Monday, July 20, 2009

I spent the weekend before last in New York City with my daughter, who is living in Harlem. My first trip to NY--quite interesting, since I've never lived in a city over 30,000 population.

The Apollo theater is unimpressive from the outside.

There is apparently a chain of street vendors that sell incense and Shea Butter--nearly identical tables on several successive blocks. Every other table was Michael Jackson merchandise. There are a bunch of vendors near Times Square openly selling watches that if real would be thousands each. I didn't check prices , but I would expect a lot more security on a case with over $500,000 in merchandise.

A constant barrage of people chanting sales pitches for DVD's, CD's, loose cigarettes, Rrrrolex, rrrrolex. (with a trilled R)

Lots and lots of signs announcing rules and penalties that everyone ignores.

Didn't have a problem parking near my daughter's place, but when I'd go to get something out of the car, people would ask if I was leaving. Lots of storefront churches on her block. On Sunday morning, there were double parked cars all up and down her street.

I'm not used to seeing homeless people, flamboyantly gay people, or flamboyantly gay homeless. One of the places we went by was the neighborhood of the Stonewall Inn, where all three were present.

New York pizza is great.

I kept forgetting to bring my camera when we were going to photogenic places..


  1. That sounds like a wonderful trip. Did you carry a gun? I'm guessing it wouldn't have been allowed, am I right? Did you wish you had one? Did you see any dangerous situations or people? Harlem is famous for that isn't it?

  2. New York State has extremely strict laws for handguns--they require a license to even handle a handgun, so you can't take an unlicensed friend to the range. Carry licenses are discriminatory, and a state carry license is not valid in the City. In the city there are only a few hundred licenses, mostly held by wealthy celebrities.

    New York State officials also have a reputation for ignoring Federal safe passage law that allows transport of an unloaded handgun on a trip. (that law would not have applied to me, since I stayed overnight) Because it is impractical for me to avoid New York, I have not brought a handgun.

    New York City and Harlem crime rates have improved drastically over the last decades--from what I understand, there was a time when it would not have been safe for my daughter to even visit, let alone live there.

  3. Sevesteen's Kid1:10 AM

    I actually love my neighboorhood. It's relativly safe for me to go grab some late-night food at odd hours of the early morning. I'm not saying that it's the -safest- thing to do, but I've not been harrased or otherwise scared off yet.

    For the most part, what I've learned here, is that except for exceedingly rare cases, if you keep to yourself, and are somewhat civil, the worse you'll get is a walk-by cussing.

    And yeah, pretty much if someone has a gun here, they're a cop or some sort of criminal. Sad, but true. No 'normal' people can have guns.

  4. The City is a wonderful, wonderful place to visit. And the food is beyond compare. But the legal philosophy... Well, I wouldn't want to live there.

    So basically, it's like New Jersey, only much, much harder. ;)

  5. Realized I didn't completely answer MikeB's questions

    I would have been slightly more comfortable if I'd been able to carry my gun in NYC, but the lack wasn't significant. If I felt I needed a gun to go there safely, I'd go somewhere else instead.

    I've been home since, and I'm now back in Pennsylvania, where I'm licensed. I could easily avoid NY for the remainder of my trip, but it isn't important enough to me to be worth the bother.

    On a political level, it does bother me a bit that because NY law doesn't allow me to posses even an unloaded gun, I'm effectively restricted in states where I can legally carry concealed.

  6. Thanks, Sevesteen and Sevesteen's Kid, It's a pleasure dealing with you; I know I'll always get straight answers.