Friday, May 28, 2010

* Of New Haven

Vigilant Yale

The Old Shubert Theatre

Gramma's corner, Elm and State, circa 1950

Edgerton, the 88-room Tudor manor house (now razed) at the edge of New Haven near Lake Whitney

Memorial water fountain on the New Haven Green

Presidential candidates on the New Haven Green

Quinnipiac University encroaching on The Sleeping Giant

Cemetery in the Green Mountains

Year's 12th murder ties city's 2009 total
Staff Reporter
The Yale Daily News

New Haven police arrested their first murder suspect of the year last week but saw much of that progress evaporate as a wave of eight shooting incidents has swept across the city since, leaving one dead.That murder, the city's 12th this year, brings the number of unsolved homicides back up to 11.Around 2 a.m. Saturday morning, police officers maintaining order at the closing of Humphreys Bar and Restaurant on the edge of the East Rock neighborhood were confronted by a bigger challenge when they heard gunshots nearby. Not more than 50 feet away, inside a Chevrolet Tahoe, the...

#1 By Ex-Townie 11:03a.m. on May 25, 2010

Glad I'm moving away in two weeks.

#2 By I agree with ex-townie 8:44p.m. on May 25, 2010

New Haven is a hellhole.

#3 By Wafia Naru 1:04a.m. on May 26, 2010

I knew the young Brother that was slain though I hadn't seen him in a long while since I'm rarely in town. It's a tragedy that in 2010, this American problem still isn't ousted. I wonder if Obama gets reelected will he devise a plan to eliminate ignorance abroad and eradicate Black on Black crime. Is it even on his agenda?don't quote me

#4 By student 2:22a.m. on May 26, 2010

Right. Like other cities have no murders.
As an standard urbanized area as defined by the Census bureau, the New Haven MSA actually has one of the lowest murder rates in the United States, similar to Boston.
Have fun in Chicago, LA, Detroit, Philly, DC, or whatever other murder capital you are supposedly headed to! These cities have more than twice as much poverty as the entire state of Connecticut.
The only thing notable about New Haven is that murders (and even petty crimes) here actually make the news, because there are so few of them.

#5 By @student 1:03p.m. on May 26, 2010

14 murders in a city the size of New Haven isn't newsworthy to you? Where are you from, Matamoros?

#6 By Arrogance sucks 6:15p.m. on May 26, 2010

The most frustrating thing about living in New Haven is the sense of defeatism and "I can't wait to leave" attitudes that people express, particularly when they here because of Yale. Too bad more people don't embrace the city, enjoy its food and culture, and appreciate that it's also minutes away from beautiful New England countryside and the lower Connecticut River valley. New Haven may have its share of crime, and it's tragic that anyone gets killed, but it's true what "By student" says: crime in New Haven is always under a much bigger microscope than almost anywhere else in America.
When you move away, you realize that people are a lot more blase about crime than they are in New Haven. It's made me realize that cities are exactly what we make of them. And when our expectations for wear we live become heavy baggage, we never set it aside to enjoy where we live. Too bad so few people realize this in the 3-4 years they spend at Yale.

#7 By townie 6:31p.m. on May 26, 2010

... and that's in less than half a year! Cambridge, home of Hahvud, is about the same size and averages less than 2 murders a year.

#8 By @#6 10:14p.m. on May 26, 2010

Uhhh... we do enjoy the food and culture, the surrounding countryside, etc. We don't like the idea of getting shot, though. I personally don't think New Haven is anywhere near as bad as its reputation, and I enjoy going to school here... but the pros of the good stuff listed (pretty scenery, having a nice time) are easily obscured by the con(s) of the bad stuff (death).

#9 By Ivory Tower Crime and Punishment 11:07p.m. on May 26, 2010

Humphrey Street? East Rock? That’s a bad sign. Weren’t there a spate of robberies there a year ago? Sounds drug related. That used to be a decent neighborhood, although even 30 years ago when I went to Yale, the corpse of a prostitute was found in the dumpster behind Wilbur Cross High School, so crime isn’t exactly unknown there.
The noose of crime and poverty may be tightening around Yale’s neck.
The Ivory Tower can’t keep urbanization and crime at bay.
Even the Quinnipiac-ization of Sleeping Giant has turned Mt. Carmel into a gypsy camp of hamburger stands, student services and apartments for academic transients.
The traffic is now so dense across from the Mt. Carmel Burying Ground at the Sleeping Giant Golf Course that I have abandoned the family plot in favor of a grave in the Green Mountains , where I now live.
It is hardly “defeatism” as one poster says, to see encroaching civilization for what it is: a breeding ground for drugs, gangs, cellphone hook-ups and soulless materialism.
Defeatism or not, I’m gone.

Paul Keane
M.Div. ‘80

#10 By Arrogance sucks 1:44a.m. on May 27, 2010


Given that I've never seen you post something positive about New Haven, I'm glad that you've moved elsewhere to a place that makes you happier. Congratulations.

As for the comparison to Cambridge, that's misleading. Cambridge isn't a city; it's a suburb of Boston. And yes, there are lots of suburbs that are about the same size (as measured by population) as New Haven, but they enjoy relative "safety" because inner city poverty and crime is relegated to the city next door. But New Haven is a city and Cambridge is a suburb of a larger urban area.

Oddly, you don't cite the statistics for murders and crime in Boston, which would be much more relevant to your comparison.

Even if you did cite Boston statistics, even those wouldn't provide an accurate comparison. New Haven is about 18 square miles. Boston is about 40 square miles, encompassing a much more diverse set of neighborhoods (wealthy, middle class and poor) within its larger political boundaries. If you superimposed the same 40 square mile boundary around New Haven--which would include towns like East Haven, Hamden, Branford, West Haven and other dense but geographically small suburban towns--New would not only be much wealthier, but the crime rate would place it among the safest cities in the country. Connecticut's cities have some of the smallest urban boundaries in the country, making it not intellectually honest to compare New Haven's per capita statistics to those of other urban areas.

Crime and poverty in most cities are just as concentrated as they are in the New Haven area, but because New Haven's political boundaries are dramatically tinier, its per capita statistics are dramatically misleading. If you took a similar 18 square mile subset of, say, inner city Boston or Chicago, the crime statistics would make New Haven look like Mayberry.

Again, there are many reasons that crime in New Haven is under a microscope, which is a shame given that reputation often becomes more important than reality when investors decide where to invest. But for those Yalies who actually worry that they're going to be shot, trust me as someone who went to the University of Chicago: your fear is statistically irrational. Maybe you don't feel safe, but there are much, much less safe places to go to school. After all, Harvard's crime statistics last year made it a much less safe place than Yale. You shouldn't judge a book by its Colonial brick cover.

#11 By Tolstoevsky 1:26p.m. on May 27, 2010

New Haven as a city is definitely more dangerous than Cambridge, but Yale's campus is no comparison to Harvard. Hahvahd is actually much more urbanized and in some categories (like robbery, burglary and aggravated assualt) several times more dangerous than Yale in 2006-2008 period. Check the stats from both at:


#12 By Grieved Ghosts  8:20 p.m. on May 27th, 2010

Some POSITIVE memories of New Haven:

The great architecture of Yale available to the eye of a townie from New Haven streets inspired my soul as a boy in ways no prose could adequately describe.

The New Haven Green charmed and frightened me as a lad; the pigeons fluttering near the memorial fountain at Church and Chapel (is it still there?); the winos sleeping off a drunk on the greenest grass near sidewalks on the Green itself which I crossed as a boy; the Shubert Theatre which offered me Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Burnett and other stars in the flesh and blood rather than on television; the Presidential candidates Nixon and Kennedy in New Haven motorcades in 1960 (Kennedy had mahogany colored hair unlike any I have ever seen before or since).

These are pleasant memories of New Haven. Even the ugliness of my grandmother's ghetto apartment two blocks from the palaces of Yale at State and Elm Streets (a third floor walk-up with no hot water) is a pleasant memory; for its juxtaposition with the extravagant architecture of Yale is what shaped my outrage at the inequity in our world.

And Edgerton, the 88-room baronial English Tudor mansion of Frederick Foster Brewster on 25 acres behind a ten foot, mile long wall on Whitney Avenue just before New Haven ends and Hamden begins: this was a true castle shrouded in mystery which New Haven offered to the eyes of an imaginative child who had to climb East Rock to view it.

Yes. New Haven had a charm when I was a little boy: "O lost! and by the wind, grieved ghost, come back again." [ frontispiece, Look Homeward, Angel ]

Paul Keane
M.Div. '80

#13 By one of your finest posts 3:35a.m. on May 29, 2010

PK writes what he knows, and comes radiantly through. Cheers, you have done well. Yours is the soul of New Haven

#14 By , 4:21p.m. on May 29, 2010

Ha Ha, i TOLD YOU Hahvahd was betta !

#15 By Q 7:13p.m. on June 1, 2010

I find it amusing how the people who are screaming and complaining are also the people least likely to be affected by this shooting spree. EVERY single one of the people shot this year has been black or hispanic, almost every one with a criminal record. How is this making Yale any more dangerous? Are Yalies walking around newhallvile? I thought not. While this is a terrible problem for the city, it sickens me to read privileged sheltered people acting as if this is personally affecting them.

#16 By Sickening privileged Sheltered Person 11:18a.m. on June 2, 2010

Dear Q:
I am sorry that my status as a sheltered privileged person sickens you. It DOES NOT however disqualify me from participating in mankind (or humankind, if you will). I take John Donne's view
of the world,not yours.

Paul Keane
M. Div. '80

"No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

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