Another Black Eye on South StreetJim Goad
When I was younger — and what a great, sweet, innocent, unrealistically wonderful time it was — nostalgia was often seen as a crutch for people who can’t enjoy the modern world. But since there’s nothing to enjoy about the modern world, nostalgia now seems like the wiser option.
I was born, weaned, whelped, and reared — though not necessarily in that order — in the greater Philadelphia area, and I will never apologize for this, despite the fact that it would be the prudent thing to do. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for that scrappy, crappy metropolis. Last September I wrote about how it broke my heart to see Philly’s Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods — home to the toughest and crassest white people I’ve ever known — become an open-air interracial opioid death camp.
Last Saturday night, Philly became the latest American city to host this summer’s burgeoning Mass Shooting Round Robin when multiple gunmen killed three and wounded 14 others near midnight on South Street, one of the city’s most popular tourist spots.
Every city seems to have its own South Street; it’s the main strip in town where you go to drink, eat, see movies or bands, and get into fistfights. Think of Bourbon Street but with cheesesteaks, and you have South Street. Or picture Greenwich Village, but much fatter and more violent.
The 1963 song “South Street” by Philly’s own black vocal band The Orlons confirmed that even back then, it was the city’s bohemian hotspot:
Where do all the hippest meet? (South Street, South Street)
Where the dancin’ is elite (South Street, South Street)
Side by side we’re loose and neat
When we’re stompin’ down the street
Hurry down, baby, she’s the hippest street in town!
Most of my experiences on South Street were from the early and mid-1980s while I went to college and lived in Center City. The South Street I remember featured Harry’s Occult Shop, which carried all manner of dead and unborn creatures preserved in formaldehyde-filled jars. It was home to Krass Brother’s Men Store and its quintessentially tacky TV commercials. South Street had a little barber shop tucked away in an adjacent alley where I’d get my hair cut by Joe Cirello, who invented the “DA” (duck’s ass) haircut back in the 1940s. It boasted a punk-rock clothing store called Zipperhead, which eventually relocated and changed its name after people made a big stink about “zipperhead” being an anti-Asian slur. The Theater of the Living Arts (TLA) at 3rd and South was where I first saw Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill and King of Hearts and other obscure “midnight movies” back in a pre-YouTube era when you actually had to travel into the bowels of a giant sleazy city to find anything even a bit non-mainstream.
Saturday’s mass shooting happened right outside the Theater of the Living Arts. A band named Dying Fetus was playing inside when the shooting occurred.
So far, two suspects have been arrested. They are both black. One of the gunmen died in the shootout. He was also black. And a fourth suspect has been identified but not captured as of this writing. He’s black, too. It all appears to have popped off with a brawl between three of these gents.
Two of the brawlers were reportedly aspiring boxers. It’s a refreshing change from all the aspiring rappers committing mass shootings these days.
I don’t remember much of a black presence on South Street back in the 1980s. Philly cops back then were much more aggressively brutal, and at least the Italian douchebags from neighborhoods immediately south of South Street would show up en masse to flex on Saturday nights in the summertime.
But footage allegedly taken right as the shooting started Saturday night shows a crowd that was almost entirely black. Apparently even South Philly’s legendarily feisty Guido Contingent has been scared away from South Street. Here’s another shot of the crowd from Saturday night, as well as a group of young ladies blocking a car via terroristic twerking.
There had been another multiple-shooter event in the same area earlier in the week. Shortly after midnight the previous Tuesday, there were reports of shooters at 4th and South Streets and a couple blocks away at 5th and Leithgow. No one was killed. Surveillance footage shows that all of the perpetrators in this incident were also black.
Writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a long-time resident of the South Street neighborhood named Peter Dobrin calls the area the city’s “most fraught party zone. . . . But Saturday night’s shootings were very different. People died. And it feels as if some awful demon has been let out of the bottle. That demon, of course, is guns — in all of their now-ubiquitous horror.”
Yep, it’s those cotton-pickin’ guns again. Of course.
The article quotes a local hardware-store owner and “championship neighborhood booster” who says, “It’s another black eye on South Street. I wish I had the magic answer.”
Might the word “black” be the magic answer you’re seeking?
This wasn’t the first black eye on South Street. During a flash-mob riot in 2010, black teens on South Street attacked everything in their path while chanting BLACK BOYS and BURN THE CITY.
People ask where the cops were last Saturday night. They were everywhere. There’s a police station only six blocks from where the shooting happened. Officials claim there were 70 police in the immediate area of Saturday night’s slaughter. One of them even fired at and injured one of the gunmen. But several eyewitnesses, including both revelers and store owners, said they could sense something was going to go wrong that night. The invading dusky hordes seemed especially rowdy as darkness fell, but police apparently didn’t enforce the 9 PM curfew for what mostly seemed to be an underage crowd.
According to one observer, “The kids were running up the roofs of the parked cars, and all of us out trying to enjoy the night were getting uncomfortable.” There were also reports that around 9 PM, at least two men were seen brandishing guns, causing a brief panic amid onlookers. This was nearly three hours before the mass shooting.
Were the cops told to stand down? Or is it too risky to these days to stand up?
Frank Rizzo was Philly’s police commissioner in the 1960s and its Mayor in the 1970s. There has never been a more entertaining Mayor in American history. The Philadelphia Police Department under Rizzo was notoriously brutal, especially toward blacks. As luck would have it, Philly had no major race riots during the 1960s. But Frank Rizzo is now considered such a pariah, both a statue and a mural in his honor were recently removed from the streets of Philadelphia — the streets that he famously said were not dangerous at all. He made it clear that it was the people who made Philadelphia unsafe.
Philly’s current Mayor looks like he’s been on puberty blockers since infancy. And its current Police Commissioner is a black woman named — I wish I was kidding — Danielle Outlaw.
If Frank Rizzo were alive today, he’d be 102 years old. Even if he had to be placed in an oxygen tent, fed intravenously, and diapered around the clock, I’m certain he’d do a better job both as Mayor and Police Commissioner than the current pair of disgraceful bozos.
Philadelphia, you’ve broken my heart again. But not because your blacks are violent. Philadelphia’s blacks are always going to be violent — after all, this is Philly, and these are its blacks. But your Mayor, your Police Chief, and even your Dagos have lost their guts. And the bloody fighting Irish of Fishtown and Kensington are too strung out on fentanyl to even show up for the fight.
An American city where only the blacks are allowed to be assholes is no city at all.
And this is why we can’t have nice cities.
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.
- First, donor comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Second, donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Non-donors will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days.
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:
Paywall Gift Subscriptions
If you are already behind the paywall and want to share the benefits, Counter-Currents also offers paywall gift subscriptions. We need just five things from you:
- your payment
- the recipient’s name
- the recipient’s email address
- your name
- your email address
To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.
The Future’s So Dumb, I Gotta Wear Shades
The Worst Week Yet: March 12-18, 2023
Race and Ethics in John Ford’s Stagecoach
Institutional Racism Explained
The Worst Week Yet: March 5-11, 2023
40,000 Brown Sardines Packed Into One Prison
The Abolitionists as Virtue-Signalers: Nehemiah Adams & A South-side View of Slavery
Body Cams Never Lie
God, just watching one of those short videos gives me anxiety. I’m really not looking forward to having a conversation with my two young daughters one day about the dangers of being among a large group of blacks and the dangers that can come without it backfiring on me.
John Derbyshire got it right more than 10 years ago.
Essential reading no matter where you live.
I’ve read that before and I loved it then. Thanks for reminding me of it because it may unfortunately come in handy.
Thanks for sharing that.
If they’re anything like my daughter such a conversation will be technically impossible. You will not be able to even agree what constitutes a fact, let alone what interpretation to place on the facts. And my daughter (who grew up in south London) has experienced black racial violence, directed at her personally.
Informative and entertaining read.
Like many places that have now been overrun by the enemy and abandoned by our allies, this spot in Philly is someplace I once visited when it was still safe and casual to do so, say, circa 2008. Had a similar experience in the heart of Atlanta in 2005. In Philly, I ran up the steps. Had the cheese steak wiz wit. Cruised around. The ‘it’s a nice place to visit but…’ metaphor still applied then but surely no longer does. It’s not a nice place.
I wasn’t aware Krass Brothers also had a store in Frankford and two of the brothers were murdered there in a hold-up in the early 90’s by, you guessed it, “guns.”
One wielded by “Jermaine.” Do the math.
Thanks for your article Jim,
I’m sorry I missed you. I used to work at the Univ of Penn in the 80’s and would bicycle into work & out from the suburbs each day. Also worked for The Franklin Research Center (next to The Franklin Institute) which is now closed as all our science research is outsourced to these super-bright Indians & Chinese.
Sometimes I’d take the EL down to 69th St and the busses from there. I’d like to stand in the front El train car with the front window open. I was one of those people that would go from car to car in the train while it was moving.
I’d also go to coin stores, sometimes leaving at night and in the early days Wanamaker’s had a coin shop inside the store. Once I got a beautiful mint state (uncirculated) Liberty Head US $10 gold piece (1880’s) from the coin shop on 1804? Chestnut St. Never any problems with theft or people bothering me.
Never knew of the social activities on South St., as posted elsewhere on C-C, I was always clueless on where to go to meet women, being a bit of a nerd. Was just back in Philly in 2020 & took my young son. We hit the Historical parts & some of the museum stuff but the USS Olympia was closed then.
I was born near there.
We were those people, too, who just had to move between cars on the Frankford El when it was doing eighty miles per hour. Those doors have to be what penitentiary doors sound like. As pre-teens we would ride our bikes to the 69th Street Terminal, a hair-raising trek in its own right involving West Chester Pike for us -no “bike lanes,” no “crosswalks”- you were on your own. Watch out for the Edsels. Leave our bikes at the Terminal, itself a dark and seedy wonder to behold with its subterranean Penn Fruit, and ride the el to the end of the line and back for the better part of a day for I believe 20 cents. Horror stories about “the third rail” making it all the more enjoyable.
Our parents would have flipped.
I think cars in those days were more alert to pedestrians and/or kids on bikes. Also more cars and the giant SUVs or the super assertive/aggressive Land Ragers had not yet been invented. I used to ride on West Chester Pike at times, though preferred Garret Road as it was smaller. The 69th Street Depot was famous: it was where all the trains ended and the bus lines began. Plus the whole building snaked around like some sort of maze/tunnel thing. It felt so alive in those days.
But the whole country seems to be changing. The Gov’t says it’s for the better although I understand that talking about “the Great Replacement” is now officially condemned. Don’t know if it’s officially illegal yet. Of course I am very happy with all the new changes and Diversity. I think it’s worth it of course as Diversity makes us stronger somehow.
Are you familiar with Val Shively’s R&B Records on Garrett Road? 45 Nirvana.
Around 1979, I bought the following items from that store:
• An original pressing of White Light/White Heat by the Velvet Underground
• An original pressing of Freak Out! by Mothers of Invention
• “Psychotic Reaction” by Count Five on one side of the 45 with a Smiley Lewis song on the other
• “Wild Weekend” by Rockin’ Rebels 45
One night of sin is what I’m now payin’ for, the things I did and I saw would make the earth stand still…
“One Night Of Sin” by Smiley Lewis
Some of those areas are now going Black. These people are legitimately unfriendly. Don’t know how much is due to the new caution about being unfriendly towards strangers and how much is due to their traits.
“The Wire” remains one of the greatest TV shows of all time. It was a semi balanced take on urban crime, city politics, policing, media and how poor parenting models produce the ‘youths’ you see in various riot and gut-toting footage. Needless to say, it could not be made in 2022. There is a new sequel of sorts, “We Own This City”, which is fortunately not as ‘woke’ as one would fear. Yet it seems to place the blame on police corruption for increased murders. Black drug dealers had some of their stash stolen by crooked cops… how are they going to pay for Harvard now? Or too many stop and frisks make people act up… It never seems to work the other way. When white folks get robbed, carjacked or some good old battery they don’t seem to get a pass to ‘act out’. They just do as Frank Rizzo said, ‘A conservative is a liberal who got mugged the night before’.
As usual, when the media feels its first dumb explanation has run out of gas, e.g. the coronavirus pandemic is the cause of increased violence, they jump to a new explanation, ala, We have always been at war with Eastasia.
Everyone here can tell the exact same story about the big city he grew up in or around. Only the streets, mayors and police commissioners have different names . For myself it’s Cleveland. We used to have Riverfest, the flats, the warehouse district and Slavic village. The Tower City mall is a vacant homeless shelter. The casino is a haven for drug dealers. No explanation is needed. We all know what happened. You’re right in your assessment Jim. Every week is the worst week ever.
The Flats! Extremely odd timing, as I was looking at this article earlier today…
…and was trying to think of the riverside tourist area I’d been to in Cleveland back around Memorial Day 1986. Looking at the picture, I was thinking, “Did they call it the Cliffs?” Nope—the Flats.
Yes the Flats!! Thank you for the link.
I can think of far more miserable places to live than Cleveland. Just here in Ohio Youngstown leaps off the page. Steubenville, home to Dean Martin and Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder are far more run down.
I’ve since moved west of Cleveland and what is most troubling is that Detroit residents have discovered the Lake Erie islands. The merchants there need to figure out a way to make them feel unwelcome. They only have six months to make their living and if the white tourists get scared away it’s over.
Don Rickles: “And here we have Mr. Dean Martin, from Youngstown, Ohio…”
Dean Martin “…Steubenville.”
Don Rickles: “Steubenville? Like that’s better?”
There’s a good book called Family in which the author, Ian Frazier recounts his childhood and even later memories, as well as the lives of his ancestors, around Cleveland and other places in that part of Ohio.
A compelling read, but alas gut-wrenching as well when one surveys how much these places have changed for the worse over the years.
I got to thank you Jim for the trip down memory lane with that Krass Brothers commercials link. My Father was a Philly Policeman for 30 plus years and he was one of Frank Rizzo’s favorite cops. He told me a story where Rizzo offered him a raise and a promotion if he could get a picture of the D.A. and future Mayor/Governor Ed Rendell walking out of one of the gay bars in the Gayborhood. Times sure have changed.
I met Frank Rizzo only one time in 1986 when he attended my grandmother’s funeral. He was quite the personality indeed. Great man.
The only decent place to live in Los Angeles is in one of the myriads of suburbs, and on one of the single-family housing streets far from the downtown area, in the San Gabriel Valley, or the San Fernando Valley, etc. In the San Gabriel’s ‘hidden retreats’, I’ve somehow landed in a mostly Asian neighborhood. Peace at last. Of course, no restaurants or nightlife to speak of, but safe. The Latinos hot-rod on our larger highways going through after about 2 a.m., but other than that, pretty quiet. The best we can do in America today.
”a group of young ladies blocking a car via terroristic twerking.”
Thank you, Mr. Goad. Thank you.
There have certainly been ups and downs with this postwar white-flight/black-blight arrangement the last 20+ years in white suburbia from school shootings to whites becoming the face of drug abuse, but overall whites becoming semi-nomadic commuters has been the best thing we could have done in voluntarily ceding our beloved metropolises, while the nonwhite became urbanized. It has taken many decades, but the cosmopolitan degeneracy is finally causing a worse shock in the birthrates of nonwhites over nonwhites. Blacks becoming ghettoized in these urban Bantustans has become a form of containment better than any Cold War policy and almost as good as any Amerindian reservation treaty. I support arming rival black gangs instead of Ukrainians because every hour is a ghetto Game of Thrones in the hood. People still criticize the Trump prison reform, which was pretty much the inversion of the Clinton crime bill, in terms of skyrocketing black crime, but the dividends are paying off several years later. It has created a fish in a barrel because these gangstas are wiping each other out younger and younger, while also nullifying black passersby in the crosshairs instead of surviving in the prison system off white taxpayers and becoming prestigious rappers after being paroled.
More than a thousand shooting victims in Philly so far this year. But they’ve really done this to themselves with their Jewish DA Larry “Not a crisis” Krasner. Lets see if another homicide record is broken this year.
If there were one word to describe black behavior in general, in a somewhat neutral way, it would be “baffling.”
What a great entertaining read. It bothers me perhaps more than others (due to my profession) what has happened to America’s great cities, Philly most definitely being one of them. The constitution was signed there ffs.
I appreciate counter currents because on this site people understand what was lost — bland suburbs or automobile-oriented newer sunbelt cities will never replace our once-great cities. The class, the transportation system, the creative energy, the architecture, pace of sophistication of social life. Great cities inspire the human spirit, and Europeans/whites build some of the absolute best cities. In contrast, bland suburbs evoke despair and hopelessness, the feeling that each home is an island with no pride in or sense of the larger community. The last sentence is such a brilliant way to leave it— nobody but blacks can be assholes. And that means they will destroy everything our ancestors have built, barring some providential shift of power in media and increase in T among white men.
“And this is why we can’t have nice cities.”
Why, it’s almost as if we are different species.
“This ghost species may have been late H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, or a close relative. One or more late-surviving members of this ancient group met and mated with the ancestors of living Africans sometime in the past 124,000 years, the modern genomes suggest.”
And I’d like to commend you for the subtle way you worded the title, Mr. Goad.
Ahh yes philthadelphia! Wisely, I got the hell out of there years ago but I do miss it. My family remains in south Jersey.
Last time I visited the Queens village neighborhood around South Street I went to one of my old favorite hangouts. It’s a dive bar called The Dive Bar. Pretty sure it’s owned by an entrepreneurial hipster jew (redundant, I know). You could still smoke in the place and bring your dog inside. Years ago there was a chick who would bring her pet fox in a for a drink. Anyhow, last time I visited I ended up seated at the bar next to a fat mestizo and his fat SWPL white girl bff. It was the summer of 2015. They must’ve smelled the fash oozing off me bc at some point they began poking me about my political views. They commented that I was going to vote for the Orange Man. I said “no, he’s a pussy.” They told me to vote for Bernie. I asked them “you think I’d vote for a commie jew?” They looked like they’d just seen a ghost and got up to take a seat down the other end of the bar. 😂 good times.
When I lived in the Pennsport neighborhood at 3rd and Wharton I was working as an ironworker. This was about 15 years ago. Still some hard White men around but not many. I’d bet they’re all gone now. The famed South Philly Italians are all but gone too. Most are out in the burbs and have been for years. The whole city is an open air zoo.
Yer right. The Italians are in Havertown, Drexel Hill, Westbrook Park…
Westbrook Park is the neighborhood where I grew up. 239 Wyncliffe Ave., to be precise.
Did you know that the Westbrook Park neighborhood has more Irish and Italian ancestry people living in it than nearly any neighborhood in America? It’s true! In fact, 45.4% of this neighborhood’s residents have Irish ancestry and 28.3% have Italian ancestry.
Westbrook Park is also pretty special linguistically. Significantly, 30.6% of its residents five years old and above primarily speak Italian at home. While this may seem like a small percentage, it is higher than 100.0% of the neighborhoods in America.
Consequently the quality of hoagies goes up a notch or three. For a time the voted “best Italian hoagie” in Philly AND New York was at the Italian Kitchen in East Lansdowne near the Yeadon Bridge and the Fernwood Diner, not “downtown” as you might expect. Still there right on Baltimore Ave.
Comments are closed.
If you have Paywall access,
simply login first to see your comment auto-approved.
Note on comments privacy & moderation
Your email is never published nor shared.
Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. If approved, it will appear here soon. Do not post your comment a second time.
Edit your comment