Sunday, August 17, 2014
This is what the 200 block of Valley Street looked like this morning, when, while on my way to the gym, I was diverted up Emerson due to the crime scene tape and police cars, both marked and unmarked. The unmarked, presumably belonging to homicide detectives. For at around 2 am, a 58-year old man, an innocent bystander while within the confines of his own home, was fatally struck by a stray bullet. On his birthday. While playing solitaire, on his computer, in, again I'll say, his own home.
Although this small neighborhood which is nestled on the side of a gorgeous cliff face known as West Rock is only right around the corner and three blocks down from the gated apartment complex in which I live, it is a world away. Possibly several, worlds away.
And that is the story of New Haven.
In Philadelphia, as well as many other large cities, the crime-invested impoverished areas last for miles. Miles of dilapidation and drug corners, that eventually transitions into slightly more affable areas. And then the suburbs, and then the farmlands. But not here in New Haven, Connecticut.
Here, you have one city block of picket fences, mansions even, such is the case on Huntingdon Street, and one block down is decrepit front porches, boarded up windows and pairs of sneakers dangling from wires. Or in this case, Valley Street, being lined with housing projects and urban decay, yet the very next parallel avenue to the south is Whalley, a posh thoroughfare complete with breakfast cafes and yoga studios. And let's not forget Yale University backs into the scariest neighborhood in the city.
I've never seen anything like it.
But New Haven is my city for now. And this angers me.
Let's just hope the New Haven police, whom I have the utmost respect for, can solve this heinous crime and bring the guy or guys to justice. For I'll never understand how anyone, with the exception of being a soldier in a war zone can resort to gun shots to resolve their issue.