For a while now trouble has been brewing in the West Village between the folks who live and work there and the youths who congregate there, today the City section catches up with it. Decades after Stonewall a new generation of gay boys and girls have, much to the consternation of the previous ones, discovered the charms of the West Village, specifically of Pier 45. Each night, especially on the weekends, they come to the pier from all over the metropolitan area to hang out, flirt and be who they don't necessarily feel comfortable being at home. On the other hand, “they have no manners,” Ahmed Mouhed, 40, who works at the Shada Deli and Grocery on Christopher Street told the Times. “They’re loud. They’re a lot of trouble.”
The real trouble seems to start after the pier closes at one AM. With nowhere else to go these gay youths have no choice but to walk around, often slowly and loudly in groups. It's those late night rowdy strolls which have the neighbors, who don't seem to begrudge the kids as much as they miss sleeping, up in arms. Enter City Council Speaker Chirstine Quinn with a plan:
To appease residents, the police presence around the pier would be increased, with up to eight officers patrolling the area overnight from Thursdays to Sundays. To help the teenagers, staff members from a youth aid organization called the Door have begun visiting the pier from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., counseling the youths about issues like HIV testing. The Door is receiving $157,500 from the city to cover its program through June.
All well and good, we say, but won't having a bunch of cops standing around just make the teens start walking around the neighborhood earlier in the evening? And this still doesn't answer where these kids are supposed to go after the pier closes. How do you think this "issue" should be handled?