No, dear Gringo that’s not afternoon fireworks you’re hearing, that’s gunshots. Yes, our little hipster hamlet has a teensy weensy gang problem. This past summer there were 14 gang related shootings within as many days, I know totes scary right? Seems like the Huffington Post missed this little fact when naming us the hottest neighborhood in the USA.
So how does a hipster stay safe in the hood? Here’s a few tips from some of us pioneers.
1. Get a dog, like a vicious, growling pitbull type dog.
2. Recognize the tags…and if you see rival tags close to each other probably best to avoid that area as a turf war may be imminent.
3. When you find yourself on the patio at the Cave and bum a cigarette from a large, 40 year old, bald, hispanic man with tear drop tattoos and he invites you back to his place, don’t go. Pretty much avoid eye contact with anyone sporting tear drop, knife and/or gun tattoos.
4. Avoid men with oversized clothes riding undersized bikes. Gang bangers love to rock out with over sized Dickie shorts and ginormous Dodger’s Jerseys. But then they mute their toughness by hopping on a bike that’s just a few sizes larger than a Big Wheels. Big clothes + Small bike = Hipster walking the other way.
5. If you’re practicing sign language, skip spelling words that contain the letters ‘L’ and ‘A’ as this could be mistaken for throwing gang signs. One of the gangs here in the HP is the ‘Avenues’ or ‘Avenidas’. Many of its members dwell in those dismal apartments on Avenue 57. They wear LA baseball caps and LA shirts and not just because they’re Dodgers’ fans. They’re sporting all that LA gear because “LA” in gang script stands for Las Avenidas; saved them from having to come out with a clothing line of their own.
6. If a gangbanging looking dude asks you “where you from” play dumb. You see “where you from” in gang speak means what gang are you in. Say something like Berkeley or Seattle, this will confuse them.
But being the loving politically correct crew that we are, we would never want to stereotype all our hispanic amigos as being gangbangers, so how can you be sure? In review here’s a few things to look for the next time you’re wondering if your neighbor is banging.
1. IF he can decipher those graffiti tags on your block, he’s probably a gangbanger.
2. IF he has tear drop tattoos, pretty safe bet…gangbanger
3. IF he constantly is saying “I like your dog, dog”, he’s probably a gangbanger.
4. IF his clothes are 4 sizes too big and his bike 4 sizes too small, might be a gangbanger.
5. IF he’s doing sign language and spelling lots of words with the letters ‘L’ and ‘A’, safe bet he’s a banger.
Hope this helps Gringos, be safe out there.