Last night, members of the East Fifth Street Block Association (and others) convened for the monthly Ninth Precinct Community Counsel meeting....
One nearby resident, Nina d'Alessandro, couldn't make it due to work commitments. This is the letter she asked to be read during the meeting:
I've lived on this block at 231 East 5th Street since 1978 and have seen the neighborhood--and the corner of 5th Street and Second Avenue -- through many changes. The situation at Sin Sin ranks with the worst I've witnessed in all these years.
I'm afraid for the young people who get into fights in the streets below my window. I'm afraid for the pedestrians who might happen by at the wrong moment when violence erupts yet again among the club's patrons. I'm afraid for the residents of this block. I've reached the end of my understanding, good will and patience because the patrons of the club are so rowdy, violent and noisy that I don't sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning over the weekend.
The noise and violence keep me up, frighten me, frustrate and anger me and affect my health, my daily life and my livelihood.
I normally use my weekends to get work done, as well as to see friends and relatives -- I discourage visitors these days because I know they won't sleep if they stay in our apartment. I can't get my work done because there is so much noise in the street at night that I have to sleep in the daytime.
The situation at Sin Sin is affecting my ability to do my job and take care of myself. While the club's owners have a right to make a living, it shouldn't be at the expense of the block's tax-paying residents.
The death of Mr. Thompson outside the club last month was tragic and predictable. I have a sickening sense that there will be more violence. Last Saturday night, September 18 -- really the morning of September 19 -- was the final straw: young people were screaming, fighting, doing drugs and drinking, dancing, and playing their parked car stereos at such high volume that my windows were rattling. Three times, they stopped when the police and/or the Sin Sin staff ushered them away from the middle of the block between Second Avenue and Bowery, and then within ten minutes they returned started up again. I really thought I would go crazy...
Something has to be done to protect the residents as well as our safety and general quality of life, or the neighborhood will change for the worse, all over again.
[Updated: Patrick Hedlund reported on the meeting for DNAinfo. The sister of Devin Thompson confronted the Sin Sin owner about the deadly shooting.