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Edward KocheEdward Koche
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Session:         Page of 617

But it wouldn't go today. And there was never any problem that was at least observable, and in all candor the park was basically white. Today the park is basically black on many days.

So you say to yourself, “Does that really make a differences?” Yes, it makes a difference. Why? Because it's a difference in the community aspect. Greenwich Village does not have a significantly large black population, and there is no restriction, no limitation (there never was, at least since I've been there) on blacks moving into the Village. It happens it's a rather expensive place to move into. And in the South Village, which was Italian -- there blacks would find it very hard to find an apartment, and there apartments were basically cheap. And there was enormous anti-black feeling by the Italian community. They used to beat up the blacks. They don't anymore, thank God. But there would be incidents in the South Village.

But the difference is: that if you look at the group of blacks that come on the week-end now... Every day they're in the park hanging around in the early morning. I mean I go to the park if I'm going to catch a taxi maybe to the airport... I might go through the park (I don't anymore but I did) to go over to 6th Avenue to get a taxi at 6 o'clock in the morning. There would be ten people or so sleeping in the park, basically black derelicts of a kind. And it's threatening. But the most important aspect with respect to the blacks who use the park is that they're not middle class people, and the Village is basically a middle class community. A lot of Jewish clothing



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