Sunday, June 26, 2011

New York Tourist (then and now)

Moses put a highway through the Bronx
splitting the community in two.


Tourist: (no words, just sitting, looking across)
Subway Rider: What the f--k are you looking at? Do you have a death wish?



How do I get to Times Square?

Subway Rider: Take the 1 Uptown, get off at 42nd.

Tourist (no words, just walking)
Times Square Hustler/Pimp: You look like you could use a little action tonight.

Tourist: Where is MTV?
Times Square Cop: Look for the Lion King sign.

Tourist: Help me!!!!!
Times Square Loiterer: Gimme me all your money!
"The Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
(where no one helps)

Times Square Panhandler – Do you have any "Change"?
Tourist: Terrorist!
New York - concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
(where bystanders swarm a panhandler)

1978 Radio: “The police in New York City, they chased a boy right through the park. In a case of mistaken identity they put a bullet through his heart." ~ Heartbreaker

2008 Radio: “I'm the new Sinatra, and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere, yeah, they love me everywhere" ~ Empire State of Mind

Tourist (no words, duck! Beer bottle flying)
Yankee Stadium Fan: Your mother is a….@#&**--

Tourist: Let’s Go Yankees!
Yankee Stadium Fan: Let’s Go Yankees!

MTV 1515 Broadway (Times Square)
(from gritty insanity to sanitized polish)

Behind One Side of the Riot Mask

This is the most eloquent essay on the Vancouver riots I've read so far, and most eloquent piece I've ever read from a police officer. I don't normally post the work of others here, but it was worthy. The writing style shows talent. Photo commentary is from me.

1000s stood by doing nothing, many cheering rioters on.
Only rare citizens defended:

Who burned our City? "Anarchists"? "Thugs"? "Hooligans"?
Suburban "punks"? "Criminals"? Emerging riot faces are turning
out to be a Team Canada water polo scholarship student,
a UBC biology student and an Oakley sponsored cyclist. They
forgot to add "privileged kids burned their City" in the multiple

Dear 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Rioters,

Please stop saying you’re sorry. Stop posting YouTube videos begging for forgiveness. Stop writing letters asking that society cut you some slack and leave you alone.

While you were drunk and flipping cars, I was driving with all of my emergency equipment on to get into Vancouver. While you were throwing anything you could get your hands on at the police, I was pressure testing my APR and standing in the middle of the tear gas. While you and thousands of others disgraced Vancouver and its surrounding population, I stood shoulder to shoulder with a couple hundred men and women, whom I trust my life with, ready to address your indiscretions.

You came up to me like you owned the streets in your drunken stupor, thrust your middle fingers in my face and shouted obscenities; I didn’t snap you in half.

Actions speak louder than words.

You started “harmless” fires. You torched other men and women’s cars whom you’d never met and never did you wrong. You assaulted firemen as they arrived to try and deal with your “mistakes.” You took limited, valuable emergency resources away from good people who needed them. You endangered more lives by tying up emergency services than you ever considered.

You started fights. You stabbed people you’d never met because they somehow made you angry. You gave men and women trying to protect property life-altering concussions. You brought paramedics into the tear gas and exhausted them trying to save people they’d never met.

You showed up to hospital emergency rooms crying because you’d been exposed to tear gas. You got obnoxious and demanded to be treated like you were somehow dying. You knew it was a riot, you chose not to leave, you chose to stick around and breathe the tear gas in. You took nurses and doctors away from people who needed their care to live. People they’d never met but work tirelessly to save. You demanded to be treated as if you were better than the rest of society.

You’d tell me that the emergency services personnel I speak of are paid to do this job and chose to be there. You’re right. We give a damn about people we’ve never met and property that isn’t ours, that’s why we do what we do. You disgust us.

What brought a tear to my eye, after the gas had cleared, was standing in the middle of an intersection at about 3 a.m. The only people I’d seen for the last 30 minutes were other police officers, until a shopkeeper brought us a case of water. Then I saw a random person with a broom clearing the sidewalk. I had a duty to respond, the citizens of Vancouver immediately afterward could have just left it up to those paid to deal with it. They didn’t just stand by, they came out in force and cleaned up after your indiscretions. Everyone I saw that early morning thanked me. I was only doing my job. I have the utmost respect for all of the people from Vancouver and the surrounding areas that came downtown and volunteered to clean up after you.

You owe Vancouver and the surrounding population more than mere words. Don’t you dare ask for our forgiveness without taking responsibility. You can’t fix life-altering injuries with an “I’m Sorry.” You can’t repay someone’s car loan with a YouTube video. You ask that people leave you and your family alone but you offer no way to replace priceless losses.

You’ll sleep soundly in your bed tonight because men and women like me will always be there to deal with your poor choices. You have no idea how fortunate you are, even after we arrest and charge you. Even though you disgust me, if you call for me in the middle of the night I’ll respond. I’ll protect your life and property because it’s right and it’s what I do.

The evening of June 15, 2011 fellow emergency services personnel, my brothers and sisters, left our families at home and while grossly outnumbered stood to fight. The morning of June 16, 2011 the true heroes emerged to volunteer their time and restored my faith in humanity.

Actions speak louder than words. What are you going to do about that?

— a police officer from the suburbs, who was called in to serve and protect on that night; a proud Vancouverite.