In a kind of passive resistance, neighbors across the 46th Precinct celebrated their sense of community in the face of crime Tuesday night by participating in National Night Out.
Neighbors shared food, teenagers enjoyed good clean fun and clowns transformed babes into butterflies, as local communities joined thousands of others across the country to give neighborhood drugs and crime a “going away party.”
With three sites– the most in the city – these blocks laid claim to their neighborhoods, holding up a vision of community as a united front. Community groups staged block parties on Tiebout Avenue between 182nd and 183rd Streets, the same block on Morris Avenue and at Roberto Clemente State Park “to show the pushers we’ve had enough,” said Nero Graham, of Morris Community Action Programs.
At the Morris Avenue party, resident Angelo Vega said, “they have a slogan around here somewhere,” but whatever it says, the night is really just about taking back the community.
For him, as well as for Graham, neighborhood children freely running about epitomized the point of the evening.
“The kids are really enjoying themselves, and that’s what counts,” Vega said. “You only see a hose spraying water, but it’s so much more to them.”
National Night Out is a time for kids to play without fearing guns or drugs, to really feel “it’s their block,” Graham added. (Photos by Laura Sayer)