Lafayette


Down in Fayettenam
Ya gotta have a bomb
Ya gotta have a gun
If you wanna see the sun
’Cause night comes down
Y’gonna hear th’ sound
Of bucks and nines
Guns and knives
Guns and knives
All’a the time

Better known in city slang as “Fayettenam” because of all the shootings that take place there, Lafayette competes with Freetown and North Elmview for the title of worst, most dangerous neighborhood in the city.

In most peoples’ minds Lafayette merges almost imperceptibly with the Numbers and the rest of Freetown if not Latin City.

For the most part, Lafayette is a residential neighborhood : few businesses can survive in such
a place, and most of them are small, one-person or one-family operations providing services the locals find indispensable (i.e., small grocery and liquor stores) or desirable (such as beauty parlors and check-cashing services).

Statistics paint a grim picture about what life is like in Lafayette. According to the Department of Social Services, over 90% of Lafayette residence receive some form of public assistance (usually in addition to public housing), and the unemployment rate approaches 50% in many periods.

Hudson City Police Department officials claim that over half the men age 16 and up living in Lafayette have criminal records or are involved in gangs or the drug trade.

LANDMARKS

  • The Needle
  • By any measure it’s one of the worst, if not the worst, neighborhoods in the city. Its tenements are survivors (barely) of firebombings, urban street warfare, and years of slumlord control.

    All of the inhabitants are black ; any whites, Hispanics, or Asians who dare to venture into the Needle are putting their lives in serious danger.
    No one can remember the last time they saw a cop car there.

  • Money Now!
  • For the low, low price of twenty percent of its value, Money Now! will cash your paycheck, welfare check, or tax refund check and give you cash on the barrelhead, no fuss and no waiting.

  • Ticino Liquor
  • Offering the gamut of potent potables from beer to malt liquor, with occasional shipments of cheap wine that owner Carl Lewison happens to lay his hands on, Ticino Liquors ranks as one of the most successful businesses in Lafayette.

  • N-Z
  • This club was a favorite of several of the Lafayette gangs for a while, but a few incidents of gang violence tarnished the place’s reputation.

  • Taco Box
  • The longtime dream of local half-black, half-Hispanic entrepreneur Derrick Rodriguez, Taco Box opened in 2012 to serve Mexican food based on Rodriguez family recipes.

Lafayette

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