The predominantly Jewish Northwest region of Baltimore, occupies a wide area from Reisterstown road to I-83, and begins roughly at Northern Parkway. Not very familiar with this area, but having numerous Jewish friends from area supermarkets, including a comely HBI [Hebrew By Injection] I dutifully inquired as to the street crime in the area. This weekend, in between sparring at the gym, I described the results to Erik and his wife, Atlantis, as they had just moved back into the neighborhood and as a young black couple, were expecting high levels of Hebrew scrutiny. Oliver—standing by—and Erik begin with my comment, “They told me that the area north of Northern Parkway looks fine, but for three blocks in is basically a walk-through grid where black men hunt old Jews.”
Oliver: Hell, they used to hunt my black ass over their too. Those Park Heights Boys are relentless.
Erik: How about eight blocks! It’s a mixed bag. You have nice polite, even naïve Jews and then you have their Krav Maga patrols who will jack you up—and you’re still not clear of the brothers from down in the hood. It is better than where we moved up from farther down Park Heights [in Pimlico] but is still not good.
Atlantis: I was babysitting up there when I saw this group of neighborhood watch men taking a black boy somewhere. I stopped them, and said, “Hey, if he’s done something wrong call the police. You can’t just transport him on your own. That’s against the law.” Then one of them said, “Are you his mother?”
Oh My God! I said, “No, I’m not his mother, just a concerned citizen. Call the police, please.”
Erik: Then you get the other side of the coin, which just makes your head spin. I was out for a jog and this orthodox Jew with the funny sideburns waves me over, in need of some kind of help. I asked him what I could do for him and he invited me into his house, and I was like, Oookay, this is getting weird?
He pointed to his TV, which was on, and asked me to turn it off.
I said, “Dude, you turned it on, why can’t you turn it off?”
He said that he knew how but could not touch the TV on that day, so I turned it off. Then, on my way out the door, I stopped and said, “Look, dude, this worked out okay—I mean you got your TV turned off. But, I’m not that dude that will just lock this door from the inside once you let me in and then do something terrible. And believe me that dude is out there! You can’t just let random dudes off the street into your house!