Monday, October 18, 2004

Greenpoint of View

While my neighborhood in Brooklyn, Greenpoint, tends to be relatively quiet and family-oriented, several area events have gotten some media attention of late.

I live across the street from McGolrick Park, where, earlier this month, a toddler fell into a hole or storm drain. He was quickly rescued by his grandmother.

In mid-September, the park became the scene of a more dangerous event. The New York Press reported -- by way of of a Johnny Dwyer column -- that a gang of teenagers beat a homeless Polish man to death. The column, while disturbing, captures my neighborhood well. The people hanging out in the park. The kids who loiter along its edges, smoking and drinking. The older men who also linger on the edge -- they've been lingering longer, their skin cracked brown by the sun and wind, and their binges beginning early in the day. Perhaps the youth are threatened by the vision of what they may become.

And in Williamsburg, one neighborhood over, a woman was raped last week. The attack occurred early in the morning near N. 8th Street and Driggs, a corner I walk past almost daily. Two men in their 20s were arrested this weekend. Oddly enough, they live close to the scene of the crime.

Other than the nature of the events noted above, another thing interests me. Many of the newspapers reporting on the goings on refer to the park on which I live as McGoldrick Park. Signs clearly indicate that it's McGolrick Park, and such a simple error makes me wonder what else the reporters are getting wrong, not to mention what else they -- and I -- are missing.

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