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Near East side circling the drain?

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Near East side circling the drain?

Postby exegene » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:38 pm

So in the area around the 1000-1200 blocks of Willy St. there've been a shooting or two in the past few months and at least one bike path mugging and attempted rape. The other night i was almost run over (in the crosswalk! with the light in my direction!), almost run over again (E. Main, donchaknow) and almost mugged.

So i ask you, long-term residents: did the winter lull me into thinking that bad things don't happen in Madison, or are things getting more dangerous around Willy?
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby Stebben84 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:44 pm

How do you almost get mugged?
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby exegene » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:04 pm

What you do is decline the invitation to get yourself into a situation.

Details: i'm walking home late at night. There's two men also on the sidewalk, heading the other way. One of them greets me from about 25 feet away. As he walks a little closer i notice he puts on the biggest, friendliest, no-worries-i'm-your-buddy smile. So far it looks like he's about to ask me for change. Then i notice he's holding something behind his back, and with his other arm he extends his hand for a shake. A little too far. So i don't shake his hand, and also don't get my arm jammed up against my back and don't notice a knife or a gun at very close range to some vital organ or other of mine.

Now, i'm sure that at least once more or less the same thing has happened, only the overly "friendly" man just has a flower behind his back -- how sweet! What a dear surprise! But that's not what happened there.
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:23 pm

The one shooting I recall recently was a family dispute and the suspect was picked up almost immediately, which would indicate there's no ongoing threat to the public.

If someone had wanted to mug you, they would have done it. I don't know what was going on with this guy, but I'm not sure there's such a thing as a near-mugging. Maybe you saved yourself by being alert and not looking like a victim, but we'll never know. Maybe the guy was just being an asshole to see what you'd do.

People getting into near misses in traffic is a constant, but bar time might warrant even more caution than usual. The great Drunk Highway (the bike path that runs behind Mickeys and all the other bars) is pretty notorious. (Why are all the Willy St bars on the north side of the street? I dunno.)

Summertime always gets weird on the east side. Part of it is sketchy people subletting student apartments for cheap, part of it is just summer. I am not downplaying your concerns at all, not one bit. I lived down there around 40 years and yes, the seasonal bad-behavior cycle is for real. It starts up as soon as the weather gets nice and runs until it gets cold again, from my observation.

If this year is anything like the last 40+ years, this'll only get worse as summer wears on so act accordingly. I don't think it's a sign the east side is going to hell any more than usual.
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby rabble » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:45 pm

I think it's a little premature to say "circling the drain" but this is the first year I can recall a pair of men walking into a bar and robbing it and all the patrons like they did Players and couple other places. To me, crime seems to be up in the last couple years.

I also have issues with the "almost mugged" story, though. He might have been looking for a drunk to roll. Or he could have been a drunk.
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby Remember_Me » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:33 pm

rabble wrote:I think it's a little premature to say "circling the drain".


Yeah, I agree. Plus you can't circle the drain on Willy St. anyway. It's too clogged with dreadlocked hippie hair and granola/kale residue.

rabble wrote:I also have issues with the "almost mugged" story, though. He might have been looking for a drunk to roll. Or he could have been a drunk.


I suppose it just depends on whether he was an Afro-American or not.

Dang Afro-Americans!

Image
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby exegene » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:27 pm

rabble wrote:I think it's a little premature to say "circling the drain" but this is the first year I can recall a pair of men walking into a bar and robbing it and all the patrons like they did Players and couple other places.


I got to see the aftermath of the Burrito Drive robbery. The employees come pouring out, saying things like "shit man", "you ok?"; one or two of them laid down on the ground, coughing up a serious quantity of phlegm. I thought maybe they'd misjudged the quality of the weed in the bong, or dared each other to a jalapeno eating contest or ... then the cops show up. Says the agitated, shaved bald cop man apparently in charge: "how many fucking times are we gonna be down here for this shit!?"

Thanks snoqueen for reminding me that crazy thrives on sunny weather above 75F. I don't think that there's no such thing as an "almost-mugging", though. Maybe in my particular experience it was more of a "almost failed to signal to a hopeful mugger that i would not be a victim that night", but close enough. Anyway he wasn't drunk, or at least not drunk enough to appear so. I don't give much credence to the theory that he was "just joshin' with" me, as it were. He's in the neighborhood often, and i never see him playing around, getting his jollies being a prankster or trickster.
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:30 pm

I'll always risk a mugging to go to Jamerica. Their jerk pork is crack to me, although I will sometimes get the salmon when I'm feeling fancy.
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby SlideSF » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:42 pm

It seems to me there is a big difference, in terms of quality of life indicators, between an attempted mugging and getting "almost run over" in a crosswalk. While both are potentially harmful - even fatal - they are hardly of the same caliber. Most car/pedestrian collisions occur due to a combination of carelessness, inattention, and distractedness. Muggings are deliberate attempts to relieve another person of their valuables. And while muggings often happen in areas where there is a combination of desperate people and those with some means, auto/pedestrian collisions can happen anywhere there are both automobiles and pedestrians.

But if you took away the "almost got run overs", all you would have left is one "almost mugging", and that wouldn't make much of a case for a deteriorating neighborhood, would it?
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby gargantua » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:17 pm

I wonder if perhaps the near east side may be gradually circling the drain in a different way. As in, gradually turning in to a gentrified hell. There's a lot of exciting stuff going on there.....and Epic employees and other young professionals are going to want in on it. Which means more apartment development, as well as bidding up the price of housing stock.

It beats the hell out of decline, but it does mean change and I suspect some aspects of the change will affect the character of the neighborhood over time.
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Re: Near East side circling the drain?

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:24 pm

I think whatever gentrification has occurred around Willy Street has all been to the good. Maybe someday I'll think differently.
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