What am I to say. I do not want to be responsible for someone making an incorrect decision. What if they move in and something bad happens. What if they do not move in and never get to meet the great people who could have been their neighbours.
Well, I thought about it, and made a decision on what to tell this person. I thought about what I would want to know prior to moving here, and what I should be looking for. This is how the conversation went:
Random Person Question:
Hi there, random question from a random person!
I was wondering how you like living in the North End? It's the only area we can really afford to buy a house, and I'd be fine living there if it were just me - but I worry about my wife's safety. Do you feel un-safe?My Response:That is a loaded question. First, if you are not a gang member, and are not involved in illegal activities, the likelihood of bad things happening to you, yours, your property, is greatly reduced. Second, summer is always more active than winter for noise and activity. Third, each block should be looked at seperately for good / bad houses. If the houses on the block you are wanting to purchase on are all in good repair and have clean yards, it is a good block. Check the houses you share a back lane with as well, as they affect you as well. Fourth, it depends what part of the North End you are looking at. There is a difference between Magnus and Main and, say, McGregor and Atlantic. Drive down the front of the street and the back lane. Get a look at the immediate neighbourhood. Do the neighbours care enough to pick up the garbage that is just showing up from under the snow? Are they starting to rake their yards? Or are there stacks of mattresses and overfilled dumpsters, with garbage spread under and around the dumpsters? If the neighbours care about the area, it is a fairly good area. If the neighbours have broken windows, unpainted houses, abandoned cars and couches in their yards, and garbage everywhere, they don't care about the neighbourhood or the neighbours.
If you base your safety decisions on news releases, they seem to miss reporting that the "female mother of a young child visiting the gang house at 4am" had to be involved in some way with the gang members. The news played up the fact that she was not a gang member, and was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Think about what is not being said in those news reports before you jump to the conclusions that these incidents are happening to absolutely innocent people like you and me. I personally don't party at gang houses at 4am.
I hope I have answered your question.
And I hope I have answered your questions on whether you should give the North End a chance when looking for a new home, deciding if you should stay, or wondering if you will visit your friends who live in the North End. It is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. You won't get shot from just dropping in on a friend or walking down a street. The North End is a neighbourhood, like many of the other older neighbourhoods in the City. It is just in need of a little tender loving care.
My day to day concerns are with garbage in and around my yard, and rowdy neighbours in the middle of the night.