Before I begin, I think I should lay down THE FACTS:
First of all, Syracuse is a city; a normal, dangerous city. Not a particularly dangerous city, perhaps, but like most cities (except for Amherst, NY apparently) Syracuse is not a city in which you feel great about walking by yourself after dark. According to the FBI, in 2003, Syracuse fell somewhere between New York and Philadelphia for violent crimes (about 300 per 100,000 people).
But I have to say, from living in the city, I would assume much worse. Besides the fact that Syracuse University sends an email to me everytime there is a mugging or robbery in my neighborhood:
(the weekend of halloween there were atleast 7 armed robberies, and one kid was pistol whipped! The next week there were more state troopers and straight up cops on my block then there had been probably on my whole street the entire year)
I've heard plenty of stories from friends living in more dangerous parts of the city too: Desira told me about seeing some violent crime going down in her parking lot, involving a baby! Also, kids have been shot at, and apparently, someone was robbed on the actual quad of the campus last thursday. I could go on and on, really... Shit! THIS PLACE IS SCARY!
Personally, I've been hit by eggs, water balloons, etc.; my bike was smashed last year as I sat unknowingly in the Library.
People have various defenses/weapons that they think might work too:
-My friend Stone never walks at night without a full cup of coffee.. less than likely that someone would target a dude that's 6'5 to begin with, but if it'll get him to class...
-Once I was on my way to a Logic review sesh at night, and when I closed the door, the knob came off. I carried it to campus.
Which brings me to my next point...
MY DRIVE-BY EXPERIENCE:
Last night I was walking home alone after having dinner at Stone/Caro/John/DJ's house. They live at the bottom of a huge hill, and over the top of the hill is my house, the dogg house. Anyway I usually run up that hill to stay in shape, and just because it takes too long to walk up, but last night I was too tired, and full of mushroom soup to do any sprinting up hills. About half way up the hill, I noticed a car, some oldsmobile or something, going suspiciously slowly down the hill that people usually do atleast 45mph down. I should have known something was up, but I'm much too confident in my own luck to act on suspicion. I immediately thought of the ridiculousness of the idea of a DRIVE-BY where I was the target. "That would be too crazy!" I thought. And just when I walked into the middle of a driveway, where there was no protective railing...
The only words that could come out of my mouth were pathetic,
-I've been hit, WTF?! My leg! What is it... BB's? Wasn't a bullet... Doesn't hurt like BB's... Strange-
I looked for the car, which strangely enough continued its confusingly slow pace, to get a liscense plate, but the car was too far, and the thought of getting hit in the face as I chased after it was enough to make me cry with self-pity.
I looked at the back of my right leg and saw it was covered in some black ink...
-Are they going so slow to turnaround?-
-Fuck, whats this car?!-
Some kind of air rifle?
Paintball! I was hit by a paintball, in the back of the leg.
But I wasn't angry, I was just confused. Why would they pick some random ass dude to do that too? Why in the leg? They had pretty good aim... Why so slow afterwards? maybe to hear if I would curse at them... Why didn't they shout anything at me afterwards?
I got home and was so confused, I didn't even understand the joke that my roommate Adam made.
"Jeez man, maybe it was an octopus."
"What the hell's an octopus?" I said, not even really listening to either of us.
"What do you mean, Wes?"
-Shit, I have to pee-
It came to me as I was in the bathroom:
My leg: I'm glad they didn't go for the head, or fuck up my jacket... Just a bunch of idiot kids.
Paintball? Such precision! Monday? 7:45 PM?: Probably some local teenagers in a shitty gray cutlass, maybe somebody's dad's. Probably not students at SU.
Doesn't seem so bad now...