Ramon Hernandez has been sitting in a fold-up chair on his Harlem block every summer for decades. One recent evening, the 105-year-old had an evening dominoes game going with a couple of his neighbors as music played out of a nearby parked car. It’s a tradition in the historically Latino neighborhood that has been largely undisturbed for decades.
That is until “the cops started coming about two years ago,” said Edward Tineo, 42, one of the guys who plays dominoes with Hernandez.
The increased police presence “makes me feel bad. I’ve been living here for more than 40 years,” said Hernandez through his granddaughter, who translated for him. He likes to sit outside to “get some fresh air.”
A BuzzFeed News data analysis shows there has been a dramatic increase in 311 quality-of-life complaints on the block starting in 2015, the majority about noise. The uptick coincides with the neighborhood’s gentrification, with more white people moving in, and homes getting more expensive.