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June 8th, 2007:

Gettty Square Safer Than it looks

My blog-pal Lesley has a very interesting blog post about her recent foray to the Park Hill Residents Annual Meeting (we don’t officially live in Park Hill, although we live directly beneath it– it’s probably 200 yards as the crow flies, oh but what a difference that 200 yards can make!) For those of you who don’t know Yonkers geography– Getty Square is kind of the Times Square of Yonkers– before Disney got in there. It’s a very busy section of the town that operates very much as the nerve and emotional center of Yonkers. All of the buses go through there (Hello Port Authority!) and it’s a block or so from Larkin Plaza (where the train station is) It used to be more elegant and very posh, and now it’s full of dollar stores, cell phone stores, and a lot of half-boarded up buildings.

Park Hill is an affluent section of town with beautiful Victorian houses all around. In the Seventies it had gotten kind of run down, but now people are really polishing it back up. It’s mostly a residential neighborhood with few shops.

Anyway, The Streuver guy was up at Park Hill’s meeting, talking up their 3.1 billion dollar plans (You can read more about them on their website, and her blog talks about the meeting and… well, she says it so much better than me, let me give you a taste:

at any rate, my only real issue with the fellow from sfc was the way he was scaring the park hill people with his descriptions of getty square: “it’s scary! it’s bad! you don’t want to shop there! there are 13 and 14-year-old kids there that need jobs!”

[PORTION EXCISED]

…I walk through getty square at least a couple times a month, when the weather’s nice and I have the time to walk home from the train station. I’m a 115-pound white girl all by my little ole lonesome, and I’ve never once felt unsafe. no, I’m not walking there at night. no, I don’t look like the rest of the people in getty square (nor do many of the folks at the park hill meeting last night). and no, I admit I don’t shop at the dollar stores or the off-price clothing stores. but I don’t think the area is quite the drugged-out, crime-filled, scary-people-filled wasteland that the sfc fellow was describing. . . . at least, not quite anymore.

I agree with her 100%– it’s not quite as scary as it was– but there’s definitely still some scare factor still there. Especially at night. Like anywhere else.

I’m also thinking that the Yonkers School system is better than it’s reputation (after all, it can’t get any worse!) But seriously, what most people know about the school system is based on what happened 25 years ago (integrated busing problems)