Uptown Girl

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Sweet girl in the Bronx…

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

The Bronx is a borough of New York just 20 minutes uptown from Manhattan with a criminal reputation and long colourful history. The corner of 161st street and Morris avenue is famed amongst locals as a danger zone as is evident in the comments section of an article posted in New York Daily news this week. Shanell “Sweetz” Crute is the young woman who was shot and killed by a gang and died in her boyfriends arms on the street corner just before midnight on September 30th.
At just 26 years old Shanell Crute did not have any enemies, according to her boyfriend Ira Richards, though the situation tells a different story. Crute was running through the Bronx in an effort to escape a group of men before being shot 9 times and falling to her death. Police believe the shooting was a revenge for a dispute that had occurred earlier in the evening.
After arguing with the group Richards and Crute joined hands and ran from the gang, Crute was shot dead as she ran. As news spread of the shooting in her neighbourhood residents were very saddened. Shanell “Sweets” is said to have been a well liked person and nicknamed ‘sweets’ because apparently people seemed to fall in love with her easily.
This story is not uncommon in a city where gangs are rife and revenge is serious. Just last night on East 19th street, 2 young men were shot and killed as a result of a “beef” (longstanding grudge), which caused members of a Brooklyn street gang to locate Terrance Serrano and Rashawn Washington in a nightclub in the early hours of October 6th and wait for them outside in an SUV before shooting them point blank as they got in their car to leave.
Prominent street gangs such as the ‘bloods’ who both populate and control criminal activity in the New York prison system, in particular on Rikers island have had historical rivalries with Los Angeles gangs as well as those from other ethnic groups such as the “Latin Kings” . The bloods have made their presence known in the city since the 1960s with their signature red scarves and clothing. They are said to be founded by Omar Portee or “OG Mack” in a Rikers island cell.

Morales, M & Armaghan, S (2010, October 1st). Bronx woman gunned down while fleeing gang of thugs; dies in boyfriend’s arms NY Daily news, Retrieved from: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/10/01/2010-10-01_bronx_woman_gunned_down_while_fleeing_gang_of_thugs_dies_in_boyfriends_arms.html?obref=obinsite#ixzz11bZYF3sn

Parascandola, R & Lauinger, J (2010, October 6th). Busted taillight leads cops to suspect in Flatiron District double murder. NY Daily news, Retrieved from: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/10/06/2010-10-06_dim_bulb_busted_taillight_nets_slay_susp.html

The Bloods:In prison . (2010). Retrieved from



Tales from the city – NYC can sharpen your senses

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm

“They say life’s what happens when you’re busy making other plans. But sometimes in New York, life is what happens when you’re waiting for a table” quotes Carrie Bradshaw a character in the internationally successful television series ‘Sex and the City’. It is without saying that many things that happen on the streets of New York City simply do not in other cities in the world.

A great many of the most powerful companies in the world have their head offices in the big apple, a melting pot of cultures, socio economic backgrounds and wealth. This is where Madonna began her career, where hip hop was born and where the finances of Wall street influence the global economy.
‘If you can make it here you can make it anywhere’, Frank Sinatra’s triumphant voice echoes in many a fine NYC bistro.
But what does it feel like to be a New Yorker? What struggles does one face in the daily grind of the inner city?
Despite its glamorous hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and high rise penthouses, those who are not blessed with fortune are simply just struggling to make it – In any way they can. According to The federal Bureau of investigation, New York has one of the highest crimes rates in the United States. This is quite apparent in popular television shows, Law and order and CSI, but the real news stories of personal struggle and necessity are much darker and commonly forgotton on the action packed silver screens of the big cinemas.
What will become of Angel Alvarez? The 23 year old from Spanish Harlem who survived after being shot 21 times by police bullets last month ? Will he be convicted of simply fueding with a rival ? In the aftermath of the ill fated , Sean Bell,the un armed man who died in a hail of 50 police bullets in 2006 on the eve of his wedding yet has only just (4 years later), been issued with an official appology and a street bearing his name. How can we really be sure about who we can trust? Welcome to New York, open your eyes, stay informed and look beyond the obvious.

“It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.”
Agatha Christie, Detective and novelist

For more stories: http://www.delicious.com/ibizachica03



Christie, A. (1970).Agatha Christie Quotes. Retrieved

From http://thinkexist.com/quotation/it_is_ridiculous_to_set_a_detective_story_in_new/221364.html 

Jessica Parker, S(2006)Sarah Jessica Parker quotes. Retrieved from http://thinkexist.com/quotation/they_say_life-s_what_happens_when_you-re_busy/258194.html

 A walk over manhattan bridge  [Image]. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.urban75.org/photos/newyork/manhattan-bridge-walk.html

 Dominican still alive despite being shot 23 times by NYC cops [Image]. (2010).Retrieved from


Crime in Manhattan

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

My first night in Manhattan was the night of my 21st birthday. I was captivated by the bright lights and elegance of Madison avenue and the plush Carlton hotel. My 3 nights in the city were graced with glamorous dinners, champagne and Broadway shows. Enchanted, I moved to New York to live and work in what I thought was an idyllic life in the greatest city in the world. The grimy side of the city became apparent to me when I moved to upper Manhattan in the crime ridden neighbourhood of Washington heights. It was 13 minutes on the train to Times Square, I had no idea about its bad reputation or that it has one of highest crime rates in the country. I got myself a shared apartment and a job downtown and began to learn about the culture of the inner city. People at my new job were shocked when I told them about my residence, but perhaps too embarrassed to warn me against its perils. I chatted happily with the Latino locals who always in seemed happy in the hot summer streets, the children playing in the water of the open fire hydrants ,dancing to the constant meringue music coming from open windows . Within the first six months I was on first name basis with many of my neighbours especially the younger generation. I found them to be compelling, excited and filled with life. My naivety had the possibility to lead me into a lot of trouble. One morning on my way to the subway, I stopped at the top of my block at the local J&J corner store to get my usual egg and cheese roll. I greeted Julio, one of the shopkeepers and chatted happily. I bought a copy of the New York Post and sat down on the train to read it. I came across a small article, not very noticeable or even on the first page, that read “Homicide in uptown corner store”. I continued to read that a shop keeper had shot someone inside J&J corner store at 4am that same morning and that the store played a large part in the drug rings of Manhattan. The shop keeper had apparently fled to the Dominican Republic and the crime was being investigated. There was no yellow tape at 8am when I walked into the store and it was running ‘business as usual’. From that day forward I resolved not to be naive anymore and to learn all I could about crime in Manhattan.

Photo copywright Dave Beckerman

Personal Biography

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:32 am

I am a young, ambitious citizen if the world, currently studying externally to finish my mass communication degree. I was born in England and raised in Australia. After leaving school, I spent a season working as hotel entertainer in Spain performing in musicals such as ‘Grease’. After a year studying at university I spent 8 months living and working in Hollywood, Los Angeles followed by a move to New York where I stayed for 4 years working and making music. I currently live in Ibiza, Spain and work as a receptionist at a busy seaside hotel.