Have You Ever Seen The Movie Empire of the Sun?

IMG_7353, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

It is one of my all time favorites. You know, it’s the one about World War II in Shanghai with John Malkovich and a young Christian Bale. Anyway there is one scene when they are in an internment camp and Christian Bale’s character visits the infirmary. At the infirmary he realizes that they put a mosquito netting around a patient, not to keep out mosquitos, but to signify when a patient is about to die. The mosquito netting has no practical function other than a psychological one.

That is what these police flood lights remind me of. A reader wrote in today to tell me about a murder in an alley near Princeton St. as reported by NBC news. And lo and behold tonight there was a big spot light up. Now what is the purpose here, the guy has already been killed. I know with some gang violence the spotlights aim to deter revenge attacks. Maybe that is why they used it here. But still does this light make anyone feel better and/or safer? All I could see was a giant mosquito netting.

16 Comment

  • They put these spot lights up along Kennedy St. NW and I feel better when they are there. Usually there are a couple police officers so that to me is good.

  • yeah i was walking my dog the other day on quebec and i overheard a neighbor talk about the murder in the alley b/t princeton and quebec. very sad and scary, i hate those alleys. my old roommate got pulled into one of those alleys by gunpoint late at night walking from the metro. She is safe and a live, but was almost raped (someone came out of there house and scared him away). Anywhere in the city to have to be careful at night….

  • damn battles btwn looking glass lounge newbies and disheartened temperance hall vets, i didn’t think it would turn to gun violence. can’t we all just drink in peace.

  • At least MPD has their own portable light towers now. Not many years back they were using National Guard Humvees fitted with large stadium lights to illuminate locations like this. And you’re right – this is just mosquito netting, and I don’t think mosquito netting [or bright light] stop bullets. Sounds like this murder was a robbery-gone-bad: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MPD-3d/message/4770
    Like the Chief said in a recent hearing before the City Council: “Every robbery is a potential homicide.” Folks need to take this to heart. The police AND residents need to combat crime. Call 911 when you see something suspicious, attend community crime meetings, etc…damn, why do I sounds like a PSA all of a sudden…

  • The NBC story suggests that it was a mugging gone bad. Anyone know more details?

  • BigSherm is hilarious! ha

  • Very sad about the murder.

    I remember seeing those Humvees south of Petworth as far back as 1992, when I used to commute through the area back out to PG County. It was the first place I ever saw them, and for years it was my unofficial benchmark for really bad neighborhoods. It’s almost like MPD is hanging a badge of shame on the block.

    “P-51! Cadillac of the sky!”

  • According to Assistant Chief Groomes this was a mugging gone bad – see the link to the 3rd District Yahoo Group in my above post.

  • Was the guy trying to fight back? Did he refuse to turn over his wallet? Said he didn’t have anything? I’m just trying to comprehend what would provoke a mugger to shoot someone multiple times in the head and body. Maybe we’ll never know like that case in Mt. Pleasant a couple years ago.

  • It must have been the gentrifiers out wrecking havoc on the neighborhood, shooting and killing people. They just bring their crime and low-life habits with them.

  • Re: Empire of the Sun, this is my favorite scene:
    especially the fly-by at 4:10. Maybe we need some P-51 -provided close air support here in Columbia Heights/Petworth.

  • PoP, i think we need to have some beers together. that is my ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIE! if nothing else, we could chat about how he ran his ‘business’ in the camp, and thought that he could save lives. OH, and the kamikazee episode, after he threw back the plane. that movie is simply awesome.

  • Oh man. This saddens me. Again….Another murder… You all might not believe this, but when my family arrived here in September 1959-and my folks would take my brother and I driving around the city ( and beyond)-we would leave the front door open. Everybody would, and did. My tricycle and or bike slept on the porch. This is not nostalgia. It is fact. I know it doesnt make things better now-but I am sorry everybody didnt get a few years of this…

  • Wow, a kid just shot in the chest & probably not going to make it. 800 Block of Ingraham. I know, closer to Brightwood than Petworth…. but still close to home.

  • ugh. is all this violence beyond the DCMPD’s control? apparently so, ms. groomes.

    i’m starting to think that dcmd are just responders, like ambulances.

    maybe DC should think about a more proactive force…

  • Living right across the street, I was a bit annoyed having high beams glaring into my window while I tried to sleep, but it does make me feel a bit more secure. Not the lights as much as the officer who sat there all night as well. There are groups of people who stand around that corner all night, and there were times where arguments and fights would break out. Hopefully things will calm down.

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