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View Full Version : Tough White Neighborhoods?



Molloy
April 29th, 2012, 02:28 PM
Are there any predominantly 'white' neighborhoods in NYC today that could be reasonably described as Tough? Or ghetto? I'm aware that there are some people on here who will cry "racism!" but for the sensible majority, I'm attempting to write a book set in today's New York City and I really need to know the answer to this question. Thank you. :)

stache
April 29th, 2012, 03:11 PM
Maybe Red Hook, but that's stretching it.

mariab
April 30th, 2012, 04:00 PM
Stay out of the Park Avenue area. My car broke down there once. People were looking at me nervously until I had my car towed away. I noticed a cop car was parked a couple of blocks away the whole time and left when I left.

Molloy
April 30th, 2012, 07:18 PM
Thanks Stache! And mariab, a future in stand-up comedy awaits you. Hilarious!

mariab
April 30th, 2012, 07:36 PM
All kidding aside, I've read two different times in the past year Bensonhurst, Brooklyn ain't what it used to be. As far as Manhattan itself, couldn't help you.

Molloy
April 30th, 2012, 08:03 PM
Thank you Mariab for your input. What did Bensonhurst used to be? I've read the biography of Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano recently. Is that the neighborhood you mean? As for Manhattan, is Alphabet City a mainly white neighborhood?

stache
April 30th, 2012, 09:54 PM
Not really. It's more Latin. You can't base this town on what it used to be 20 years ago.

mariab
May 1st, 2012, 03:57 PM
What did Bensonhurst used to be? With a few exceptions a mostly family-oriented place to live, largely Italian, but I've read the crime rate over there is up. Don't know why, I haven't really looked into it. You may want to check it out for yourself.

lofter1
May 1st, 2012, 10:11 PM
Tough White Neighborhoods in NYC?

Just in the movies, and even then you have to go back a decade or two:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAUjG410hH4

antinimby
May 1st, 2012, 11:21 PM
Bensonhurst is no longer predominant Italian and isn't "tough."

Howard Beach is the closest to what the OP is looking for and even then it might not even be considered white anymore.

The question posed is about 20 years too late.

stache
May 2nd, 2012, 07:39 AM
I have to say, I'm really tired of people perpetuating the 'big dirty city' concept. It's hopelessly out of date except for places like Detroit or Baltimore.

LeCom
May 2nd, 2012, 02:07 PM
And Philly. And Cleveland. And Southside Chicago. And Toledo. And... well, you get the point. The list goes on and on. New York is the safest big city in the US, and in general things around the country's cities aren't as bad as, say, 20 years ago, but there are still plenty of poor and destitute urban locations scattered across the country.

stache
May 2nd, 2012, 02:55 PM
Center City is quite nice imho. South Chicago has been a toilet for close to the last 100 years, and I don't think anyone's very concerned about that. Anywhere in Ohio I would lump in with Baltimore and Detroit. That's part of flyover land - places that hold no attraction for the sophisticated public.

LeCom
May 3rd, 2012, 04:13 PM
Of course, every city has nice parts. Center City can give Manhattan a run for its money by offering things that Manhattan can't offer, like a genuine pre-Revolutionary colonial city experience. However, it doesn't change the fact that there are still countless acres of flavelas in North, West, Southwest and South Philly where even the cops have a hard time keeping the peace. Grand, old, dilapidated cities are the blessing and the curse of the Rust Belt, and Giuliani did not magically wipe out grit all across the country like he did in New York, or at least Manhattan.


South Chicago has been a toilet for close to the last 100 years, and I don't think anyone's very concerned about that.
What kind of an approach is that? What if a Chicagoan in the 80's said that Harlem is a toilet and it's not worth improving because no one is concerned?

stache
May 3rd, 2012, 05:42 PM
Trust me, many of them did. Plus (for some reason) you're comparing Manhattan (an island) to cities like Philly or Chicago that have a large continuous land mass. While we're on the subject, Manhattan is still not 100% hunky dory.

Ninjahedge
May 4th, 2012, 08:48 AM
Even 20 years ago was not bad. We are getting OLD here. It was the 70's and 80's that had the worst rep for NYC, with massive changes starting to shift in the 90's both in NYC and surrounding municipalities (Hoboken and JC for example). By the late 90's there was not much left.

stache
May 4th, 2012, 09:32 AM
^ Agree.

lofter1
May 4th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Toughest white neighborhood: You might want to talk to some of the older women you can find around Mulberry Street (in what used to be John Gotti's territory), who are about as tough as they come and don't take no sh!t from anybody.

Molloy
May 4th, 2012, 07:45 PM
I believe Mulberry Street today has been almost entirely swallowed up by Chinatown and is now basically a Little Italy 'theme park' with Asian shopkeepers selling 'Fuggedaboudit' and 'Badda-Bing' t-shirts to tourists. Shame!

stache
May 4th, 2012, 08:44 PM
Yes and NoLiTa trendzoids. Odd combination.

eddhead
May 7th, 2012, 02:13 PM
Center City is quite nice imho. South Chicago has been a toilet for close to the last 100 years, and I don't think anyone's very concerned about that. Anywhere in Ohio I would lump in with Baltimore and Detroit. That's part of flyover land - places that hold no attraction for the sophisticated public.

I agree with you, for the most part Philly is nice. I hate Columbus, but not because it is unsafe, just boring. Same with Cleveland. Baltimore and Detroit are dives. And most of Chicago (sans the south side) is really very nice. The wife and I are talking about moving either into the city, or North / North West.

eddhead
May 7th, 2012, 02:15 PM
I believe Mulberry Street today has been almost entirely swallowed up by Chinatown and is now basically a Little Italy 'theme park' with Asian shopkeepers selling 'Fuggedaboudit' and 'Badda-Bing' t-shirts to tourists. Shame!
Mulberry Street is still largely Italian from Canal all the way up to the end of "Little Italy". Even up to Spring Street there are still Italians although north or Grand you start to see more and more Asian influence.


I wonder if you are mistaking Mulberry for Mott.

stache
May 7th, 2012, 06:50 PM
I'm going to nitpick a little here and say that there are some really crappy parts of Philly. My main argument is that cities that have a sizable 'nice' area should be distinguished from the largely hopeless cases.

eddhead
May 7th, 2012, 07:02 PM
Agreed, that is why I wrote "for the most part". Still I like Philly a lot.

stache
May 7th, 2012, 11:20 PM
I might wind up retiring there.

LeCom
May 8th, 2012, 10:32 AM
I'm going to nitpick a little here and say that there are some really crappy parts of Philly. My main argument is that cities that have a sizable 'nice' area should be distinguished from the largely hopeless cases.

Makes sense. Philly can be quite a dump but it's far, far from hopeless. It's no Detroit, that's for sure.

ZippyTheChimp
May 8th, 2012, 10:38 AM
Way off topic.

infoshare
May 8th, 2012, 11:52 AM
I hear you can get a good cheese steak sandwich in Philly. Chestnut Hill is definitely "white" - but not too "tough" from what I have seen. Just having a bit of fun here as we eventually ger back on- topic.

cheers

Ninjahedge
May 16th, 2012, 11:03 AM
Way off topic.

Was the topic so important that it needed to be kept to?


Even the OP is going with the flow.....

stache
May 16th, 2012, 11:59 AM
I think this thread has run its course.

ZippyTheChimp
May 16th, 2012, 12:22 PM
Was the topic so important that it needed to be kept to?It has nothing to do with the topic being important.

So many threads morph into this city compared to that city. Same old.

A question was asked in relation to writing a modern novel about "tough white New York." Don't get many of those.

Is it even possible, or would it be dated by definition? Also speaks to a persistent viewpoint of New York.

stache
May 16th, 2012, 01:19 PM
Also a viewpoint of cities in general.

guest212
May 16th, 2012, 11:43 PM
The people posting do not know what they are talking about.

Howard Beach = Mostly Italian, Middle Class, THE MOB.

DYKER HEIGHTS Brooklyn = Mostly Italian, THE MOB.

Bensonhurst - Roughly 50,000 Lower Middle Class Italians still reside here.

Brighton Beach = Russian street toughs and MAFIA everywhere.

Astoria = Lower Middle Class Greeks, tough sections still exist.

Middle Village = Some White lower class here

Fresh Pond = Polish low class

Greenpoint = Polish Low Class

Williamsburg = Lower Middle Class Jews , however religious.

Pelham Bay Bronx = Italians, Mob families are active there.

Pelham Parkways = Middle Class whites

INWOOD = small amounts of Irish low class left

HELLS KITCHEN MANHATTAN = remnants of lower class whites still active, including active members of the westies irish crime group, they stay hidden in the building, no longer street presence

Lower East Side = Some Low class Jewish families

Knickerbocker Village LES = low class whites "2 bridges"

Marine Park Brooklyn = Lower class Irish Americans

Mulberry Street Manhattan = Lower Class Italians are still present, but no longer raise families there

Gravesend Brooklyn = Russian/Italian lower class

Bath Beach Brooklyn = Some lower class italians still live here

some in queens i forgot to mention but these are the main ones.

ALSO = Staten island has some tough areas with poor whites.

You people have to realize it's by ETHNIC GROUP in neighborhoods, I hate to say it, but the Italians and Irish generally fit into this category for "tough white neighborhood" I have my facts straight and have lived in NYC 29 years. born and raised.

lofter1
May 17th, 2012, 12:05 AM
"tough" in my book means they show it publicly and others stay in line because of it.

stache
May 17th, 2012, 08:11 AM
Really. How tough are these Westies that no longer venture out to the street?

ZippyTheChimp
May 17th, 2012, 08:14 AM
The people posting do not know what they are talking about.Your post is little more than a census profile.

If you're 29 years old, you missed most of it. Characterizing today's Hell's Kitchen as a "tough white neighborhood" or "tough anything neighborhood" is outdated.

stache
May 17th, 2012, 08:17 AM
1937 called -

ZippyTheChimp
May 17th, 2012, 08:24 AM
Well, you do have to steer clear of those low-class Jewish hooligans on the LES.

scumonkey
May 17th, 2012, 01:17 PM
I've lived in Hells Kitchen longer than guest 212 has been alive...The Westies were not much more than a rumor 30 years ago...
The worst (crack heads and prostitutes) seamed to disappear more than 20 years ago.
The toughest thing in the neighborhood now is traffic :D

mariab
May 17th, 2012, 03:37 PM
low class

What is your definition of low class?

ZippyTheChimp
May 17th, 2012, 06:17 PM
Follow the thread, mariab.

mariab
May 17th, 2012, 07:39 PM
I am. I want to hear what guest212's definition of low class was as listed in his/her post.

ZippyTheChimp
May 17th, 2012, 07:45 PM
Maybe I should follow the thread. :)

Bingo
May 17th, 2012, 08:37 PM
They replaced it with Lincoln Center. ;):D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exGJsv6ZNlo

Molloy
May 20th, 2012, 09:42 AM
What have I started? Haha! Thank you very much for your input everyone. I'll go with Howard Beach.
By the way, there's a place in Ther Bronx called Woodlawn that is almost entirely Irish. And I don't mean Irish-Americans, I mean people from Ireland. (Did I mention I'm in Ireland?) But that's not what I was looking for. McLean Avenue and Katonah Avenue are full of Irish bars and people with Irish accents. I was there for 3 months in 2004 and visited friends there again in 2009. The locals call Woodlawn 'Spudlawn' as in spuds (potatoes) coz of all the Irish.
I love NYC like no other place on earth. The history, the neighborhoods, the people. Everything! (especially the history) Unfortunately I found it impossible to obtain a green card in 2004 (my life-long dream) and had to leave the US before my 3 month vacation visa expired. But hey, they let Bono buy an apartment on the Upper East Side and he's from here too, so when I sell as many books as U2 have sold records, I'll buy the one above his! :-)

mariab
May 20th, 2012, 10:27 PM
Good luck. Bono UES? Hm. Seems more like an UWS guy. Or even downtown.

lofter1
May 21st, 2012, 01:50 AM
If you come to NYC with enough cash to buy a condo chances are they'll sell to you, no matter who you are.

stache
May 21st, 2012, 04:47 AM
Yes. Condos in particular.

Ninjahedge
May 22nd, 2012, 05:10 PM
Condo, condo con-DO!

[/condo line.]

Seriously, the worst I got was having guys try to spit-wash my uncles windshield going to a Yankees game back in... 1980 or so? ("Billy's Back" ring any bells?)... '83 I think....

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ7MrTCG9JQQKZqS1rA_ws5CtGqUAM31 gv4CZIxrHl3J5MZX4OCzKWjgW3e

Bingo
June 1st, 2012, 06:19 PM
Here's a photo I took at the Woodlawn/McLean ave first annual St. Paddy's Day parade on March 24th this year.

15488

stache
June 1st, 2012, 06:45 PM
Ruffians!

Don31
June 6th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Nice picture

david11238
July 8th, 2012, 09:35 PM
Gerritsen Beach
Marine Park
Brighton Beach
parts of Coney Island
parts of Far Rockaway. Mostly the shacks hugging Jamaica Bay
City Island
Dyker Heights
Bensonhurst
Bath Beach
Broad Channel
Arthur Avenue
A few places in Staten Island, etc,...........

IrishInNYC
July 11th, 2012, 09:55 AM
I lived in the Woodlawn area for 6 years. Irish yes, but not the "tough" that is in question. I would imagine few of such areas remain today in terms of old school, tough, white neighborhoods.

And as for greencards, Bono and his condo etc...75K gets you a limitless "investor" visa in the US...not too hard for some.