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Crime Scene TapeA woman was shot inside Gitsis Restaurant on Monroe Ave. at 3 a.m. Sunday. Police have released few details about what led to the incident, but I suspect there will be much discussion about safety along the strip. There have been several shootings inside and outside establishments in the area over the last decade.

(Watch: 13WHAM obtained cell phone video taken inside the restaurant right after the shooting.)

Although there is a police presence on Monroe Ave., it doesn’t seem to compare to the highly-coordinated police strategy in the Upper East End. That may be the result of the fact East End bars are concentrated, while Monroe Ave. is more spread out. But lack of officers didn’t prevent the Gitsis shooting; witnesses said an officer was inside the restaurant when it happened.

The city’s response to the shooting will be interesting. Will City Hall heap nuisance points on Gitsis, which could lead to a shutdown? That was the response to the fatal shooting that took place outside the Bug Jar. The city ended up working with the owners to put in place a security plan.

City Hall has never really embraced Monroe Ave. as an entertainment district, even though it’s lined with bars and eateries. I’m not sure what could be done to prevent these sporadic incidents of violence other than closing down late-night eateries. Has it gotten to that level?

Update: The shooting appears to be accidental. Security approached police to report a customer with a gun and when police approached the man, he took it out and it fired. The police chief said there’s no reason to go after Gitsis for this incident.

Links of the Day:

– Rural Onondaga County towns oppose the county executive’s plan to limit sprawl.

Bausch + Lomb’s sale could be bad for Rochester.

– The Greece school district teacher absentee rate is 8 percent. That includes long term illness, maternity leave and professional development.

– Niagara Falls police officer say tenants spend their welfare rent checks on other things.

– Louise Slaughter was never a politician in the Buffalo mold. It didn’t matter.

– A study says the Adirondacks could support a cougar comeback.

19 Responses to The Monroe Ave. District

  1. January 14, 2013 at 8:33 am Hahvahd St responds:

    We still haven’t gotten the full story on Gitsi’s. The witnesses all just said, “I heard a pop and everyone went crazy”, which is what I imagined happened. Why were the cops there, what led to the shooting, etc.?

  2. Why hasn’t the city embraced Monroe Ave as an entertainment district? It’s perhaps the most consistently urban stretch we have in the city? Seems to me that public safety is required for economic growth.

  3. So we should roll up the sidewalks at 10PM?
    Stupid people are stupid people

  4. January 14, 2013 at 9:09 am Cary Barnhart responds:

    East Avenue is polished and classy and not too diverse. Monroe Avenue is scruffy and far more diverse drawing a far more economically diverse patronage. East Avenue is welcoming at all hours…can’t say the same for Monroe Avenue. The foot traffic on Monroe Avenue late at night reminds me of West 42nd street during the pre-Disney era. Both East and Monroe Avenues are vibrant and vital to the city. However, they seem to require a different strategy when it comes to police presence.

  5. Monroe Village (the name for Monroe Ave from downtown to I-490) definitely has a sketch factor. I think it’s because it’s a well-traveled urban street lined with bars, cheap diners, smoke shops, and pawn shops. Even during the day, you see all kinds of weirdos out and about. I walk on it all the time and have never had a problem, though, so I wouldn’t say it’s unsafe. Just kind of intimidating if you don’t know the area.

    That adult bookstore near Rent-A-Center just closed and is being replaced with a nail salon, so that’s an improvement already.

  6. It is what it is. You take your chances when you are in the city at 3 AM. That is such a shame it has become that way. There really is nothing that can be done. People who don’t work and are enabled by government assistance have created a lifestyle of drug abuse, hatred and stalking. They sleep during the day instead of working and cruise the streets at night looking for action. If you are out in their territory during their stalking hours, you are a potential victim. The police can only act once a crime occurs. Prior to that, any intervention is perceived as a infringement on their civil rights. My advice….stay out of the city at night.

  7. January 14, 2013 at 9:48 am Hahvahd St responds:

    Staying out of the city at night is a bit overkill, I would say the best practice is to just go home after the bars close. Nothing good happens after 2 am, both on Monroe and on East. There’s fights on East Ave all the time. Besides the occasional third-shift worker, most people out and about at that time are drunk (or most likely more than just drunk), and/or looking for trouble. Get street meat to go!

  8. January 14, 2013 at 10:32 am DominionROC responds:

    The Monroe Avenue corridor is a important commercial district that is in transition. If we continue to ignore it…expect rapid deterioration in both clientele and the type of businesses that settle there…or worse… more vacancies.

    The city must invest significant dollars to upgrade Monroe Avenue…sidewalks, street furniture…tax breaks for facade improvements…etc. Monroe ave is a “funky” corridor and any improvement must reflect and enhance this unique Street. I think dollars spent on physical improvements along Monroe ave will be a much better, longer lasting economic benefit than spending dollars on a very expensive police blitz.

  9. I lived near Monroe Ave. during the early 80s when Monroe Ave. was covered in gay bars and the number of people at night out bar hopping was huge. Male prostitutes in black leather and chains stood on the street in some areas soliciting customers. It was wild and a bit rough, tough to walk on the sidewalk, but never did I hear of shootings and deaths from violence. You also had some nice stores Like Village Green to walk to until 10 pm. AIDS destroyed that bar scene but violenceon the street? No.

  10. Monroe Village? Oh get over yourself. It has always been known as “Monroe Ave.” with the section in the city between 490 and Culver known as “Upper Monroe”. Village this, Town that, Center or Centre…. semantics if ever there were any.
    Linda Kingsly is to blame as it was her office that shut down diners all over the city via the points system or caused the rest to reduce their hours for fear of being closed. Mark #2 on Lake Ave was the last to be forced to close and Tahoe’s on Main was closed at night after the original owner died and it was decided by the family (with violence being the ‘reason’), to close at 8pm. but Kingsly and the city attorney’s office attitude led to the shuttering of all other 24/7 diners elsewhere in the city. Remember McFaddin and his infamous ‘beat you with my belt’ line? That was because he wanted to know why Thurston Rd was treated differently at closing time than East Ave. Once all of the west side diners were forced closed the crowds from Thurston moved to the only area left to get some food; Monroe Ave at Gitsis and Marks. So events that used to go unreported because they happened in the hood are front page news because they happen on a main thoroughfare. Buy a police and fire scanner and you’ll see just how much goes on that never makes the press. High Falls had 3 stabbings in one weekend years ago that the fire dept. went to and it was all hushed by the Johnson administration. The media is either too lazy to report all of the violent crimes committed all over the county or is once again pushing an agenda via it’s selective reporting. Let’s see if this becomes an anti-gun story or one about an ILLEGAL gun. Since only NY residents can legally carry a pistol I’m putting the shooter in the ILLEGAL category. There is your story, but instead it will be black/white, city/burbs, day/nite, guns/no guns.
    And speaking of guns….. so NY will go from 10 rounds legally being OK down to 7. I’ll ask again, how and why did we reach 7 as the number? Why is 7 less deadly than 8 and not more deadly than 6? So many sheep…………

  11. “Monroe Village” is the name of the neighborhood association Monroe Village Task Force. It is part of the name Monroe Village Farmer’s Market. Monroe Avenue is an enormous street that extends all the way into Pittsford, so it makes sense to have a name for a single section with unifying characteristics. Not sure know why this upsets you so much.

  12. I lived on Boardman St. It is Monroe Ave. The SEAC is the neighborhood assn. that represents that area. You can invent names all you want to push an agenda (of a ‘village’, all quaint and quiet and whatever else villages are supposed to be in your imagination) but the people who frequent it have, do and will continue to call it Monroe Ave. If you don’t recognize the agenda behind the selection of village by whatever groups than you need to step back and as they said in driver’s education; get the big picture. Not calling it whatever quirky name whatever non-gov’t groups decide to assign an area doesn’t belittle it, in fact, the audacity of said groups to just discount names used for generations (like Swillburg, Dutchtown, Bullshead) are more of an insult than refering to the area by street name.

  13. Also, Village is a legal term in NY. The area around East Ave/Park was once the Village of Brighton. Charlotte was a Village in the Town of Greece. Irondequoit, where they are like you, trying to create an ‘image’ via naming, never had a village within it’s boundaries but that isn’t stopping the agenda. Words have power. “Monroe Ave” has always symbolized the ‘freak out the squares’ area of the city. 12 Corners, Pittsford Plaza, Village of Pittsford (again a real legal Village) are names used by lifelong residents for sections of Monroe Ave. It doesn’t need renaming or ‘branding’. Just read the papers for the last 20 years; you can try to rename anything you want, but just the desire to do so reflects an agenda and not the natural development of naming that is what the entire earth uses. Vermont? Green Mountains. New York? A new area named after York England. Smells like another attempt to gentrify without addressing anything tangible. Banners and happy feelings won’t stop the gangs off Pearl St.

  14. Dude. Chill out. Have a glass of water or something. It’s not worth it.

  15. But I am curious as to this phenomenon of gangs on Pearl Street. I have lived on a street between Park and Monroe for the past three years and this is the first time I have ever heard of such a thing.

  16. It’s always worth it. That’s the problem with our country is nothing is worth it for ‘us’, when someone else can take care of it. Like I said, buy a scanner or talk to a city cop or fireman and then you can find out what areas are good, bad, mediocre. Don’t go by the rents as there were $2500 a month lofts next door to what was a virtual prison at Josh Lofton High. Learn, read, ask. But nah, it’s easier to chill out and have some water.
    And along the village lines, I lived in and now near ‘North Winton Village’. Other than banners paid for by taxpayers I’ve never met a soul who called the area that; you live ‘off Winton’ unless it’s south of East and then it’s usually Cobbs Hill or ‘in the city near 12 Corners’. So the banners, again to make people feel cozy and like they are in a quaint town, are a waste of money…… but push that agenda. People have degrees in what amounts to propaganda. It’s called advertising. When before 3-4 years ago did you hear the term ‘brand’ used in the context it is now? Less chilling, more participating.

  17. Monroe ave has always given me the semi-scuzzy vibe like nyc from 70s movies. It has a lot of nice things going but around Pearl st is a lot of drugs and scumbags (though not everyone). The city does need to pay attention to the street and do something, it has potential but could easily be over taken by jerks. Never thought about the points system and the shuttering of diners in rougher parts of towns attracting people to Monroe Ave that don’t typically come there. The whole point system is a farce. Bug Jar has one serious incident and gets hassled beyond belief, I bet Gitsis will too. I still don’t understand why any bar besides Scottland Yard and Tapas can still be open with all the shootings and stabbings happening on St Paul. I still think the point system is counter productive, it encourages bars to dump the problems into the street instead of trying to resolve it

  18. January 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    monroe ave had always been a bit dangerous even back in the 70’s when used to hang out there.

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