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Old 01-03-2012, 04:03 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,775 posts, read 10,677,612 times
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"And part of the reason for that is people like you who happily facilitate the collapse of social order!
This is my concern too. Neighborhood decay happens because people let it happen. I still can't get across the idea that the area was clearly posted for children. These guys also throw cigarette butts down where children crawl. I guess that's ok too."

dudes.

Prices will (likely) stagnate or decline (or grow less than inflation, or grow less than the rest of the metro, take your pick) in areas with aging housing stock, afflicted by problems with employment access. THAT will not mean the collapse of social order. But have fun with the spenglerian rhetoric. You can probably defer those declines by "fighting broken windows" which no one on this thread has suggested anyone in reston (where you dont live?) not do.

But fighting "broken windows" or not, and despite its aging housing stock, reston will likely do pretty well. Cause of its proximity to the employment centers from Tysons to Dulles, and cause of the Silver Line. And because of plans like those cited by JEB to build new housing, taking advantage of densification opportunities presented by the silver line.

Reston market prices will likely keep it out of range of the poor, and some of the economic diversity Robert Simon wanted will only be maintained by the communitys and countys commitment to reserving some affordable units.

The Fairfax county police should of course enforce the law. It does sound like the ambiguity of the space makes that a difficult task.

 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
Reputation: 3857
ICS67, thank you for the much-needed dose of levity!

Being really honest here: Would I be worried if I saw low-income people (of any ethnicity) smoking or otherwise loitering in an area near where I live? Yes. Would I confront these particular people? Or ANY low-income smokers, including Asian or black gangsters? Or Caucasian hillbillies? All of whom (whichever the group) have much less to lose and have probably been on the giving and receiving end of violence a lot more than I have? Probably not. (It was actually I who recommended that you not confront those guys.) But I think SouthJerseyStix had some good advice for HOW to confront them if you choose to.

I think what people are reacting to here is what seems like (from your account) was a somewhat quick reaction--one that (on the Spinal Tap aggression scale) started at about 9 and was in danger of going up to 11. That and the later use of words like "lowlifes" does sound racist, whether you intended it that way or not. I think people are bothered by what seems like an absence of compassion and/or good faith and (again, from your account) an instant assumption that these guys were not worthy of basic politeness, even though they were doing something annoying but (in the grand legal scheme) a minor crime, if a crime at all.

A lot of non-Hispanic people don't realize that many of the recent low-income (OK, illegal) Hispanic immigrants here don't even read Spanish, much less English. I get this information from the Hispanic day laborer we've used seveal times; he tutors people like him in reading and writing--Spanish reading and writing.

So the guys at this park may not have even understood that sign (if they even saw it--it IS a bit small). They probably didn't even think to question having a smoke there, since (as someone else noted in jest but with some accuracy) in developing Latin America (like some places in Europe) people smoke everywhere. And that place looks like a giant bus stop. I mean, if it had been a big jungle gym in the middle of a grassy park, and they chose there of all places to smoke, then yeah, that's just intentional a$$ho1ery. But this is in front of a coffee shop and made of concrete. It looks like some '70s urban renewal project. Oh, wait--it was. (Sort of. BBD, please resist the urge to parse my wording.)

Which leads me back to Stix's point--that if you're gonna confront these guys, better to do it with a sense of basic human respect rather than "Get the f-- outa here." Wording a polite request is a tall order if you don't speak Spanish (and I don't), but if you had thrown in a "por favor" and "el Nino," they probably would've gotten the point and not felt like they had to defy you out of masculine pride. These guys are probably barely getting enough food to eat and have family members who were killed in some godawful civil war--so I think they deserve some benefit of the doubt unless they're doing something completely beyond the pale.

Anyway. The takeaway from this thread for me is that Jesus was an Irish Black Jewish Italian Mexican Californian.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 01-03-2012 at 04:54 PM..
 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:15 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,618,430 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
This is my concern too. Neighborhood decay happens because people let it happen. I still can't get across the idea that the area was clearly posted for children. These guys also throw cigarette butts down where children crawl. I guess that's ok too.

I was hoping that someone familiar with the situation would post as I was making guesses as to what was going on, so thank you. This is very bad news. I don't live in Reson and wouldn't bother reporting anything to the HOA because I won't be back to Lake Anne any time soon. However, I do live in the in-between area, between the very rich and very poor, just like Reston. I am hoping that they can hold off the tide of decay. I think that this contradicts Lehuster a bit in that I am concerned about poverty as much as anything else. Poverty lowers property values, lets property go to ruin because people can't afford upkeep, and is almost always associated with bad behavior.

Behavior is very important, though. If you have bad behavior right there as people walk in to Lake Anne, it is going to chase potential buyers and customers off. Also, all you need is one high-profile crime like a rape or murder, and the area is going to gain a stigma.

If I lived in Reston, I would try to find out what's going on. Is there more Section 8 because people can't sell their overpriced houses, are immigrants moving in with friends more because of the sanctuary or the bad economy, etc.?

You can focus on zoning enforcement if too many unrelated people are living together. The HOA could CERTAINLY crack down on bad behavior. If those reading this think that the smoking around children, littering, etc. is just fine, I would add that perception is very important, right or wrong. The scene that I walked into is not one that a potential buyer would savor. Again, I am talking in the context of neighborhood decay, decreasing property values, etc. Also, the Latino market which is near the children's blocks seems to be a major focus of their gathering. A few of the guys that I asked to step away from the play area went into there and did not come out. (They were probably complaining about me.) If this market really is bringing in a bad element, I would try to shut it down, same as I would try to shut down any establishment bringing in a bad element regardless of race.

I think that it was Jeb77 who said that I should not have confronted the individuals and that I should be concerned with gang members and their social norms. I believe that he is right. I have little experience with Hispanics beyond walking past them, buying items from them, etc. When you have children around people, you are immediately forced into a pretty intense social environment. Most, and certainly my, children talk to adults, show them toys, crawl around them, etc. If someone is rude or if my children are doing something wrong, I have to respond to that. I am not going to put up bad behavior towards or from them. Really, the only response if I have to be afraid of gangs or any violence is to keep them away from single Hispanic men entirely. This is called prejudice, of course, but I think that's what I will do next time.

Anyway, Lehuster, I appreciate your courage in posting. It was bothering me to get beat up by so many people and I wasn't going to post any more. We're definitely in trouble in NOVA. I can assure you that Hispanic groups will have no problem joining together as a race to fight efforts that they do not like. Meanwhile, those of us who are just asking for decent behavior can't make much headway at all.
I didn't say you shouldn't have talked to the group of men; Carlingtonian did.

I operate on the assumption that adults generally try to make nice with kids, parents with kids in tow, and cute dogs on a leash, in no particular order. So I would have smiled and, in English and/or my best Spanglish, asked if my ninos could play where there were standing. I would tend to think such a request would be honored, since there are other areas for a group of adult men to stand, sit or smoke around Lake Anne Plaza. But, if the answer was no, I would have moved on, since truth be told it's a tiny, not very inviting, play area for tots in any event, made of concrete with no soft landings anywhere in sight, and there are better playgrounds elsewhere in Reston. Call that surrender to the collapse of social order if you want; I'd just view it as picking my battles. You're clearly worked up about this incident, or at least professing to be, but I'm not sure I'd view it too much differently than getting cut off in a parking lot by a Korean immigrant who may not be totally familiar with American parking lot etiquette.

In any event, the Latino market sells cheap, authentic homemade tamales. Maybe these guys decided that, if you didn't want them to smoke, they could at least get something to eat.

Last edited by JD984; 01-03-2012 at 04:31 PM..
 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:26 PM
 
Location: St Pete
480 posts, read 804,376 times
Reputation: 561
If fat white guys wearing khakis and smoking cigars were hanging out in Reston, would it still be going to the dogs? This forum is really hung up about demographics and percieved income level. Not everyone who doesn't look they belong in a lexus commerical is a low life. I personally have alot of tats, wear biker attire and smoke and I my income level is alot higher than the median imcome for this area. If someone who looked like me moved next door to alot of you, you would be crying to your HOA and complaining about the neighborhood going downhill. If you want to feel safe and secure, perhaps you find a neighborhood that allows current residents to vote on perspective home owners!!
 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterjohn View Post
If fat white guys wearing khakis and smoking cigars were hanging out in Reston, would it still be going to the dogs?
Don't get me started on fat white guys with cigars at the East Falls Church dog park. What a nasty habit. Still, not worth a confrontation--and in a muddy vacant lot covered in dog crap, it'd be faintly ridiculous.
 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,010 posts, read 2,701,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
In any event, the Latino market sells cheap, authentic homemade tamales.
OK, this is pretty important information.
 
Old 01-03-2012, 07:17 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,044,996 times
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Good evening.
 
Old 01-04-2012, 06:21 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,861,715 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
Really, the only response if I have to be afraid of gangs or any violence is to keep them away from single Hispanic men entirely. This is called prejudice, of course, but I think that's what I will do next time.
I don't think your four year old is at risk of being recruited into MS-13 if s/he shows a Hispanic guy one of her/his toys.

With that said, this is my point:

People are more tolerant of anti-social behavior from their "group," whether it be race, socio-economic status, etc. Conversely, they are less tolerant of such behavior from other "groups."

Corollary: People are more comfortable around people with whom they share at least something in common, whether it be race, family status, SES status, etc.
 
Old 01-04-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
Reputation: 3857
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
People are more tolerant of anti-social behavior from their "group," whether it be race, socio-economic status, etc. Conversely, they are less tolerant of such behavior from other "groups."

Corollary: People are more comfortable around people with whom they share at least something in common, whether it be race, family status, SES status, etc.
Not sure I agree. You can't imagine how many other white people I've yelled at or honked at (or confronted politely when possible) about their unleashed dogs, driving too fast on my street, driving too slow in the left lane of the freeway, talking in the movie theater, kicking my seat on the airplane, gabbing on the phone while driving, etc. If anything, I'm probably MORE comfortable confronting people of my own background--because (as I mentioned before), anyone who grew up poor (or is still poor) is probably more ready to push a verbal confrontation into a fistfight (or worse) than someone who is not from that background. Poor areas are more violent, and personal honor is more easily offended. In those environments, one has less to lose via physical confrontation. And I would be just as wary of rudely confronting the white hillbilly or young Asian guy with a hopped-up hatchback at Eden Center as I would the Hispanic day laborer.

It's like when I'm driving near the military base, I don't honk as much--because that guy in the lifted Jeep ahead of me may have just gotten back from a deployment and may have PTSD. (Plus in that case, the least I can do is not honk at him.)

Another reason I'm more comfortable confronting my own "kind" is that there's no awkward historical or economic subtext. If I confront a low-income person for something they're doing, they're going to think I think I'm better than them and am asserting my "superiority." So when you get in some Hispanic day laborer's face, point to the sign and say "Leave"--you're kind of boxing him into a corner. If he complies, I imagine he'd feel like he's cowering before your assertion of affluent Gringo superiority and would thus be emascualted.

Also, I think this was clear from my post earlier, but in case not: Obviously, most Hispanic day laborers are not in a gang. (In fact, most of them are victims of extortion by the gangs.) But a few are. It's hard to tell which. That's a gamble I don't want to take.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 01-04-2012 at 06:51 AM..
 
Old 01-04-2012, 08:12 AM
 
165 posts, read 173,938 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Not sure I agree. You can't imagine how many other white people I've yelled at or honked at (or confronted politely when possible) about their unleashed dogs, driving too fast on my street, driving too slow in the left lane of the freeway, talking in the movie theater, kicking my seat on the airplane, gabbing on the phone while driving, etc. If anything, I'm probably MORE comfortable confronting people of my own background--because (as I mentioned before), anyone who grew up poor (or is still poor) is probably more ready to push a verbal confrontation into a fistfight (or worse) than someone who is not from that background. Poor areas are more violent, and personal honor is more easily offended. In those environments, one has less to lose via physical confrontation. And I would be just as wary of rudely confronting the white hillbilly or young Asian guy with a hopped-up hatchback at Eden Center as I would the Hispanic day laborer.

It's like when I'm driving near the military base, I don't honk as much--because that guy in the lifted Jeep ahead of me may have just gotten back from a deployment and may have PTSD. (Plus in that case, the least I can do is not honk at him.)

Another reason I'm more comfortable confronting my own "kind" is that there's no awkward historical or economic subtext. If I confront a low-income person for something they're doing, they're going to think I think I'm better than them and am asserting my "superiority." So when you get in some Hispanic day laborer's face, point to the sign and say "Leave"--you're kind of boxing him into a corner. If he complies, I imagine he'd feel like he's cowering before your assertion of affluent Gringo superiority and would thus be emascualted.

Also, I think this was clear from my post earlier, but in case not: Obviously, most Hispanic day laborers are not in a gang. (In fact, most of them are victims of extortion by the gangs.) But a few are. It's hard to tell which. That's a gamble I don't want to take.
This is a great point. Speaking for myself, I'd like to add that when forced together, the rougher element is going to win. People like myself would rather stay away from the area than have to fight over space.

Reston was built on the idea of having spaces that bring people together. This idea has been pretty much abandoned by our society in favor of strip mall, big box stores, etc. It appears to be failing in Reston too. Nowadays people travel from home to safe destinations (playgroup, children's class, grocery store, etc.) then go back home. Even an area that celebrates the old town square idea like Reston is being destroyed by, for lack of a better term, multiculturalism.
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