They’re watching you.
–Hall & Oates
My neighbor and colleague was telling me of a conversation he had with other neighbors on our street about Oktoberfest. He went to tell them about one of cops he was semi-flirting with, while I stood about absolutely uninterested. The conversation between him and the two female neighbors got on to the type of guys they have seen me and my roommate with, and speculation about our preferences. Don’t let the emptiness of our street fool you, the neighbors are watching.
While keeping a eye out for no-goodniks, loud kids, and what not, they also take in who visits what house, what kids belong to what house, and everything else that happens on the block. This has proven to be good for crime prevention in the case of the attempted break-in at B&L’s house. But upon finding out what my neighbors have gathered on their own it reaffirms that if it is out in the street, it isn’t private.
6 thoughts on “Neighborhood Watch”
The Neighborhood Watch is a prime component not only of gentrification, but what comes after gentrification – trendyization.
I bought a townhouse in 1995 in Fairlington (Arlington and a small part of Alexandria) Virginia in 1995 for $150,000. The same townhouse would sell for $450,000 today if I put it on the market and would sell in 1 day.
Fairlington is a large condo community that was built as “affordable housing” for defense workers during World War II. It was refurbished and converted to condos 30 years ago. For 50 years, Fairlington WAS affordable housing. No longer.
In 1999 Fairlington received Historic Designation from the Federal Governmentand the state of Virginia.
I am a schoolteacher. I am also bisexual, tending toward lesbian. I am out about my sexuality. I am not “trendy.”
First, we do not have a Neighborhood Watch here, but “community leaders” are trying to start one. There are few members of minority groups who live here. We do not have any problems with drug dealers, criminal activity, vandalism, car theft, etc.
We do have a problem with a group of trendy elitists who are in their 50’s and grew up in segregated suburbs in the 1950’s and 60’s.
These people want to recreate the suburbs of their childhoods and are in the proces of doing so.
The middle class has been gentrified out of Fairlington. Now the Elitists are after anyone who is “non-conforming.”
Who are these Elitists? They are the American equivalents of the people one sees in British sitcoms broadcast on PBS. They are bored and malicious as hell.
If you are a non-conforming gay man or lesbian, they want you OUT. Who are the “non-conforming” gay men and lesbians? Anyone who is not closeted or is not “straight acting.”
Did I also mention anyone who exhibits “middle class tendencies” and/or “bohemian tendencies” is also not welcome. If you are a minority group member you bettter not be seen within 1/2 mile of their home, or you will be reported as a “suspicious person.”
These people use rumors, neighborhood watch type activities, and the police to make life uncomfortable for anyone they dislike. They get on condo boards and they get on a first name basis with police officers. They are neighborhood watch advocates and want to get themselves made “block captains.”
I cannot recommend strongly enough that anyone who lives in a neighborhood with the aforementioned type of “community leader” start a Neighborhood Watch Watch. You should also find a civil rights attorney and join the ACLU.
If you are not “trendy” you will be the subject of malicious gossip, and worse. Your activities will be reportd to the police. People in the neighborhood will start to avoid you. You may be reported to the police as a “suspicious person” for getting a bag of groceries out of your car. If you are dating a younger bohemian lesbian it will be reported.
Wonder what happens when a community is totally gentrified? Watch a British sitcom on PBS.
The Neighborhood Watch program eventually drives everyone who does not totally conform to the ongoing Yuppie Elitist BS out of a neighborhood.
I’m a 30 yr old F stockbroker and like to party with a 20 yr old Goth gurlfriend. We live on the top floor of a restored home and the neighborhood watch has actually asked if my gurlfriend is over 18. I am sure this information was reported to the police.
I’m trying to figure out for the life of me why a year old post is getting so much traffic.
Right now I’m trying to practice this week’s magic word “forbearance”. The gist of the original post was that the neighbors are aware of the comings and goings on the street and on the one hand is is annoying if you are a private person, on the other it has kept crime (break-ins, drug dealers hanging out in front of houses, etc) down. We don’t have an official “Neighborhood Watch” and street crime here is a real problem.
This blog comes up in a google search of neighborhood watch and gentrification. There is starting to be concern in the GLBT community about what happens if there is a NW and little or no crime in the neighborhood.
If you are not closeted or straight acting the real estate agents and upscale Martha Stewart Living residents will start rumors about you and tell the Neighborhood Watch that you are a druggie. Notice all the references to Neighborhood Watch removing “criminals and drug dealers” from a neighborhood undergoing gentrification. I would like to know where the GenX hedonists obtain their pot and cocaine and why they never seem to be bothered by a Neighborhood Watch after they gentrify a neighborhood.
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