As evening approached on the 2200 block of 16th Street, some children played made-up games with basketballs, while others rode their bicycles and scooters up and down the block, periodically stopping to talk to other neighbors who grilled burgers, gardened or played.
“The kids aren’t bad around this way,” Stephanie McCode said on the porch of a neighbors’ home, adding that if any of the flash mob participants were from the area, they’d be “the ones way back that way.”
“There’s one [teenager] across here on the corner,” McCode said pointing to a townhouse diagonally to her left, “but I see him go to football.”
McCode, who has lived on 16th Street and Susquehanna Avenue for three years, said a lot of trouble starts a block back, from 17th Street to 22nd Street, because it’s an area immersed in “drugs and fighting and all the shootings.”
But McCode said there has already been a change in the safety of the area since she moved there.
“Back in the day, people said it was really bad around here,” she said, “but because of the new houses they’re building around here, cops are surfing the area a little more.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.