Located at the SW corner of Nostrand and Park, there is a street shrine to people that lost their lives nearby. I am told additions to the shrine could be made only upon authorization of those who ruled the immediate area.
- As noted by the range between their year of birth and date of death, most were younger than 25.
- Most were men.
- I believe most died in homicides.
While we still have the occasional shooting and some ongoing drug dealing along Nostrand, the corner of Nostrand and Park is no longer anything like it once was. The shrine itself seems to provide evidence of this; It was started in approximately 1996 and stopped in 2006, and contains about 50 names.
The majority of the names seem to have been added between 1996 and 2004. After that, the pace slows, with the final entry made in 2006.
Seven years later, in 2013, the shrine no longer provides an omnipresent backdrop to an omnipresent drug trade. Those who created it and made their living in front of it, have now (voluntarily or involuntarily) moved on....
Although it is unfathomable to some long time residents, the days of the shrine's only remaining caretaker (the bodega) seem to be numbered. While the bodega is not regarded as being as much of an artifact as the shrine, it may soon leave us:
-The neighborhood has changed to the degree that it no longer supports stores which subsist largely from the sales of lottery tickets, 40 oz beers, and cigarettes.
-Commercial rents are soaring.
Unless the bodega can find the money to do some major renovations, I would not be surprised if it closed when their current lease expires.
We likely won't get to vote in real life, but, "Should we paint over the shrine and the names of the deceased, like the era never happened, and/or is in the distant past?"
In the present real estate boom, do we remain afraid that potential residents (buyers and renters) and potential proprietors will continue to associate the crime and violence that used to be very common, with today's neighborhood?
Or, do we keep the shrine as an artifact of the recent past?