Trying to think of somewhere romantic and pun-filled to take your sweetie tonight to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day? You might want to stay away from Valentine Avenue in the Bronx. The Bedford Park road has become central to the burgeoning heroin trade; according to the News, there have been relentless stabbings, gunfire, street robberies and gang activity over the summer there. One veteran narcotics investigator said the neighborhood was as bad as Washington Heights in the '80s: "It's been that way for quite some time. There's a saturation effect. After a while, people on the block will ignore it rather than jeopardize their safety by complaining."
In July, police busted the notorious La Perla Organization, who ran a $40,000 a day heroin enterprise on Valentine between E. 194th to E. 196th. It's gotten so bad that when the nations Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske visited, he had six bodyguards accompany him on a tour of the area.