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Old 01-04-2012, 02:34 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,868 posts, read 12,564,078 times
Reputation: 2604

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these people should stop in reston

Vamoose Bus - New York City | Bethesda, MD | Arlington, VA | Lorton, VA

 
Old 01-04-2012, 02:59 PM
 
165 posts, read 202,493 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by perries View Post
I take our kids to play in the plaza and have occasionally seen groups of loitering smoking men hanging around the pyramid, BMOCCC. As a woman, loitering groups of guys, or shady looking men, of any description, always are on my radar and raise my 'alert' level.

One tip is - I do keep the police non-emergency number on my cell phone. If I see something sufficiently dodgy - like the time I saw a middle aged man hanging around a playground by himself, talking and laughing to himself and looking really strange and possibly drunk - then I call.

Likewise, over at the boat structure, which has a clearly posted 'no skateboarding' sign, the entire structure was recently taken over by a group of teen boys doing skateboard tricks. It does seem like a great structure for skateboard tricks, but you can't really mix skateboarding teens with the toddlers who like to climb around on the boat structure thing. But you know, for that I wouldn't call. They played around on it and then moved on. If they were there every day, at all hours, I would call, out of annoyance rather than personal safety.

If people feel personally unsafe or that their children are unsafe of course they will avoid the area just as BMOCCC plans to do. It is definitely in the interest of the community to make sure public spaces are safe and welcoming, and I think that is down to the behavior of everybody. I've interacted with people from all walks at Lake Anne, but the only ones who raise a concern for me are the ones who behave in ways that appear antisocial or potentially so.

Children like to climb and jump from the pyramid and go inside it through to the other side. When my kids do that, and solo guys are loitering around generally kind of watching, yes I get unhappy when my kid goes inside the pyramid and around the other side and I can't see them. Or if my foolhardy kid appears to be readying a jump from the pyramid and I have to continually go near/past loitering adult men who check me out.

I don't think it is helpful for people who do not frequent the area to cast aspersion on the OP for relating their experience. OP, you've represented your POV really well and I appreciated the point you have raised.
Thank you for your supportive response from someone who has been through it. I really appreciate it.
 
Old 01-04-2012, 03:39 PM
 
165 posts, read 202,493 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblingMan View Post
There are two sides to every story. We're only seeing one of them here. In the interest of fairness, I'll say the following:

There's probably a post on a hispanic community bulletin board entitled "Lake Anne/Reston going to the dogs" where some guy says:

"Some of my friends and I were at Lake Anne today and came up to the cement public art area that you see on the left when you walk in. We were standing around minding our own business, and a few of us were smoking when some kids started playing on the pyramid and this crazy guy came up and started acting weird and aggressive. This crazy guy, who seemed to have very limited english, started getting in my face and speaking some sort of strange pseudo-spanglish and saying things like "Vamoose." I don't know what vamoose means. It isn't Spanish, and I don't think it is English, either. Of course, "Vamos" means "let's go" or "let's" do something in Spanish, and for a minute I thought he might be propositioning me or offering to sell me his children. I was so stunned that I just stared at him. I was pretty tense, because I was worried he might attack me. Then he went and confronted the other five guys I was with. He seemed to think he owned the place and was demanding that they leave. They didn't want to confront a crazy man either, so they stepped back a little so he could see that they weren't being threatening or anything. Later we went into a local store to see if they could call social services or the police to see if this crazy guy needs some help or if his kids are going to be ok.

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't confront him, because a lot of those anglos belong to the Aryan Brotherhood or other white supremacist groups. I'm not racist or anything, and I'm not saying all anglos are that way, just that some of them are and you can never be sure which. Why take a chance of getting shot or stabbed?

My concern is that nobody is telling these people what is acceptable. I don't know what is problem is, but he needs to understand that courtesy is important and that aggressively confronting people is not appropriate. I blame this on the Reston HOA. Sane people shouldn't have to deal with this. Will Reston remain a high value area, or is it going to the dogs?
This would probably be more accurate. "I came into this country illegally, worked without papers, evaded paying taxes, live in an underground economy, am left alone by the Reston HOA, and this guy expects me to obey a 'no loitering' sign? Ha!"
 
Old 01-04-2012, 04:07 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,759 posts, read 10,726,479 times
Reputation: 3955
First off: RamblingMan: Thank you. Hilarious and apt post. Well done, sir. I doff my toupee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
This would probably be more accurate. "I came into this country illegally, worked without papers, evaded paying taxes, live in an underground economy, am left alone by the Reston HOA, and this guy expects me to obey a 'no loitering' sign? Ha!"
You had me up till the last clause ("and this guy...").

Let's be real here. Yeah, these guys are probably illegal. Not a certainty, but not a big stretch. Do you really think they're flouting the smoking rule on purpose? I honestly don't think so. They're used to smoking wherever. Latin America is like that--very laissez-faire or whatever that is in Spanish. (Pura vida, perhaps?) I think they either don't see the sign or can't read it. After all, they know they're illegal, so they would probably be extra motivated not to run afoul of the authorities.

I'm the most uptight, crusty white person you would ever not want to run into in a dark alley, lest I correct your grammar. But come on. There are ways to confront people that don't make them feel humiliated and angry.

Are they the most educated and cultured people that Latin America has to offer? No. But they're not here to pi$$ you or me off. They just want to make a living. They came here because there are no jobs in Guatemala and all of their relatives are starving or six feet under thanks to the gangs/rebels/government/whoever. (Oh, and by the way, OUR government--which I work for--was a big part of screwing up that part of the world so that people can't make a living there.) I was with you on being annoyed about the smoking. But look, these guys are not the devil. They're just poor people. A little basic respect goes a long way.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 01-04-2012 at 04:43 PM..
 
Old 01-04-2012, 04:35 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,092,213 times
Reputation: 2871
I basically see BMOCCC (rather deftly, I might add) engaging in a two-step in this thread.

Step One is describing a family outing gone somewhat awry, which evokes empathy from anyone who has ever had to deal with others who don't follow rules of common courtesy. That pretty much covers everyone, myself included. I've lived in a neighborhood where there were a large number of adult alcoholics; one thing you learn from that experience is that it's very hard to graciously share a sidewalk with your fellow men when said fellow men are lurching from one side of the sidewalk to the other.

Step Two - either after Step One or as soon as anyone expresses sympathy for his encounter - is to treat his experience as Exhibit A for broader, and more debatable, propositions (Reston is a "fringe area"; South Lakes HS in Reston took a "big hit" when FCPS decided to redistrict a bunch of students from upper-income neighborhoods to South Lakes; the social order is threatened and fraying as we speak; and it's safe to assume that any random group of Hispanic males you might encounter are here illegally).

Step Three is to revert to Step One once challenged and suggest that this is just about a family guy trying to have a nice outing with his kids and that you must be blinded with PC not to see that. Repeat and rinse as needed. I appreciate (from a rhetorical, if not philosophical, perspective) the skillful bob and weave, but I'm still only prepared to concur with Step One.

Last edited by JD984; 01-04-2012 at 05:45 PM..
 
Old 01-04-2012, 05:21 PM
 
165 posts, read 202,493 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
First off: RamblingMan: Thank you. Hilarious and apt post. Well done, sir. I doff my toupee.



You had me up till the last clause ("and this guy...").

Let's be real here. Yeah, these guys are illegal. We all know that. Do you really think they're flouting the smoking rule on purpose? I honestly don't think so.
They're used to smoking wherever. Latin America is like that--very laissez-faire or whatever that is in Spanish. (Pura vida, perhaps?) I think they either don't see the sign or can't read it. After all, they know they're illegal, so they would probably be extra motivated not to run afoul of the authorities.

I'm the most uptight, crusty white person you would ever not want to run into in a dark alley, lest I correct your grammar. But come on. There are ways to confront people that don't make them feel humiliated and angry.

Are they the most educated and cultured people that Latin America has to offer? No. But they're not here to pi$$ you or me off. They just want to make a living. They came here because there are no jobs in Guatemala and all of their relatives are starving or six feet under thanks to the gangs/rebels/government/whoever. (Oh, and by the way, OUR government--which I work for--was a big part of screwing up that part of the world so that people can't make a living there.) I was with you on being annoyed about the smoking. But look, these guys are not the devil. They're just poor people. A little basic respect goes a long way.
I was pretty much along this line of thinking until posters made me realize that I had been aggressive by saying "vamoose" and should be more concerned about gang violence. I now believe that it's true that I am not qualified to deal with them if there is a point of contention.

I can try to learn their culture, but the fact is they they should be taught our customs regarding cigarette smoke, respect for people's space, obeying rules, etc. There should be outreach, enforcement, or something, but it's obviously not happening.

Also, where are they learning good business practices? In Mexico, or from underground employers here? Good government? From crooked Guatemalan officials, or from a country that lets them ignore our immigration laws?

I am past thinking of them as docile poor people. They are harming property values and degrading the quality of life - by their bad manners if nothing else. They have certainly driven me away from one village center and I hope there are not more areas to come.

No, they are not evil, but they are a problem. I will agree that much if it is the fault of their host country and locality.
 
Old 01-04-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Location: St Pete
554 posts, read 977,585 times
Reputation: 682
Danger! Danger! Aliens are ruining my quality of life. Run Will Robinson!
 
Old 01-04-2012, 06:23 PM
 
165 posts, read 202,493 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
I basically see BMOCCC (rather deftly, I might add) engaging in a two-step in this thread.

Step One is describing a family outing gone somewhat awry, which evokes empathy from anyone who has ever had to deal with others who don't follow rules of common courtesy. That pretty much covers everyone, myself included. I've lived in a neighborhood where there were a large number of adult alcoholics; one thing you learn from that experience is that it's very hard to graciously share a sidewalk with your fellow men when said fellow men are lurching from one side of the sidewalk to the other.

Step Two - either after Step One or as soon as anyone expresses sympathy for his encounter - is to treat his experience as Exhibit A for other, more debatable propositions (Reston is a "fringe area"; South Lakes HS in Reston took a "big hit" when FCPS decided to redistrict a bunch of students from upper-income neighborhoods to South Lakes; the social order is threatened and fraying as we speak; and it's safe to assume that any random group of Hispanic males you might encounter are here illegally).

Step Three is to revert to Step One once challenged and suggest that this is just about a family guy trying to have a nice outing with his kids and that you must be blinded with PC not to see that. I applaud (from a rhetorical, if not philosophical, perspective) the skillful bob and weave, but I'm still only prepared to sign off on Step One.
That is the "clever" way that you think. At the begining I did not get any sympathy. I was ganged up on and pounded immediately. Here is the second sentence of the first response that I received. It was from you. "I'm assuming, of course, that you would have chased off a group of unaccompanied grandmothers as well, if one of them had lit up on the playground." So off the bat, I was accused of prejudice.

There was Caladium's picture fest that led eveyone to believe that there was no designated children's area. It took four pages just for me to get anyone to believe that it really was marked. The message that I got early on was that the rules didn't exist and if I didn't like it to get my children the hell out. One of a few comments from Caladium was, "However, if you don't feel comfortable having your child play near adults, I would suggest that Lake Anne Plaza is not where you want to take him." Very few people spoke up in my support.

Please spare me the part about me using children as a ploy. This was the main focus of the thread. Me fighting off your attempts to discredit their right to play without litter, smoke, human obstructions, potential for violence, and rude behavior.
 
Old 01-04-2012, 06:26 PM
 
8,982 posts, read 21,171,724 times
Reputation: 3808
This thread has taken a turn from discussing would-be ne'er-do-wells and their impact on neighborhood children into theorizing on the immigration status of a group of people that have been encountered. For future reference, there is an immigration sub-forum located within the Politics and Other Controversies forum in which the latter would be more appropriate.

For now...this thread is closed.
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