Basically the flip side of this thread. What areas of your city should people be afraid of, but for whatever reason aren’t?
I live in Pittsburgh, and for some reason, people aren’t afraid enough of Squirrel Hill. It has a lot of positives - a nice business district that other neighborhoods don’t really have, a great bakery and a delis that I frequent weekly, and (lust) the closest Dunkin Donuts to me.
But a few years ago, young people stopped living there (and in Shadyside, where they still live) and started living in the South Side. Because of the shift, rents are down in Squirrel Hill, and apartments are being filled by people from neighboring communities who are lower-income. The result is that the two biggest anchor stores along the business strip - a Barnes and Noble and a Panera - have closed in the past few months, and a few more smaller storefronts change hands frequently or go unfilled. These changes don’t have anything to do with the economy, but rather the clientele - a Panera in another section of the city actually gets less business, but was kept open.*
Subsequently, there’s been a sharp increase in armed robberies, people loitering, profanity shouted across street sections, different ambiance in restaurants and so on. There’s marked tension between the old guard (predominately Jewish and older money, as it’s solidly upper-middle class) and the newer residents.
A few months ago I went into a jewelry store that was robbed at gunpoint ten minutes beforehand. Cops told me that it’s been happening somewhat frequently, more so in the area than similar demographic areas of the city. There’s been a string of armed robberies, of both stores and individual muggings, yet the police presence hasn’t increased whatsoever. I’m surprised a neighborhood watch hasn’t sprung up, or that local businesspeople haven’t decided to do anything (visible, at least).
So as a result of the neighborhood going down, I don’t spend time there late at night. If I eat at the deli, it’s earlier in the night, ditto grabbing a loaf of bread. I’d never go to a bar in the area, and I won’t be getting ice cream and strolling around there in the summers, like I used to enjoy.
On the flip side, I’m ethnically mixed**, and I often get dirty looks, as though I’m contributing to the overall downturn of the neighborhood. I was screamed at to “go back to where I came from” when an angry wealthy housewife thought I parked too close to her luxury car. Ironically, my car cost as much as hers, so it’s both financial and racial.
Nobody seems to either be admitting the problem (my old boss’s boss is FIRMLY in denial) and everyone else just brushes it off, perhaps too afraid to say anything. That’s how your neighborhood gets taken over, and I"m sorry to see it happen.
*Cite is a friend who is an employee.
**Not black, as are most new residents, but I sometimes am mistaken being half.