Thursday, July 05, 2007

Teens flood uptown on the Fourth

Cops on every corner. Cars pulled over along College and Tryon streets. Breathalyzers administered. Men in handcuffs. Swarms of teens pacing up and down Tryon.

That was the scene uptown last night about midnight. Clubs along Tryon Street were either closed or dead. Phil's Deli was the only place that was packed. (Considering Phil's only holds about 100 people, that's not saying much.)

The scene last night underscores two things about this city: 1) Officials are obsessed with protecting uptown (you could have been driving tore-down drunk anywhere else in the Charlotte and in no danger of being arrested), and 2) no one offers people under 21 decent nightlife options.

Co-worker Olivia Fortson has an idea I want you to consider. Since teens take over uptown on the Fourth of July, why not give them that night to party uptown? Clubs and bars along Tryon Street could hire DJs and extra security and admit only those under 21. The clubs could charge a cover and serve only non-alcoholic drinks (at increased prices).

What do bars and clubs along Tryon Street have to lose? Like I said, with the exception of Phil's, everything else was either closed or dead. As an adult, I had no desire to stay uptown and hang out with the cops and the kids.

What do you think? Could it work? Post your replies below.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very similar thing happened at the college I went to. The bottom line is that we can't have the disturbances we have had the past two years Uptown. It's not like it might happen...it did happen. Until the maturity level increases, this is what we are left with. There's too much at stake nowadays Uptown for a reputation of lawlessness.

Anonymous said...

It is very expensive to own a business uptown. You add on top of that the insurance premiums establishments must pay as well for adults over 21 businesses. The rates to insure a business to those that cater to minors is even more expensive. There are not many cities with a thriving under 21 scene in it's downtown/uptown districts i.e. too expensive, etc. I do agree that it does seem that teenagers are taking over uptown during the Fourth, however putting them in a bar is not the answer do to cost. I think that the Bob Johnson could open the arena yearly on the Fourth for just those 15-20 years old for teenage friendly concerts, celebrity NBA signings, etc.

Anonymous said...

These kids aren't uptown to contribute to the income of proprietors. They are there to raise hell and cause trouble. They wouldn't go into any of the clubs if they were open because they wouldn't want to spend any money to do so.
It's the same trouble makers that hang all over the street corners uptown on any weekend. Nothing to do, hanging, loitering, waiting to cause a disturbance.
Ridiculous, call it what it is and be done with it !

Fed up and sick to death of these bums !

Anonymous said...

sounds like a good idea to me...if you give them (teenagers) something to do, places to go & hang out, maybe they will stop gathering in mob-size groups & causing trouble.

Anonymous said...

the kids weren't the ones causing trouble... the police were. all they did was arrest anyone they could get their hands on and a flimsy arrest on. all the kids up there were hanging out and visiting friends. there wasn't even a fight... unless you count the one between the police and one girl.
people need to change their attitudes about kids, especially young black ones. all they need is a place to hang out and they aren't constantly causing trouble.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous idea. The thugs would just rip off the propietors. The police presence was excellent. Maybe the gangster wannabees will get the hint and leave the uptown area and make it family freindly...without the "f" word constantly heard....and thuglike intimidation and begging/demanding money. HOORAY CMPD

Anonymous said...

I have zero issues with black people. I have 4 friends that are black (even they feel African American is a rediculous name plate). They are law abiding just as I am. But these kids on the 4th are out of control. If the parents can't command dicipline then I applaud the police for doing it. They need that same zero tollerance every night of the week uptown. I live up there. It's my neighborhood. I shouldn't have to walk down the street in fear of my life and like the above poster stated, hearing the F word every 5 seconds.

Enough is enough already. White, Black, Mexican, what have you .....behave or don't come into town.

Anonymous said...

As a African American, parent and respectable citizen, I applaud the CMPD and city management for ZERO tolerance!!It's clear there is a lack of guidance at home for these unruly thugs.There is no way my son would be caught in the midst of these trouble makers in search of trouble.The absentee "baby mommas and nowhere to be found baby daddys" should be the second phase of the mass arrests.I have no pity at all for the junior convicts on the path of being socially unacceptable, unemployable due to a lack of home training!!!A generation well on the path of extinction and screaming racism all the way.

Anonymous said...

I seems to an outsider like me (I don't live in Charlotte), that Charlotte has a lot more problems with animosity between races than in the two other main metro areas in the state (the Triad and the Triangle). Those two areas have just as big of a black population as Charlotte, but it seems like there's less problems with race relations in those two areas. I get the sense that a lot of young Charlotte black males are trying to imitate the "Atlanta" thug mentality. Does anybody else agree with me?

Anonymous said...

It's not the responsibility of the business owners of uptown or the police to give these troublemakers some place to go.I have an idea, how about the parents do a little parenting and take care of their own kids.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta thugs?
When did Atlanta become the thug capital of the world?
Charlotte doesn't know what it wants to be. And I think the Police did over react and if you give these teens something to do, you won't see the problems or the overreaction of city officals.
How many kids--I wonder--were arrested just because they had on big white tees and baggy jeans.
How much crime was commited in other areas of the city?
CMPD wasted my tax dollars on July 4th and harrased a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Why is it the responsibilty of the City or Bob Johnson or anyone else to provide a place for teenagers to hang out? My son is 15 and I would never assume that his entertainment is the responsibility of others. What about my role as his parent? Shouldn't we all be responsible enough to take care of our own children? Step up to the plate parents and parent your own child.

Problem solved said...

Just moving the transit center outside the uptown loop would help matters tremendously. It's current location is a detriment to both Bobcats arena, and uptown events like the 4th of July. The center's proximity to a growing number of Center City's biggest attractions makes it a turd in the punchbowl. It's clear none of these troublemakers have their own transportation, and are far too lazy and indignant to actually walk more than a handful of city blocks. I say move it to Eastland Mall and let the city's minorities live with the problems they created in the first place.

I also agree with the contingent of posters who portend these thugs (mostly angry and hostile young black males) add nothing of value to the uptown landscape, and countering Jameson's laughably pathetic idea that opening the bars and restaurants to these folks who have ZERO disposable income and wouldn't spend a freakin' nickel in any of these establishments is somehow going to help matters. Her refusal to admit black youth is the root cause of 99.9% of all crime/behavioral/sociological problem uptown is completely ludicrous. Just because you IGNORE the truth Tonya, doesn't make the reality of situation one single iota different. You're a complete and total fraud. The Observer would be doing the community a huge and unprecedented favor to the community by terminating your sorry self.

Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that 364 days a year, teens find plenty of stuff to do uptown.

No, seriously. Drop the stereotype in your mind and spend some time on Tryon St. Teens all over the place: skating, playing music, laying on the grass in the parks.

The problem with big events is that they create a large, anonymous crowd. The only way to keep that under control is with significant (but not overbearing) police presence. The city did it right this year; unfortunately it means the teens had to find somewhere else to hang out.

Anonymous said...

White, Black, Latin, etc. Wherever you are from, don't forget to take your manners with you to public events. If everyone uptown behaves, then regardless of your ethnicity, you and all will have a great time.

Being unruly is not an option in a public setting, therefore thanks CMPD for arresting whites, blacks, latinos, etc on the 4th.

(if you don't believe me, then go to charmeck dot org then look up the arrest mug shots that night)