Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

More on All the Bang Bang in Boerum Hill

November 14th, 2008 · 15 Comments

There has been some followup on the shooting in Boerum Hill earlier this week on the Boerum Hill email list. Here are some additional detail on the gunplay:

There were 13 shots in all that night. It was the third shooting incident in the same 2 block area in the past three months. As a proud resident of Boerum Hill and parent I would love the members of the group to try & take on what has been a growing level of gun violence in the neighborhood. These gunfights have been on the outer edge of the neighborhoods gentrification but clearly there has to be an effort to find solutions that address the needs of both the brownstoners & the people in the projects. Nobody wants the senseless violence that ends with police helicopters flying through our neighborhood. The 84th precincts & 78th precinct should end the bickering over the pretend line that separates the zones & I for one would be happy to participate in some community organizing that helps to heal our neighbor.

Also, here is a bit more info, along with some scary detail:

We live on the corner of Nevins & Warren. There were 7-9 shots from the Wyckoff Garden complex, one person was shot twice and several bullets hit a minivan parked on Nevins, and one stray bullet went through our downstairs neighbor’s window. Luckily no one was home, but we’re really concerned – I’ve been here 7 years, and there’s always been the occasional gun shot in the neighborhood, but definitely a lot more in recent months.

Our coop president is writing to the commanders of the two precincts (Nevins St. is the border of the 78th and the 84th) asking for increased patrols – in the past, this seemed to be standard procedure when anything happened, but haven’t seen anything this time. Also, think we need to let them know that these incidents really affect the surrounding neighborhood, and aren’t just things that happen in the project. Not sure exactly what else we can do immediately (does anyone have any info on bulletproof windows/shutters?)

We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that when people are wondering about bulletproof windows and shutters that there may be a problem that the NYPD might want to think about addressing, jurisidictional disputes betwween precincts notwithstanding.

Tags: Boerum Hill · Crime · Uncategorized

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sal // Nov 14, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I say this with all due respect. I agree this is a problem but why is everyone acting like this is a new phenomena? Where was everyone ten years ago when you heard gunfire in the neighborhood almost nightly? Where three homes down from me on Dean Street there was a crack house and people were being mugged in front of my building? I appreciate that people who just moved here were expecting the suburbs of Connecticut but honestly, it has gotten much better in the past ten or so years.

  • 2 spnder // Nov 14, 2008 at 11:47 am

    With all due respect, Sal, the person who wrote the bottom post said they’d been there seven years.

    Regardless, just because things are better than they were 10 years ago doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be concerned about an uptick in crime.

  • 3 Brenda from Flatbush // Nov 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    The well-intentioned folks who want to “heal their neighbor” as well as protect their own safety will have to address the culture of suspicion of the police that reportedly exists inside the projects. If the folks at closest range and highest risk still subscribe to the “Snitches Get Stitches” and “warn-a-brotha” philosophy I’ve seen on T-shirts in such areas, then you might as well just put up a Lexan shield over your brownstone and call it a day. The trajectory of a bullet into a gentrified neighborhood crosses a cultural as well as a geographic divide, and I wish luck to all these neighbors in bridging it.

  • 4 Bob // Nov 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    It’s that good old yuppie sense of entitlement… They move to a lousy neighborhood and expect it to be like the Upper Westside. If you move to Nevins and Warren you get Nevins and Warren not Columbus Avenue. Also… love people from Ohio who call themselves “a proud residenent of Boerum Hill”.

  • 5 Jack // Nov 14, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Sal said it better than I could. Crime has always been a part of Boerum Hill. It’s a fact of life here. And it’s been much worse in the past than it is now. So if anyone is truly shocked, I’d suggest just moving. If you can’t move and want to fight back, the reality is this: As long as you have isolated blocks of public housing near you like the Gowanus Houses and Wycoff Gardens 100% of nothing will change. I know there are good people living there who have no choice, but there are gangs, there are dealers and they aren’t going away.

  • 6 spnder // Nov 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Being realistic, sure, problems are going to continue in and around the projects. But I think it’s really small minded whenever these posts come along and people say just say Deal With It like there’s nothing that can be done to make it better. Not “all better” – just better.

    Let’s be honest- there’s often a certain smacking of schadenfreude when people talk about gentrifiers moving into the hood. But guess what: those brownstones were already there long before any of us were. Day to day it might seem like nothing will change, but it has, and it will continue to.

    Why not try to change it into a positive direction?

  • 7 zoofroy // Nov 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Spnder, thank you for bringing a much needed bit of perspective to this issue. I just moved to Nevins and Wykoff from the Lower East Side, and I lived across the street from a project there too. And no, there were not weekly reports of gun shots there, even though it’s pretty craptacular in many corners.

    So Sal, I appreciate the perspective that you bring as a long time resident, but just because someone is alarmed by gun fights on their streets doesn’t mean they mistakenly moved to the suburbs of Connecticut.

    A yuppie from suburban Connecticut.

  • 8 Eric // Nov 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Amen, spnder. It’ way better than 10 years ago, but it could be better still. What if everyone just said “deal with it” about the level of violence a decade back.

  • 9 Jack // Nov 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    spndr, I think you’re mixing hopes with reality. I think everyone in Boerum Hill wishes things could be better. But as long as there’s an active drug trade, gang activity and even prostitution, then nothing will change. You’ll always have this kind of stuff until that stuff goes away.

    The main reason a lot of people move into brownstones here is they are physically nice and aesthetically pleasing. They got a good deal (ie: a “bargain”). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out if you’re across the street from a major housing project you’re going to have problems.

    Heck, compare notes with the gallery owners in Chelsea who deal with similar issues in their neighborhood.

  • 10 Dina // Nov 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    For what it’s worth, I’ve lived in Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill for most of the last 15 years. I lived right near Smith Street back when it was all bodegas and you didn’t want to take the F train home at night, and I lived on the corner of Bergen and Nevins for 4 years until 2 years ago, when I moved to the Upper West Side. So, yes, I had 2 years of life in a different tax bracket, but I very happily came home to Bergen and Nevins about a month ago. And I can tell you – the crime IS worse than it was 2 years ago when I left. I don’t remember ever hearing gunshots. The laundromat on my corner was never robbed at gunpoint (until a few weeks before I moved back). And sure, people got mugged once in a while, but never during rush hour (which we’ve also heard reports of now).

    So how do we, as a community, make it better? Why are we bickering about who’s a “real” Brooklynite and who’s not?

  • 11 S // Nov 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Yeah I have to say that where I live in Brooklyn, I hear gunshots about once a week.

    I don’t get why this is such a shocking story.

  • 12 Jack // Nov 14, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Dina, maybe another angle to explore is this: The neighborhood has always had issues, but we’re now in the midst of a recession and there are more people out there “exploring other options” instead of getting paid $8 – $9 at Circuit City.

    So you know what might be the ultimate solution to this? Another “New Deal” or WPA era. Give people real jobs that do real things to really help the community and then watch things calm down.


  • 13 dave // Nov 14, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Just because bad things happen alot do not make them OK.

  • 14 Dina // Nov 15, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Jack, I couldn’t agree with you more. Hopefully things will start to change for the better all over the country. Is it January 20th yet? 🙂

  • 15 Old Fashioned // Nov 15, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Oh Brother.