Saturday, February 01, 2003

Green Coat arrived today just before ten. hung around the back yard and then went and got an umbrella from someplace. Makes me think he parked his car nearby. He went in at one point for just a minute or two and then left. I thought it was all very very quiet but when I looked out the front window I discovered 1-2 cop cars on the corner. So there you go. The funny thing is that my first reaction was "shoot, how can I get any good info with the cops there?" silly me!

At 10:05 I noticed that the first floor window is slightly ajar. Since they have no heat, I doubt that they are trying to cool it down in there.

The person in the red jacket with blue sleeves drove away in a small blue car (I am hopeless at car identification) at about 9:45. The tag was something like RPP 452.

OK, some new stuff:
this is one of the guys who hangs around the house. it's hard to say whether he lives there or just visits. He was in and out a lot on Thursday. THis isn't a great shot but he's a tall Black guy with a mustache.

this is one of the suburban boys I caught on Thursday. He just looked goofy back there, didn't know which house or what to do.

and this guy acts as the escort for the nice suburbans.

but he sometimes also carries stuff, apparently, since here he is picking up the stash behind 2317 E. Fairmount

Now here we have a peculiar guy.

He was lurking around behind 30 then went to look around in the yards behind 2321 and 2317. Started back up the alley and saw the white coated guy (above) coming and left quickly the other way. then came wandering back as soon as the white coat left. Apparently, Carol chatted with him later about the Space Shuttle disaster.

And here is one of the countless pseudo blondes hanging around while one of the boys retrieves his stash form the backyard of 2321. He is wearing a Yankee baseball cap. This happened around 5:15 p.m. I wasn't taping at the time but happened to be there with the camera.

The stash in question was in a paperbag right at the edge of the yard. Explains why I've noticed that they seem to lose things in the alley frequently

Friday, January 31, 2003

Learned about this site from the rat meeting I went to Thursday night. Very interesting.
I didn't put the camera out today, I prefer not to be too predictable. I'm thinking about moving the camera to the frint of the house to try to get clearer shots of the traffic that way. It won't be on 2321 but it will help me to get to know the various people. Plus, last week, Green Coat arrived from that direction. I may be able ti get some car descriptions that way too.

Yesterday's log wasn't nearly as interesting as Wednesday's. Green Coat didn't show at all but there was a lot of in and out traffic and people going up and down the alley. Apparently, someone did notice the flash because they made a point of running the suburbanites up and down the alley when they went past this corner. Not sure they know which house though. The suburban buyers are actually pretty funny they look totallyout of place and can't figure out which house to go to. Um, I'm sorry, but could it be more obvious? There are two guys I got a clear look at- one was a big guy, curly hair and a blue nike jacket, his friend had red hair tucked under a baseball cap. They lurked areound and then were escorted by one of the runners. I'm guessing that the runner guys aren't worried because they don't really carry anything anyway.
I'll put pictures up tomorrow.
The burned houses on this side of the alley haven't been boarded yet although city code is that they must be boarded in 48 hours. I didn't have time to call housing today to ask them what's going on.. Apparently, someone called 311 on 1/28 to report that 28 and 30 are open but the operator couldn't find anything about 30 at all. The work order number is 29934- the 311 operator told me that the ticket had been given directly to housing on 1/28. Someone cleaned up in front of the property, it looks neater, and tehre are two boards in front of 28 but no real progress and the back is a mess and also being used again for dealing. (the video camera may point there soon, I don't think they know about that one anyway).

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Ownership and tax information about the property.
I have seen this woman twice now, the first time, I admit, she looked too clean cut and suburban, I tried to tell myself that she was some kind of home health worker or something. Uh huh- all my home health worker friends take security with them when they go to iffy neighborhoods. Her coat is dark blue, she wears glasses (wire rim) and has dark wavy hair pulled back in a neat braid. I saw her again this morning at about 1:00 a.m. leaving the house.

Here is the house itself, very lovely, yes?

This is one of the blonde women referred to in the surveillance log. I think she may be the last of the blondish women. I got this picture this morning and will have to review the tape to tell which ine she is.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Here is the report from yesterday's surveillance tape. it was started at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 3:00p.m. The time points are as close and I can to the actual time but they are more to deomonstrate the frequency of the activity.
9:01 9:02, 9:03, 9:12, 9:16, 9:17, 9:22, 9:43 ,10:04, 10:10, 10:29, 10:44- at these times two people, a blond woman in dark pants with a denim or gray jacket and white t-shirt and a tallish White man with dark hair, dark baseball cap and long dark coat entered and left the house several times. the only other interesting occurence was at 9:17 a Black )I think) male in grey clothes climbed up and into the second story of the house next door (2319, also a problem house, and one that's been boarded). I never saw him leave on the tape.

10:48 is when thisngs begin happening. the Green Coated drug dealer (GC) arrives
11:13 GC leaves up the alley
11:18- 3 people leave the house, 2 men, one woman, all in dark clothes, one man carrying a gym bag
11:28- 10 people walk by the house up the alley in a group
11:29- a white guy in a black hat with on white stripe around it (seen him before) walks by the house with another blond woman
11:33- green coat guy returns and enters the house
11:34- an individual enters the house
11:45- GC leaves
11:46- ind (maybe GC) walks up alley and hangs around in backyard for a few minutes then leaves up the alley again
11:48- 2 people leave the house
11:50- 2 people walk by
11:52- 5 people walk by
11:55- 5 people walk by- one is wearing a dark jacket with a stripe across chest and sleeve.
11:56- GC returns
11:58 GC sells something to the striped jacket person over the back wall
12:01- GC signals up the alley (towards Fairmount)
12:03 GC deals to 3 people
12:07 GC deals to 3 over wall
12:13 two people leave the house
12:15 GC deals in the alley- or hands over the stash? Blonde woman (the second one) and a guy with a cap- they go in the house
12:16 GC returns puts something in the yard and then walks up the alley, returns quikly, picks up item in yard and leaves towards Fairmount
12:26 GC returns and talks through the window
12:29 GC leaves

At this point I think there was a signal in the window or somewhere on the house because once he left the next groups of people walk up the alley, looked at the house and then left without going in the yard or knocking. He does not return on the tape.
For the next couple of hours, there is some going in and out of the house of various people, a guy in a blue jacket, another blondish woman.
At around 2:00p.m. people start hovering again, lots of traffic up and down the alley but GC is not present.

12:46,12:49, 12:50, 12:56, 12:59, 1:08, 1:16, 1:20, 1:25, 1:44, 1:51, 2:12, 2:19, 2:22, 2:31, 2:49, 2:56

I am still going through the tape from today, lots of activity around 10:30, at one point 10 people walked up the alley in a group- weird. I am not even half way through it yet though. It's quite interesting.
LOL, spoke too soon! It;s been quite a happening place today. When I got home at about 5:00p.m. there were people rushing in and out in groups of 2 and 3. I was taking pictures but my flash went off accidently and scared the poor things away. BooHoo!

The green coated dealer- isn't he the loser I promised he'd be? This picture and the action shot following were taken on 1/25 at about 10:30 a.m.

oh and here are some of the charming people that hang around- the pictures aren't great but I'm still working on the technology here. Rigth now I'm mostly tryting to figure out the traffic patterns. It's not like it's all that difficult to tell who's a user.

In all fairness, this guy (has an bus pass around his neck, BTW) did not enter the house. He kind of walked by shaking his head. I'm not sure whetehr he was just surveying the filth or whether tehre was a signal that he didn't like. The bus pass certainly sets him apart from the usual customers.
hhmmm, well, 2321 has been pretty quiet since Monday. usually, even if I can't see the house, I can hear when someone knocks or leaves (they are fond of door slamming) and I haven't heard much. So, I set up the camera this morning to tape from 9 am- 3pm to see whether it's just been quiet at night or whether it's an all day thing. It's a bit warmer today (hovering around freezing). I'll be curious to see what's up. On a busy day they have up to 4-5 customers an hour going in and out the back door. Apparently, someone sits on the front step (which I can't see from my house) and helps direct people to the right location.
I remember watching Cops once and being impressed that one person would say "I'm not a whore, I'm just a user!" and the next person would say "I'm no crackhead, I'm just a hooker!". I've heard similar things on my street, "I"m a user but I ain't a crackhead" - um- uh huh that's better. Likewise, if you suggest that someone who is a lookout or a runner is a dealer they get very upset. people are really good at rationalizing things, aren't they?

So, we'll have to see what goes on today.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Today's update should have been yesterday's but since yesterday's was the first and needed background we are a day behind and at least a dollar or two short.

So yesterday I was waken at about 5:15 a.m. by the sound of fire trucks a little bit closer than I like to hear them. It was hard to tell exactly where they were which is never a good sign. I didn't smell smoke so I wasn pretty sure it wasn't my house but I also suspected that it wasn't 2321 which I expect to be burned sort of any minute. Last year we had a mini-string of fires, first 28 N. Montford was completely burned out, then it was smouldering again, then there was a fire in the alley immediately behind mine. It wasn't fun and it took me months to get the nasty stench of burning rowhouse out of my nose. So I leapt out of bed, left thh dog there ( he was hoping it wasn't true) and went to see what it was. In the front of the house I got a nose full of smoke. I stuck my head out the front door and discovered it was 30 N. Montford. the summer home of the 2321 residence or their business address, however you look at it. I thought several very unkind things, which were interspersed with "well, that's one less house to keep my eye on", fed the cat, and went out to make sure my neighbor Robert was lurking around somewhere safe.

BTW, did you know that it is freezing out these days?

I watched the firemen struggle to get the boards off of the house, strange since everyone else just pops them off or uses the front door. It was a good example of uing the wrong tool, they were using an axe when they needed a crowbar. *shrug* The fire was put out pretty quickly, we gave statements to the fire investigator person that he promised to give to the police and I decided it was too cold to stay out much longer and went back in. My house was pretty smokey in front but not too bad in the back.
the street was pretty empty and even 2321 had the good sense to stay quiet until the firemen were gone but they were back in business by 7:30 a.m.

Monday, January 27, 2003

This blog is my place to document the happenings at 2321 E. Fairmount Ave, Baltimore, MD USA.
Why document that address? Mostly because in the 9 years that I have lived in East Baltimore, that address has been a problem, it has housed a continuous succession of drug dealers and, to be frank, white trash. *shrug* sorry if that offends you, if you know a better word for people who treat their back yard and alley like a giant public trash can then send it along and I'll consider changing my vocabulary.
The current situation, as I see it is this, the building houses a varying number of people who are clearly not all family. Visitors come to the back door at all hours of day and night and as frequently as every 10-15 minutes. These visitors are both Black and White and range in age from teen to 40's. I'd guess some are relatively new in from the suburbs, a handful are both addicts and prostitutes. My impression is that they have a collective IQ of about 15 given that they seem to lose things frequently in the back yard and alley.
My neighbor, Robert, tells me that the corner dealers have installed a woman named Ernestine as a squatter in the house. She rents rooms to dealers, hookers, users, etc. She also serves to stall the sale of the house to the local community developement corporation which was supposed to close on the property in October. Like many of the absentee owners in the neighborhood, the person that now owns the property is apparently tired of being bothered with it. S/he would probably sell but now that would mean getting Ernestine evicted and that might take some actual effort- you know, a call to the police and *shudder* a visit to the neighborhood.

Now there is also this guy, a white guy, late 40's, balding, wearing glasses and a green down jacket. He deals in the mid morning, mostly out of 2321 but sometimes out of 30 N Montford too. I have pictures of him in action that I"ll post when I make an actual layout for this. Everything about him yells, "LOSER!!!" all over the place. I wonder if he dresses better when he gets wherever he lives because he certainly walks around with enough money in his pocket to dress and look better than he does. The funny thing about him is that I've seen him deal out of the backyard of 2321 but never go inside but he does sometimes go inside 30 N. Montford (harder for me to see because it's on teh same side I am). I see him beginnign md-morning on saturdays, he may be tehre during the week but I'm not *shrug*. theother odd thing about it is that the dealing that goes on inside of 2321 tends to be when it's dark out. but again, that's when I'd be most aware of it. I've set up a cheapy surveillance camera on it during the day, on occaion, and it seems to be pretty quiet during the week.

I'll have to be more consistent with my taping but it's so boring to come home and watch it and I find I get a bit obsessive about the camera and watch it all the time (when I could really just go and look out the window).