Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced the launch of the "Neighborhood x Neighborhood" initiative, a bid to get tourists to visit places in New York besides midtown, and also, of course, to plug businesses in a variety of neighborhoods. Even neighborhoods in Brooklyn! Namely, this month's selection of Fort Greene, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. Well, the New York Post has caught wind of the whole plan, and they are not pleased. Not at all.
Specifically, they're not convinced about the city's choice of Bushwick as one of the program's kick-off neighborhoods. From their write-up of the initiative:
"The campaign was launched just hours before a machete-waving madman kept Bushwick cops at bay, at one point hurling rocks at them through the gate at Knollwood Park Cemetery, culminating in a chase through abandoned rail cars, police helicopters hovering overhead.
The 2 p.m. fracas even forced the lockdown of a nearby school.
Residents called it just another Wednesday in a neighborhood that was recently likened to Mongolia in a study comparing murder rates around the world to police precincts in New York City."
They also noted Bushwick's high instances of rat complaints, a couple anecdotal stories of muggings, and one police "source" who called the neighborhood "fucking chaos." Now, I live in Bushwick, and I actually don't see the neighborhood as a great tourist destination. It's spread out, can be confusing to get around, and if you're trying to fit in a bunch of New York-y activities into a short amount of vacation time, it's not necessarily that much bang for your buck. It's also not necessarily a mecca for "machete-waving madmen" or rampant muggings. It all just depends on what you're interested in seeing while you're in town, you know? Well, you know. Bloomberg knows, sort of. The only thing the New York Post knows is that where there is crime to exploited and fear to be mongered, they will answer that call. With a vengeance. Welcome to Bushwick, guys!
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.