Monday, May 17, 2010

Gang Graffiti Reveals Dispute Over Cottage Park In Jordan Neighborhood...

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

This weekend, I attended a party at Kip Browne's house with my son Alex, age 12, and somewhere between barbeque and toasting oversized marshmallows, Kip told me we were going on a "Kip and Johnny mission." And I was all, like, whatever. Will some of us not come back alive? Well, give me some gear and sign me up...

We walked to Cottage Park where Kip pointed out a spectacular granite table--complete with chess 'n' checker squares etched into the tabletop--which some no-account gang bangers had marred with graffiti. Like hunters who can tell what animals have passed by from the stinky spoor dropped behind, we could divine information from the graffiti: a gang which represents itself with a five-pointed star had claimed the turf as theirs. But then another gang which represents itself with a six-pointed star had crossed out the other graffiti, and marked the turf as theirs.

Kip Browne announced both gangs are wrong. The park belongs to the decent people, to the taxpayers, not to criminally inclined social misfits. The matter has, of course, been reported to 311 but it's possible folks in the neighborhood may just do something about it on their own, without waiting for permission.


Anonymous said...

Disgusting little punks. But I notice a beautiful house in the back ground that someone will fight to protect.
MCullen NE

NoMi Passenger said...

MCullen, that is the award winning, restored church, Garden of Gethsemane. It has been written about on this blog and extensively at other internet sites.

Beautifully and lovingly restored by Catalyst Partners (Stu Ackerburg) and a Liberian congregation. Very Cool, one of my favorite buildings in NoMi.

Anonymous said...

Based on the dandelions and long grass in the back ground, it doesn't look like this park is much of a community priority. It's not surprising that the gangsters have claimed the turf, because the community has neglected it.

Geektopia said...


Five pointed star: Bloods (member of the People's Nation gang alliance)

Six pointed star: Gangster Disciples (member of the Folk's Nation gang alliance)

GD: Gangster Disciples

GDK: Gangster Disciples Killers (showing disrespect to the GD)

GD ON DEC: gangs usually avoid the letter K in their graffiti, unless specifically disrespecting anyone, (notice the K crossed out)

Lady LOC: LOC= Loves Only Crips (The Crips are allied with the GD's in the Folk Nation)

Pitchfork: symbol of the GD's always portrayed rightside up. The upside down portrayals in recent graffiti is to disrespect the gang.

TMB: Usually refers to The Mexican Boys, (another gang), but might be an abbreviation of the particular GD set, or somebody's name.

De De Lord: Pretty sure that's someone else's name. Someone with an ego complex has tagged it all over the park.

Bro Gang: might be the name of the Bloods set, probably short for Broadway Gang, which was tagged on my garage for about a day until I scrubbed it off.

Handy tip: Minneapolis fire stations will gladly provide anti-graffiti solvent free of charge to anyone who asks.

I have a new jug in my garage. Who wants to head to Cottage Park this Thursday to help me publically and loudly scrub this off of MY TURF?

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to say about these knuckle draggers that doesn't sound completely immoral.

Anonymous said...

Who knews the gangs were such avid chess players that they needed to claim a table. I blame it on the thriving chess clubs in our schools.

There seems to be a larger than usual amount of graffiti this year. New turf wars, or just new idiots with spray paint?

geektopia's keeper said...

Don't try to blame the community for the dandelions. That is the responsibility of Park and Rec. Many 311 calls have been made to try to get the mowers out. That is why I pay my taxes. The last week of rain does not help how quickly they grew either.

Anonymous said...

Geek keeper,

Those of us who live near the Jordan Pond clean up the area ourselves. You don't need to wait for the city to do your revitalizing work for you. You can get up and do it yourself.

I know your heart is in the right place, but the city has a lot to worry about and they don't get enough tax dollars. We, the community, need to step up and mow and pick dandelions and do the other things necessary to make NoMi an urban utopia.

Anonymous said...

to anon 8:38
YOU ARE LAME! Go back to bugging the tree billy goats gruff!
And to othersa who care de de is probably pronounced like day day and short for like Davyonte, Donte, David, or Davina for example.
T Jaramillo

Hillside Chronicles said...

Huh? Community neglict? The new equipment was just installed in last couple of's new stuff man.

BTW...the grass was cut today!

Anonymous said...

Simple Plan: I seek volunteers who have an extensive Special Forces Military backround, we set up a perimeter, and with my Expert sniping abilities i start picking these cowards off one by one.My subordinates will track whereever thse fucks hang out and continue the carnage.I understand that this probably will not be posted.This is okay.I plan on getting even with these assholes eventually and it is going to be bad.Stay tuned Mr. Northside.

Geektopia said...

Anonymous @ 4:20PM

While I respect your hands on attitude for the Jordan Pond, I don't see Geek Keeper sitting around waiting for others to do the revitilization work for her.

I mean, I live with her, I know.

Just because her tactic might differ from yours does not make it any less important or vital for reclaiming the neighborhood.

Your impulse might be to drag a mower down to the park and do it yourself, (and that certainly is commendable), but hers is to pressure the city to provide the same level of service and amenities that THE REST OF THE CITY ALREADY ENJOYS.

When we lived in Powderhorn, we never had to call the city about neglected landscaping in the park.

Nor when we lived in Uptown.

Nor when we visited friends in Nordeast.

Just here in Nomi.

Now, is it because the city has other things to worry about and no money to accomplish them so all of the movers and shakers in the rest of the city drag their mowers out to take care of it themselves, (maybe, but I never saw it), or is it because some of those other things the city worries about includes TAKING CARE OF THE PARKS OUTSIDE OF NOMI?

If I see a fire, I call the Fire Department.

If I see a robbery, I call the cops.

If I see a problem property or nusiance behavior, I call 311.

That's the way it should work. That's the way it works for the rest of the city, and it's the way it needs to work here in Nomi.

Why should the Parks Department get a free ride? My tax dollars are just as good as the dollars collected from Phillips or Whittier. Not enough money in the budget? Then why isn't Loring Park overrun with weeds?

Because the residents in those communities would raise holy hell with the city if the Parks Department didn't take care of it.

And guess what? She noticed the weeds in the park. She and a couple others made phone calls to request a mower. The very next day, the mowers came and cut the grass, leaving her free to focus her revitalization efforts elsewhere.

What good is a tool if it's never used?

May 18, 420 said...

You make a good point geektopia. I may have been a little harsh. I guess I am just used to getting less services here in NoMi and have accepted that I sometimes have to take matters into my own hands.

Pond-dragon said...

Yellow flowers are more or less the rage for all Mpls. Parks unless the area has an active ball field which gets special treatment. This is ~ SOP per the park commission.
TJ thanks for getting the 8:38 ANON TROLL. Looks like this one came from the land of Ignorance is Bliss.

Johnny Northside! said...

Here's some good Cottage Park info which just went out over the e-democracy listserv.

This year's Go! 5k will be held in the Jordan neighborhood's Cottage Park area. This is a super fun event for everyone: runners, walkers, stroller-pushers, kids of all ages and of course spectators and cheer leaders.

Go to the website above for the various times and more information.

It really is a fun event that I'm so glad the PEACE foundation does a great job of sponsoring each year.

- Megan G

Marz said...

I sincerely doubt this is a sign of 2 gangs competeing for territory. Some 14-17 yr old kids graffitied it w/ a 5-pointer (probably Vice Lord or Blackstone, not Blood. Minneapolis black gangs are like 98% Chicago-based, not coastal-based.) and another kid/kids scratched it out. Maybe they're gangbangers, probably just wannabes. Again, NOT a turf war, a culture thing. This People Nation (red, 5-point) vs. Folk Nation (blue, 6-point) has been going on since the 80s. The young dumbs**ts dads, brothers, uncles, cousins, heck even grandpas claimed _____, so they claim _____, even if they're not involved in any criminal activity themselves. Very similar to Protestants and Catholics trash-talking each other. Trust me, this is a (f'd up) culture thing, not a gang-war invasion on this block. For more information consult your local internet at CHICAGOGANGS.ORG cause knowledge is power!

Johnny Northside! said...

But here's the problem: these so-called "wannabe" gang members are dangerous just like real gangs and do bad stuff just like real gangs. There may be more of a pretentious element--I'll give you that much--but they ACTUALLY DO BAD STUFF.

And they mark their shifting territory. Just like real gangs do. The difference between "real" gang members and "wannabe" gang members is a fine line indeed.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Exactly, John. Also, it doesn't take too long for some "wannabe" to get it in his (or her) head that the way to be more "real" is to start doing some of the worse things too.

I can understand the police needing to distinguish between various levels of gang activity in order to address the worst behavior first. But from a community and livability standpoint, there should be little to no distinction.