Monday, February 21, 2005

Gang Graffiti Sullies Salemtown

The two evenings I spent scrubbing the gang-related graffiti off our fence--or at least nearly off our fence--motivated me to put together a photo journal of all such graffiti I have seen while living here.

This gallery of houses is by no means representative of most houses in Salemtown, which is by and large a desireable place to live. By the same token, the gallery is probably not exhaustive, as I have no doubt missed some defaced properties in the neighborhood. In fact, the owner of two houses that I overlooked in the 1600 block of 6th Ave., North called me this afternoon to say that his houses had been spray painted just today by these minimalist mural masters.

I am not entirely sure whether Metro (whether the Office of Neighborhoods or law enforcement) is doing something about or formulating a strategy for this problem, but it does require response, both proactive and reactive. Neighbors can only do so much.

"Salem B Da Hood": empty house in the 1600 block of 7th Ave., North. Note the star prominent in other gang graffiti. "Bdog" & "CK" might be the sprayers. No idea what "5150" means. Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

"BLife or No Life": Empty House on the 1700 block of 6th Ave., North. Note "Salemtown" written with the typical star symbol. Lots of RIPs, probably for dead gang members. "BLife" and "Blood Set" may refer to gang called "the Bloods." Not sure what "Skyline Perv", "3000," or hieroglyphic symbols mean. Also, note "Fuck the police." Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

Business on the southwest corner of Buchanan and 5th Ave., North intersection. Sprayed just as it was on my fence. Note the star replacing the "o." Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

Plumbing Company on the northeast corner at Buchanan and 5th Ave., North intersection. More RIPs to go with "Salemtown." "B's" may refer to "Bloods." Backward, crossed-out "C's" may refer to the rival gang, "the Crips." Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

5th Avenue Market on the northeast corner at Garfield and 5th Ave., North intersection. Along with "Blood" and ubiquitous "Salemtown" is the term "Bosnia." Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

5th Avenue Market at 5th Ave., North entrance. Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello


  1. Have you had any run ins or any break-ins living in your neighborhood?

    My fiance and I are thinking of moving to some lofts in Germantown and I can't help but worry about security.

  2. No break-ins (knock on wood!). To tell you the truth, I feel generally safer living here than I did living over in Historic Edgefield for a couple of years. Crime is generally lower here, mainly because the public housing in our area (unlike East Nashville) has been here a long time and is populated mainly by elderly residents. The police have told several Salemtown neighbors that they are stepping up patrols in our area.

    As far as worrying goes, you cannot live any any part of an urban area and not be concerned for your safety. The only option is to move to the suburbs or the country ... well, strike that, given that the crime rate in the burbs and the hinterlands is actually rising at a faster rate than in the cities.

    I don't regret our move here at all. But I started this blog to be a part of the solution and to help enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods. So, by God, I'm going to press the point of crime and the need for solutions as crime occurs.

    Oh, and keep in mind that Salemtown is behind Germantown in development probably 5-10 years. You shouldn't think twice about moving to Germantown if you don't mind paying the higher real estate prices there.