Advice From Neighbors

A CHB reader has emailed me a quandary and has asked me to post it for neighbor feedback. I have lived in the same Clinton Hill apartment for 8 years, in a rent-stabilized, small apartment building near the C train. Over the years I've seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood, obviously, though I'm right off Fulton where gentrification has been far less rapid - for better or worse.

I was born and raised in Manhattan and don't consider myself a reactionary when faced with the neighborhood's, and my building's, charms. Crackhead neighbors with weekly cop visits, general landlord neglect, and the friendly corner drug dealers.

Recently, however, there has been a change - now there seems to be a group of dealers operating out of the lobby of my building. It's a group of young men who are there every morning at 8 when I leave to walk my dog and remain around the area all day. I haven't witnessed any handoffs myself but have seen cash change hands and general shadiness with this group, none of whom seem to live in my building but somehow have access through one of the tenants.

I'm curious as to what other neighborhood readers have experienced in the way of actually hosting this kind of activity in their buildings, versus just passing it on the street, and what advice they might have. Call the landlord? Mine have been consistently neglectful and there are no security cameras in the building. Call the cops? Seems like a stretch that they'd be able or willing to do much.