Monday, March 9, 2009


Yesterday my normal entry to the park at 15th St was blocked by yellow tape. As I walked around it, an officer in a patrol car rolled down her window about two inches and addressed me. "Go around the front of the ve-hicle, this is a crime scene." I wondered about it, but not too hard. A day before that entrance had been lined with film production trucks, dressing rooms of stars, heavy set men guarding expensive-looking cars, and people alert to the off chance of seeing Meryl Streep or Alec Baldwin. By yesterday though, the corner had morphed from glamor to squalor.

This morning the nature of the crime, if crime there was, began to emerge. A kid had been killed. Not quite 18, a skateboarder by the name of Sharif collapsed after a fight some time after midnight. According to news reports, it is not clear whether he succumbed to some pre-existing condition or whether the violence caused his death. His friends had torn up a cardboard box and placed candles and pictures for a makeshift memorial, and someone had transformed one of the sculptural columns that guard the entrance into a tombstone etched with his dates in permanent marker.

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Anglo-Brooklyn by Joy Holland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.