2.12.2005

Avoiding O-Dog and Doughboy

I got the idea to write this post from reading Tomato Nation. Sars is an actual writer. You should go there.

A couple of years ago, the fellas came down from Jersey to visit me in Maryland. I don’t remember if there was a specific event they came down for, besides the fact that I live here now. A couple of the guys are Steeler fans, and they like to come down to Baltimore for the Steelers/Ravens game and soak up the atmosphere at the ESPN Zone at the Inner Harbor, but that wasn’t this trip. Another one of my friends fell in love with the Friday night atmosphere of Jaspers in Greenbelt, MD. But I digress.

Two of the fellas showed up later than the rest (who set up in a hotel) and wanted to hit a strip joint. The only spot I was aware of at the time was the Penthouse on Georgia Ave in Northeast DC. I wasn’t too excited about going. Number one, I’m not as excited about hitting the go-go spots as some of my friends, although if the group decides to go you don’t have to drag me to one. The Doll House in Irvington NJ did take some of my money in the late ‘90s. More importantly, the Penthouse was in the ‘hood. And it wasn’t my ‘hood.

Let me explain. I grew up in Vandeveer Estates in Flatbush, Brooklyn. While Flatbush isn’t as bad an area as say, Brownsville or Bed-Stuy, Vandeveer was (and probably still is) the ‘hood. During my tenure there, I knew where to go and where not to go in order to stay relatively safe. I didn’t become an adult until I left (and I’m not going back, thank you), but I imagine I would know where I could get a drink in the area without undue danger.

The fellas I run with come from Essex County, New Jersey. The towns we used to hang in when I’d go down there (Irvington, Vauxhall, East Orange) weren’t ‘hood like parts of Newark are, but you could get caught out there if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time (one time we saw someone get hit over the head with a champagne bottle, then stomped down until he was under a parked car). But they lived there and knew where to go. I never felt it any danger running with them, to the point I could come down on my own and meet up with them, no sweat.

I guess I should mention crew I run with averages 6’1” and 230lbs. And one of us is a cop. That may have something to do with feeling safe waiting for your beep patty at Jessup’s at 2:30 in the morning.

I had no idea about Northeast DC, except that I drove through it to get to and from work. I didn’t know if I parked my car on Georgia, would I have windows or a radio when I came back. I didn’t know if side streets off Georgia (a major thoroughfare) were especially dangerous. I haven’t lived, and I have rarely frequented anywhere that could be considered a ‘hood since I moved to Maryland in early 2001. And I have no desire to pick that back up. The funniest thing my brother ever said to me is we don’t keep it real; we keep it gated, as in gated community.

The ‘hood had 18 years to get me; I’m not giving it bonus shots.

We did end up going to the Penthouse, once my friend agreed we could use his (rented) car. Had an okay time. Got home safe. I couldn’t recommend that establishment for your naked dancer needs, but I’m probably not the person to go to for that.

1 comment:

knifight said...

Yo, keep it gated man... the hood ain't nothing to mess wit'. To quote a truism from "The Wire" (HBO series) "The game's the same, just more fierce." Of course, it *is* hard not to want to go back - to show that you've made it (as in "made it out of there") thereby risking "bonus shots"

But once a brother gets out of the hood, starts workin' in the non-auxillary economy, starts eatin' right, starts buyin' heat legally, starts sleepin' with women instead of hood-rats and all that - it's easy to "stop seeing the all the angles" (Carlito's Way) and that is how you get GOT.

Maybe 5-6 times since I've moved to this Bama-assed DC area, I've risked catching a case because some local cat did something so ignorant I had to contemplate whether or not I wanted to show DC how Brooklyn N*gg*s can get live... Then I remembered how far I've come and I have had to preserve his life - to save mine.

Demonstrating emotional maturity is tough sometimes...

-Just keepin' it real for your blog, G.

And, Oh yeah, one more thing - Holla at me to find out where to get your "naked dancer needs" met. I ain't a pimp, (that is WAY too much work now that I'm legit on a 9-2-5) but I know where to go and who to call... 'naamsayin?