Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Maybe your attitude is the problem.

Maybe 30 minutes ago I found myself standing in line at the Breugger's in Troy. Breugger's is a regional chain of bagel shops, and there was a one-day-only no-strings-attached coupon for 6 free bagels. Some other people in line made mention of the people trying to get in, and I realized the door was locked because this specific Breugger's closes at 5. One of the other people in line, a girl I've had in class when I substitute, mentioned that she doesn't blame them, as she wouldn't want to have a shop open any later at this location.

The Troy Breugger's is around the corner from a major bus stop, the library, the court, and an all-girls college. This is NOT the epitome of unsafe in Troy.

Her comment sparked a big and semi heated discussion between myself and several other women in line, about feeling safe in Troy, businesses staying open later than 5 or 6, things for teenagers to do, and drugs and violence. One very outspoken woman had the opinion that businesses in Troy SHOULDN'T stay open late, that no one SHOULD be out after dark, and that it is entirely the kids' and their families' fault that they don't end up participating in the athletic activities provided for them. Seriously, every activity she mentioned had to do with sports. What if the kids don't LIKE sports? I never did, but I was PLENTY involved as a young person.

And what about the kids who don't want to participate? Isn't that what keeping eateries and the like open late is for? Some place to go and sit and flirt? Sure, maybe they'll fight, but that's when they get kicked out. "Take it outside."

I really wanted to say something to this woman about considering where they're going wrong with trying to reach kids. Maybe your approach is the problem. If you are really so ready to just throw up your hands and say 'oh well,' I really think you need to find a different organization to align yourself with.

I really think what we have here is a terrible case of fear mongering. These people were talking about where I live now, and also where I used to live in Albany, saying how these places are scary. I lived in Albany for 3 years; I'm going on my fourth year living in Troy. I have never once felt my life was in danger. ONCE I had a run in with a neighbor about my chickens. ONCE my house was egged.

I think that the desire to flee and the attitude of fear are a huge part of the problem here. I believe in the broken window theory, and I think that keeping businesses open can only help to make the streets feel safer.....and I already don't think they feel altogether unsafe.

Just last night I was recording a video about how if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. I think these ladies are part of the problem, and I find it rather disheartening.


Last night I had a dream that there was a movie theater open in downtown Troy. While this is yet to be a reality, I am psyched about the Co-op that just opened! Read more here.


Erika said...

You're right. These women are part of the problem, when they live their lives out of fear and refuse to DO anything about their so-called "unsafe" neighborhood other than complain about it and wish things otherwise. If there even is such a problem, bitching is not going to help.

Anonymous said...

Awwww....I have wished many times that I could have gotten a bagel there or a coffee after 6pm myself. I'm sure they would get a lot of business from the night class attendees!! I've spent quite a bit of time in Troy and rarely felt unsafe. I'm sorry to hear about the comments made.

Tami :)

Anonymous said...

The Saratoga Springs location also closes at 5.