20 August 2013

The Interracial Couple And The Phantom Gay Male Friend

A few years ago, blocks of abandoned industrial buildings that rimmed the East River were razed to build rows of "luxury condos" and glass-and-steel bars and restaurants (or, at least restaurants that look like they're made of glass and steel). 

This is all reminiscent of what happened in the Meat Packing District and the area just west of Lincoln Center.  The difference is that the place I mentioned in my first paragraph isn't crawling with cavorting celebrities, as the Meat Packing District so often is.  

Still, I think it's fair to say that most of the people who've moved into those condos and who frequent those bars and restaurants have a pretty fair amount of disposable income.  And most of them probably have no idea of what the neighborhood was before they came along.

But I know about it because I've witnessed its transformation. I frequent the area around it, which includes a pier with one of the best views one can find of the Empire State, Chrysler and UN Buildings.  Photographers, painters and other artists frequently do their work there for that very reason.  That pier is only a ten-minute bike ride from my apartment.

I'm talking about the far edge of Long Island City, near Hunters Point.  While it is certainly a well-kept area (as was the surrounding residential neighborhood, which was populated mainly by blue-collar Italian-Americans).  The newly-polished surface of the area, and its increasingly vibrant night life, give some the feeling--or, shall we say, illusion--of tranquility.

But an incident over the weekend revealed that the surface may be, as it is in so many other places, a veneer.   

Interracial couple Jacob and Billie James-Vogel discovered when left the Shi restaurant and club--one of those new glass-and-steel places--with a gay male friend whose name was not disclosed.  The assialant yelled the "N" and "f" words while attacking Jacob and throwing Billie to the ground when she tried to shield him.

I don't know what, if anything, happened to the gay male friend.  In fact, I learned about him only because of an acquaintance who lives nearby and was there when the police showed up.  This acquaintance is not the sort who embellishes or sensationalizes stories, so I am confident in mentioning the gay male friend.  Of course, that would account for why the assailant used the "F" word.  That begs the question of why that detail was reported but not the gay male friend.

If so many outlets can be so sloppy in their reporting, I guess it's too much to ask them to probe why such attacks occur when and where they happen.  Then again, knowing such things might prevent some of the attacks, which would put some of the so-called journalists out of work because they would have fewer sensational stories to report.