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Moving to Harm City
A Brief Conversation with Miriam on Park Heights
To read two other accounts of the Park Heights Corridor of Northwest Baltimore go to:
I attended Kesher [an orthodox synagogue] over in Upper Park Heights. I was renting in Towson, and when I was done with my masters and thought it was time to buy a house I thought about living close to Kesher. I knew Upper Park Heights and Reisterstown constituted the physical Jewish community in Baltimore and decided to inquire.
I didn’t really have any connections in this area, being from out of town, so I called the Baltimore County Police and got the officer on the desk at that precinct—I do not recall what precinct it is. I told him that I was thinking of moving to Park Heights and wanted to know what the crime was like. He told me that he could not discuss these things. I pleaded with him—you, know, in the girly way, about being a single mother looking to buy a house and he broke down in that chivalrous way.
He told me:
“Whatever you have down in Lower Park Heights, [in the city], it all comes up here—but you didn’t hear that from me. You can’t compare Park Heights to Towson—it’s apples and oranges.’
I went out with a realtor—a sharp, middle aged woman—looking at houses, and she spots these two black men from three blocks away—a good distance, coming across a field—changing their route to walk toward us. She hustled me out of there and I was impressed with her instincts. So, even though the ghetto stops short of Northern Parkway, the criminals still walk through the neighborhood up into the County robbing, raping and beating. Our rabbi came to kesher with black eyes from being beaten by the blacks.
I bought in Towson, and am glad I did, though we are getting an influx of blacks, robbing the liquor store and walking in the street. Eventually, one of the black youths came hunting Jews with a board with a nail sticking out of it and a young man from the neighborhood watch did what he had to do, defended himself and his tribe. And what did the tribe do when the black Christian ministers and ghetto mammas from Lower Park Heights wanted blood? They threw him under the bus, putting him out of the community. I was so disgusted.
Generally, Reisterstown Plaza, which is a way up the road [Reisterstown Road, which runs parallel to Park Heights Avenue, and along which UPS drivers have always been robbed at a higher than normal rate, except when my brother did it and literally ran through the route] is really bad—anywhere they [blacks] go to shop is bad. You won’t get me anywhere near a Wal-Mart. Three blocks north of Northern Parkway is still taking your life in your hands to walk the street. I know that most whites don’t like the blue crime lights in their area because it drives the property values down. But the Jews like having the crime lights, reasoning that it increases police attention.
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