennis (or watching tennis) while he should (allegedly) have been at the funeral was taken by the African American community to be racist at the time. I happen to agree with that. In the same way that Rev. Sharpton still hears about Tawana Brawley, and Jesse Jackson still hears about Hymietown, we still hear about Dinkins and the funeral, as if we’re taking attendance of how many funerals he went to and which funerals.

    The statistics you have used are fine and dandy and correct; nevertheless, imo, and that of others, the crime wave began to abate under Dinkins and part of that was due to his community police policies as well as his hiring of more cops; a law-and-order attitude if there ever was one. Some of the decrease in crime can also be traced to social factors. We can agree to disagree on that one.

    You complain about statistics but much of your post is a collection of anecdotes.

    Dinkins had to navigate between several constituencies and after Koch and Howard Beach he was elected as a healer. Because of this, he probably pleased no one. I suspect Obama will find himself trapped in the same web of expectations.

    When it comes to race, I freely admit I’m far to the left of many posters on this site. I grew up in the ghetto and saw too much, and continue to see too much, to be otherwise. So write me off as a off the charts leftist.

  • B,

    This was my fault. I hope you come back. I enjoy the sparks that different opinions bring to the fold here, and while I disagree with you most of the time (big shock there! I’m an avowed lefty), it is a good thing, because you always get me thinking.

    I also understand how it is that you read the remark to mean you. I don’t think it was intended as such, but I see how you perceived it as meaning you. And while I do not see you as remotely racist, I also do not see how race, and the importance of race, can be removed from a discussion about Dinkins and the mayor he tried to be, the changes he so badly wanted to see made, and the ways in which he hoped they could be. It wasn’t time yet.

    Anyway. I appreciate you and hope you’ll come back.

  • Denton and all;

    I’m not going to let your statement be the end of this issue, as it is so highly disingenuous that it deserves comment.

    I am not sure what it means to be on the “left” or “right” in this day and age when it comes to race. I take it that you believe that you are enlightened on these matters. Well, let me be the first to inform you that you are full of it.

    I make a comment about the fact that Dinkins was negligent about an official mayoral duty (visiting the family of a murdered tourist), and you and your cohorts are ready to play the race card on me. I made no reference to race, but you can look into my heart and know my criticsm is really anger at seeing a black man playing tennis.

    At the same time you would have me believe this, I would suggest to all the readers that they take a look at some of your discussions in this forum with The What (some of which I’ve been involved in). Here is a person who spews out the most vulgar, racist, misogynist, homophobic tirades on any ocassion possible, yet you talk to the guy like he’s just some poor mis-understood soul who’s really a good guy at heart.

    Moreover, not a week goes by in this forum without some article and accompanying thread to the effect of “How can those stupid guineas and new-mafia Russians get so much money for those tacky homes in Mill Basin and Dyker Heights”? Funny, but I don’t see you and the other enlightened ones speak up on those occassions. Don’t believe me? Do a search with the word “guido” on Brownstoner.

    I’ll let you talk amongst yourselves. You are the enlightened ones – you don’t need some racist like me around. Who needs a different voice around when you are the enlightened ones?

  • Well, Benson, I searched for “guido” on Brownstoner’s search engine, and “mafia” and “Russian+Mafia” and “Russian Mafia,” too.

    For guido I came on an article about neighborhood house tours, scrolled through the thread, and didn’t come on the word.

    For “mafia” I hit several pieces referring to Park Slope’s stroller mafia (amusing!). Blanks for Russian+Mafia and Russian Mafia.

    (As a former Brooklynite, I’m fascinated by the Mafia. For one reason: my Park-Slope grandmother, who was considered quite a beauty in her time, was pursued by a gangster during the 20’s! What a scandal that was!)

    By bringing up Dinkins’ crime effort earlier in this thread I didn’t intend to open a conversation that would so alienate you.

    I recall during a Thanksgiving exchange about Fulton Street you remembered catching a cat fish in Prospect Park as part of the “A ‘n S” kids’ rod and reel competition.

    I was pretty jealous. (Still am, as a matter of fact.)

    Good luck.


  • NOP;

    I appreciate your thoughts.

    I didn’t realize that Brownstoner’s search function doesn’t work on the dialogue in the threads. So, just to show you that I wasn’t BS’ing, here are two links I quickly found by doing a brief neighborhood search under Dyker Heights and Brighton Beach:

    You read through these comments, and then tell me if there isn’t a hint of class and ethnic superiority in them.

    Normally, I let these go, as I am pretty thin-skinned and I realize that most folks are just having a few laughs. As you can see, however, some of these folks ARE serious in their comments. Where was Denton and the other self-appointed moralists when these comments were being made?

    Let me cool off, and maybe I’ll be back.