Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kids on a Condo

9/30 Update:
This post was featured in Chelsea Now's "Buzz" column and they supplied some more info on the topic.

click image to read

Original Post:
The exterior of the condo building at 18th St. and 8th Ave. is finished, complete with a bank on its first floor where there used to be a popular cafe/restaurant.

Now the spot is most popular with the throngs of thuggy teenagers who spill out of the high school on 18th every day. For weeks they've been flocking to the condo's comfy slate ledge, where they perch, preen, and agitate the afternoon away, smoking cigarettes and spilling sticky cola onto the slate.

my flickr

Recently, a little fence of yellow caution tape went up. I can only assume that the tape is meant to keep these kids off. But these kids are a force to be reckoned with.


Anonymous said...

Thuggy? The word "thug" has a racist connotation. If that's not what you meant, then what's the basis for saying the kids are thugs? You say they are preening, smoking cigarettes and drinking Cokes. Sounds like normal American teen behavior to me.

Perhaps you as an individual are unnerved by small groups of dark-skinned young people. But your feelings about them does not make these young people inherently dangerous. Young people of color are harassed and targeted by the police for many of the over 500,000 stop-and-frisks that NYPD does every year. (90% of those stops end without even a ticket being written).

Let's not contribute to an environment which places our young people at risk for encounters with the police which ruin their "quality-of-life" at best, and at worst, can turn deadly.

Queens Crapper said...

I call Dennis Gallagher and his cronies "thugs" all the time. A thug is a thug. There are no racial overtones to the word. If you associate thugs with people of color then maybe you are the one with the problem.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Thanks for pointing this out. To be clear, I did not say they were thugs and I don't consider them to be in any way dangerous. They do adopt the thuggy style of baggy pants, sideways ball caps, etc. "Thuggy" in this context is not inherently racist, but a culturally specific reference to signifiers of a certain style. That was my meaning. And I do wonder if their color and "thuggy style" is being reacted to by the condo folks. Would thuggily dressed white kids get such a fence? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

The word thug does not have a racist connotation.

If anything it relates to India where the Thuggee cult was a band of criminals in the 17th Century.

Learn something before you toss around claims of racist language so easily.

Anonymous said...

The Chelsea Now writer states that the condo units were bought for "Upwards of 15 million per unit". this is factually incorrect, like WAY incorrect. besides that though, do you think the rent stabilized tenants who live in the area surrounding the school enjoy the thugs completely blocking the stoops, preventing anyone from entering or leaving the building. And if you say anything to them, you get cursed out? Yeah, they're just sweet little innocent children. And in fact some of them are dangerous, as I personally witnessed one thug with a gun inside his jacket.

Anonymous said...

e.c. needs to check a dictionary, thugs racist connotations derive from the Hindi "thag" which meant cheat or thief, and from Sanskrit "sthaga" meaning robber. The word pertained originally to a group of professional assasins in northern India. The American Heritage Dictionary's first definition is a cutthroat or ruffian. Check a dictionary before sharpening your ax, e.c. You may be grinding it "dull".


Anonymous said...

I think you Anons misunderstood e.c.’s point. I don’t think e.c. meant to make any illusions to the historical definition of “thug”, but rather to point out that just because people are young and black and dressed in hip-hop fashions doesn’t make them “thugs” (and I don’t mean worshippers of the dread Khali), which is a way it can be interpreted in the article, though obviously this was not Jeremiah's intention.
I suppose e.c. made the mistake of not clarifying that he was referring to the connotation of the word “thuggy” within the article, not the historical connotations of the word itself.
Hope this helps!