Saturday, January 31, 2009

Daily News Article, Commenters, and 3rd Avenue

Yesterday's Daily News has an article that continues the titillating debate concerning the porn shops and peep shows (and Peyton's Playpen?) down on 3rd and 2nd Avenues. Brownstoner had its own blurb about the article yesterday, and of course that brought out the commenters club attempting to be clever.

Most of the comments were just having some goofy Friday fun with the topic. Others sympathized with Sunset Park's residents. And then there were several people who reacted as though the concerned citizens in SP were prudes or just idiots. The comments show ignorance of the area and its residents.

Among the misinformed statements were these:

exposing kids to things they shouldnt see? from the storefront, it just says 'midland video', as generic as any store. i doubt they have xxx material facing the sidewalk.

The photo Brownstoner happened to have in its archives is just one example of the score or so of shops. Besides, the shops are not all that the kids shouldn't see. The shops influence the sex trade on the streets, and some of the prostitutes are still out and about when children are going to school. Even more disturbing and sad is when you see a pimp abusing a woman right on the Avenue. There are several schools located between 4th and 3rd Avenue, and there are several playgrounds that look out onto 3rd Avenue. The remains of the night can also be found on the sidewalks.

another commenter:

Nobody walks on Third Avenue unless they work in those industrial buildings. They've been there for years and years with no complaints. I imagine they used to 'service' sailors off the piers there. As the piers are gone, there's still a large constituency of factory workers and what not near by.

Did you even read the article, or were you in such a hurry to get in on the frenzy of giggles that you skipped that step? Your romantic notions of who was "serviced" needs a little tweaking.

here is a taste of what you missed in the article:

A lawsuit over the city's sex industry dragged on for eight years before finally going to trial - allowing a glut of porn shops and peep shows to open in Sunset Park.

Residents charged in the suit the shops contribute to prostitution and keep the neighborhood from improving.

But the shops aren't breaking any laws because a city effort to regulate them has been tied up in court since 2001. The case went to trial in Manhattan Supreme Court this month.

In that time, the number of sex shops in Sunset Park has grown from a handful to about 25.

Apparently there WERE complaints years ago. Apparently more shops have been opening. Apparently Sunset Park gets to receive the fun times that more touristy and chic areas don't want. And guess what? People DO live on 3rd Avenue. And the numbered streets between 3rd and 4th DO have houses...not factories. That's close enough to be bothered by the activities these shops encourage. Also, your picture of a factory worker these days is probably far off the reality.

and another:

Generally speaking when I think about moving to a neighborhood, I go visit it first, so that I know if it's full of porn stores or not before deciding to move in.

Thanks for the advice, but most of the people who want the porn stores out have lived in Sunset Park longer than the influx of the high volume of stores. You also assume a certain monetary ability of choice in domicile. But I'm sure your comments will be helpful to many of the new-ish Park Slopers who complain about children and their parents, the Coop, and dog poop. They should have taken a look around the neighborhood too, I suppose.

Ugh. Sorry about the mini-rant. I have nothing against porn, but it irks me when people need to blab about something they obviously have no connection to and know very little about. Personally, I have nothing against pornography - if it involves consenting adults. But acting like it's not connected to less "innocent" pursuits that negatively affect quality of life and a place that many, many people call home is ridiculous.

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