Monday, June 13, 2005

Not in MY neighborhood, thank goodness

Even with cleaner subways, Disney in Times Square, and no smoking in bars, people still get shot all the time here. One of the first guilty questions most people reading their Post or Daily News have is: What neighborhood did it happen in? You can call it snootiness or NIMBY syndrome, but I think it's more of a big-city coping mechanism, made possible by real estate brokers' need to further and further atomize the city.

"That man was shot in Harlem! Gosh, thank goodness, I'm safe here in Hamilton Heights."

What outsiders may consider splitting of hairs, we might consider peace of mind. And when the person is shot, but does not die (thankfully), we seem to take even more license in having our minds wander to the pressing question of neighborhood, as seen in this Gothamist post, which starts off discussing how a tourist from Baltimore was shot and ends up musing on what section of the city it happened in. Flatiron? 20-something? South Koreatown? NoFlaB: North of the Flatiron Building? NoMad: North of Madison Square Park?

Oh, and here's a strange detail from the Newsday story: "As she was being wheeled off on a gurney for an X-ray yesterday, [the victim] appeared alert and even smiled." She must've been thinking of the T-shirt she could make: I Hit Up New York on a Bus Trip and All I Got Was This Bullet Scar.

(Why does living here bringing out the gallows humor in me?)

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