Published: June 29, 2011
Actually, most trouble comes from the police, who apparently can't believe white people still live in this area, let alone operate a bar here. Everyone at the bar shares stories of being stopped, searched, followed or harassed by the cops as soon as they step away from the building.
Dyer has come to accept it as a reality of staying in this neighborhood. "It works on both sides of the line," he notes. "If you're black and you're in the suburbs you get stopped. Same thing happens here — if you're white you get stopped here, because nine out of 10 white guys down here are buying drugs and they shouldn't be around. It's the same thinking, and I understand that."
Though few new faces are seen here, and there are countless hassles in this area, Dyer says he stays because he has optimism about the city's future, and his future in it, despite being in a part of town where there's little reason to be hopeful right now.
"Somewhere down the line something's got to happen good in the city," he says. "I think we've already been to the bottom stage; there's no way but up. But how far up before you realize something's happening? Other parts of the city might actually be seeing some signs, but we might be stuck in the last war zone."
Crunk finishes his beer. Pops nurses his in the shadows. And the baby rests in Dyer's arms as he sips a coffee and tends to the old-timers, and makes fun of Crunk yet again for moving to this neighborhood.
Then Crunk leans back, thinks for a second, and says in a blend of both sarcasm and sincerity, "This is the best bar in the world." And he cracks open another can of beer.
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