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What's your first thought?


Hedgehog
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If anyone is curious here is the crime rates for the surrounding towns:

 

Bethlehem PA: http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?ci...em&state=PA

 

Easton: http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?ci...on&state=PA

 

Bethlehem Township: http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?ci...ip&state=PA

 

No data on Palmer Township (where I actually live), but considering the area (middle to upper-class for the most part) it is mostly comparable to Bethlehem township.

 

Damon

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Are there actual statistics to indicate that you should be worried when going through such a neighborhood?

Yes, there are neighborhoods like that.

 

However, it's been my experience that most Americans tend to over react and/or not know their facts - I used to live in a "bad part" of town when I first moved to Fairfield, CA. I didn't know anything about the city, so I used the statistics available through my local navy base housing office to find out if the apartments I was looking at were safe. I found a decent place, and moved in.

 

However, among the locals, it was a "bad area" because it was just down the street from a park where several drug busts had taken place. As I made friends among people who had grown up in the town, many couldn't beleive I lived there, that being such a bad part of town. Yet the worst issue I had while living there was the couple across the cul-de-sac that couldn't keep their arguments inside their apartment, and always brought them out into the middle of the cul-de-sac for us to witness (entertainment, I guess?). Meanwhile, up the road a couple miles, there were several really nice apartment complexes that I rejected because of the base statistics. I know several people who lived there who had their homes or cars broken into - but that was in the "good part" of town.

 

And a lot of these statistics are very dependant upon time of day. I've run across several areas in many cities where it's perfectlly safe during the day, reasonable in early evening, but extremely dangerous after 9-10pm. Yet many people will over-react, and not go there at anytime of day.

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I'd have to agree with Kim, the Warsaw Ghetto is the first thing that comes to mind. Growing up we kinda used 'The Projects' to refer to a bad neighborhood because well... the worst ones were the low-income HUD housing projects.

 

Then again, I'm a kid from the 'burbs so what do I really know? :poke:

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East St. Louis, IL...not far from the railyard, specifically.

 

Years ago, I scraped an armed robber off the side of my 18 wheeler there one night (not on purpose, I was just trying to avoid where he was pointing his revolver, while he tried to reach in the wing glass and unlock the door...at 15 mph). Later, during the extensive "flashing lights, cops and corporate safety" scene, I had a POLICE OFFICER look at me like I was insane, and ask me "You actually stopped at a red light in East St. Louis, after midnight?"

Then he went out of his way to tell all the other officers that I had stopped at the light, and THEY looked at me like I was nuts too.

 

I never did again, I assure you. Not in East St Louis, anyway. I don't drive a truck anymore, and I don't miss it much, to be honest.

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wow. So I assume police also wouldn't give you a ticket for running red lights after midnight in that area?

 

This is just soooo far away from my reality you can't even begin to imagine.... and I live ON the street in denmark that has the most drug problems.

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wow. So I assume police also wouldn't give you a ticket for running red lights after midnight in that area?

 

This is just soooo far away from my reality you can't even begin to imagine.... and I live ON the street in denmark that has the most drug problems.

 

The two or three times I had to go back there (after midnight) I didn't SEE any more police...I assume they were in hiding, or smarter than me. :unsure:

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that's scary. How does one go about avoiding these areas if you're a tourist for example? Pretty much every time I've gone to the US I've for some reason gone through the "bad part of town" without knowing it. Is there a way to avoid these areas when you go to a new city? What do you guys do?

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When I hear the word "Ghetto" several things come to mind - first is the original meaning of the word which it was applied to the Jewish areas of cities in the Old World through the Middle ages and into WWII. When you hear about the burning of the Warsaw Ghetto, it was the burning of the Jewish quarter of Warsaw. The term Ghetto seems to be a take off on the Yiddish "Shtetl." Pronunce the two and they sound similar.

 

Aside from that minor history lesson, in this day and age I hear that word and what also comes to mind is:

-South Central LA

-Large Segments of Washington DC

-NYC - Yeah I see much of that city as Ghetto. I've travelled through segments of it going to see my little brother on Long Island, sadly not much to look at.

-Detroit - The Big three closing down a lot of manufacturing hasn't helped this image any nor has all the images of hopelessness and helplessness the media has portrayed of the area.

-Inner city Rochester - there are places up there I refuse to drive through even in daylight out of fear for my own personal safety. One of the local clubs I have connections with wanted me to come to a meeting, when they told me their new home for the club was at the intersections of Dewey and Joseph I politely told them when their new home moves into an area where I don't fear for my safety I'll attend.

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