Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Thoughts On A Move To NYC

I love Chicago. I was born and raised here, and except for college, have not spent more than 15 days in a row anywhere else. But I also am enthralled by the excitement and adventure that comes from grabbing life by the balls and stepping into the unknown.

I am blessed to be married to someone who feels very similar to me in that respect. The husband want to move to New York City at some point. I took it one step further and decided that once we were through with NYC, we’d go to Europe. Because I work in organ & tissue donation and he is a musician, we can both work almost anywhere on the planet. That type of mobility leaves me feeling hopeful for our future globetrotting.

One thing that takes my hope and douses it with ice water is a current issue facing New York. No, it’s not the de-criminalizing of marijuana or the ordinance against large drinks chock full of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the stop-and-frisk policy that the NYPD unfortunately still follows.

I’ve been reading several articles over the last several weeks, and they always get me down. I will admit I’ve had a sort of, “it’s not really my issue yet” reaction to the situation. But something about this latest article really gets into my head.

Personal accounts from young black and Latino men really drive home how fucked up this whole policy is.

“The husband and I will be living in NYC. His father is from Honduras and his mother is an African-American. The husband is a young man who will be all over NYC because of his music at all hours of every day and night.”

These horrifying thoughts went through my head. There have been a couple of situations in Chicago in which the husband was stopped by the police and it left a bad taste in his mouth. He’s never carrying drugs, weapons, or open alcohol. He never has anything stolen in his possession. He seldom even resembles someone enough to “fit the description.”

Once we’re in NYC though, it won’t matter. The husband will be stopped and frisked, and if he’s  lucky, he’ll get a wallet sized card with an apology from NYPD saying they “regret any inconvenience.”

That thought has me on a complete What-The-Fuck loop. I can’t believe we’re going to a city where this shit is okay. The New York Times and several other media outlets and public figures are drawing attention to the situation. If 88% of the stops result in nothing except spreading ill will amongst  the minority citizens, why does it continue?!

I can only pray that this mess gets sorted out before we change our address. I’m gonna be on some civil disobedience shit for real if I end up living in a New York City that condones having so many of its people treated this way.

10 responses

  1. I live in Long Island and I visit NYC all the time. I haven’t been stopped and I don’t know anyone that has. I definitely see guys getting stopped all the time though. Its unfortunate that this is the world we live in today. Nothing has really charged in this country. It went from being overtly racist to low key back to overt.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:19

    • And they justify the newer overt racism by saying that there’s no need for special treatment anymore.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:58

  2. Well I read the 6 pages NY Times article.

    I’ve been stopped and frisked a lot of times,but that was during the 90’s.

    Never been stopped and frisked since 2000(which is strange since 9-11 occurred).I left NYC in 2003(I only visit now every other year),but the frisk and stop is a reality.

    June 28, 2012 at 10:31

    • I can only hope they do something about this policy sooner rather than later.

      June 29, 2012 at 11:04

      • Policy been in effect forever.

        It more happens depending on the area and where you’re at.I can see stop and frisk happening in Soho,Grenwitch village,lower East Side,Bay Ridge,etc.But it does happen in high-crime areas.We use to it I guess.It’s funny,but as an adult,I never been stopped and frisked.As a teen,it happened to be over 15 times honestly because the area I lived in(the projects in the Bronx).

        June 29, 2012 at 12:42

  3. Socialkenny PUA

    What’s I was intending to say all along was that it depends on the area also.

    As an adult;I never been stopped and frisked.

    As a teen,it honestly happened to be about 15 times.It didn’t make me feel demoralized because of the area I grew up in.It actually made me feel big.But that was a teenage mentality(13 years old) lol.

    But the area is what it comes down to.You’re in a bad neighborhood:they may stop and frisk…

    June 30, 2012 at 03:52

    • I expect that just like in Chicago, the husband will be all over NYC in areas good and bad playing gigs, most after nightfall. Stop and frisk is gonna become part of our lives. It’s gonna be a real big problem if they mess up his saxophone or saxophone case searching it for drugs or whatever else.

      June 30, 2012 at 07:05

  4. Mz. Bambi

    I’ve never been to Chicago but I reside in Connecticut..about 1:45 away from New York. The longest I’ve been in NY would have been a weekend. I loved it to the point where I wanted to move there – very fast paced but full of avenues where you could dive into all types of opportunities. I just felt as though with me being a single mother, moving there where I wouldn’t be surrounded by family, would have been too great of a risk to take. If I wasn’t a parent, then hell yea I’d move!

    July 2, 2012 at 09:39

    • I feel you. Every visit the husband or I have had to NYC made us want to move there. In fact my only worry is the stop and frisk. That and getting pregnant before we’ve planned, leaving me with an infant while we’re both in grad school, and all family states away.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:01

      • Mz. Bambi

        And those are all legitimate concerns girl! Everything takes some form of planning before relocating is involved. You two will figure out the best move and when the timing is right, everything will pan out.

        July 4, 2012 at 14:10