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"I love this town!" 
25 June 2009 23:04 - "I love this town!"
booklust, reading, green, books
When a bunch of people are being arrested outside the window, on your normally very quiet and peaceful block, you don't need to call the cops, because they're there. Instead, if you're me, you take some blurry photos and then you call the local papers.

The following hilarious conversation ensued with the fellow at the city desk of the New York Post. (I also called the Daily News, but they weren't as funny.) To properly imagine this, you have to hear his lines in the thickest of thick Noo Yawk accents. The dialect below really doesn't do him justice. I picture him chomping on a cigar and am kind of surprised he didn't call me "doll". Classic gravelly New York newspaperman voice. Got that fixed in your mind? Okay.

NYP: City desk.
Me: Hi, my name is Rose and I'm calling because a bunch of people just got arrested outside my window. 217th Street and Park Terrace West.
NYP: Oh yeah? Lemme write this down. 217th and Pahk Terrace West. What's goin on up theh?
Me: The police pulled over three big station wagons or SUVs, and we heard a lot of shouting of "Get out of the car!" and "Get on the ground!". No shots fired. I saw at least four people on the ground being handcuffed, maybe more between the cars. There were two unmarked cop cars and one marked. There was a guy in a DEA vest with an assault rifle wandering around, and a lot of evidence bags and people shining flashlights under cars.
NYP: DEA, huh? And an assault rifle. Arright. You said two mahked cahs and one unmahked*, or the otha way aroun?
Me: Other way around.
NYP: Got it. So is this, uh, an ongoin situation? Can ya get a photo?
Me: I took some photos but they're pretty dark, and they just finished clearing up and drove off. I would have called sooner but I had a hard time finding your number on your website.
NYP: Ha! Well, you shoulda had my direct numba and then you coulda called me right away. It sounds innerestin, but if there's no photo and no narrative, ya know, with Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett dyin we don't got a lotta room for local news tomorra. Okay? But I'll pass it on to the folks at the desk, see what they say.
Me: Okay, thanks!
NYP: Ya welcome. Thanks fa callin. Night.

* I swear he actually said this and I'm not just putting it in to exemplify his accent.

I note that he did not give me his direct numba in case something else happens. I'll just have to hope he's the one who picks up the phone.

EDIT: The Daily News reporter I spoke with just called back and said the cops told her they arrested two drug dealers. They're not going to write it up either. I suppose that with no shots fired, no police brutality, etc. there's not much of a story.

You're welcome to comment on LJ, but I'd rather you leave a comment on the Dreamwidth version of this entry. The current comment count is comment count unavailable.
26 June 2009 03:54
That's a delightful conversation!
26 June 2009 03:55
I'm really very moved to know that guys like him still exist, and still work for the Post. It was like a time machine letting me talk with my godfather the way he was thirty or forty years ago.
26 June 2009 04:01
Crikey. There are drug dealers in the neighbourhood, and that's NOT NEWS? What the eff, New York?! (Please forgive my ignorance; I've never lived in NY. Or the US, for that matter ;-) )
26 June 2009 04:45
It was a pretty routine arrest, other than being a little unusual in this part of the neighborhood. No one was injured. Unless some particularly interesting evidence was found or some particularly notorious criminal was caught, there's no story. "The cops busted some guys. They might be guilty. We don't know because there hasn't been a trial yet." Eh, whatever.

And of course there are drug dealers in the neighborhood. There are drug dealers everywhere. I've never been to a city or a town or a truck stop in the middle of nowhere that didn't have drug dealers. I bet even Australia has them. *)
26 June 2009 12:56
when i moved from the middle of the ghetto in Queens, NY, to the edge of the mountains in Phoenix, AZ, i couldn't sleep the first few weeks because i couldn't hear the steady pulse of police and ambulance sirens outside my window.
26 June 2009 15:02
I went from the Bronx to a boarding school in a small Connecticut town and had the exact same experience of sleeplessness due to excessive quiet.
26 June 2009 04:05
Having just watched the original The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, and having had a good chuckle over the overwheming NEW YAWKNESS of all the characters, this entry tickled me. :)
26 June 2009 10:35
I've recently started watching Kojak, and finding the Noo Yawkiness most entertaining.
26 June 2009 11:44
Tell J. Jonah Jameson that he should give Peter Parker a raise, already. :-)
26 June 2009 11:51
What interests me most about this story, especially given what I'm working on nowadays, is that the first and only news organizations you called were ... newspapers.
26 June 2009 16:22
When I read this, it took me a minute to figure out who else I could even call. Then I thought, oh, TV! and a bit later, oh, radio!

My mother worked for the Post and my godfather for the Post and the Daily News; and when I was working on NYU's student newspaper, my "call 911 first and the paper second" habit became very firmly ingrained. It wouldn't even occur to me to call CNN. If I have a scoop, one of those papers gets it, out of sheer family loyalty.
26 June 2009 15:00
Oh, you're making me homesick.
26 June 2009 16:13
Also, that sounded like the Bronxiest Bronx accent ever. :-)
26 June 2009 16:15
Oh, you've made me so homesick!
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