Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang Memb

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GramercyRiff99
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Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang Memb

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

The following story will be relayed primarily through blog entries, posted by member "Cowboy62" to his blog, which he has titled "Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang Member". This does not take place in our version of the Warriors universe, as you will probably be able to tell within the first few entries.

Edit: Also, before anyone asks, yes, this takes place in the same universe as my similarly-styled fan fiction competition entry.

*****

Entry #1: Introduction

I'm not proud.

I just want to get that out of the way before I say anything else. I will write about a great many things over the course of this blog, but much of it, I am not proud of. I was a different person, and I ask that anyone who comments on any of these entries keep that in mind.

My name is Tom Porter. I was born on February 11th, 1962 in Coney Island, Brooklyn, where I lived for the first 24 years of my life. Most of that was spent in the Van Sicklen Apartments, a set of five tower blocks which are still operating just east of West 12th Street, in Coney Island. My family consisted of only my mother (whom I didn't have the best relationship with) and my sister Kathleen (who is a year younger than me).

Most importantly, between 1976 and 1986, I was a member of The Coney Island Warriors. Anyone who has studied the gang history of New York has heard of them, but for the uninitiated, I'll give you a quick rundown. The Warriors were formed by Clarence Jackson, known to us by his street name of Cleon, in the Van Sicklen buildings during the spring of 1974. He had just turned eighteen at the time, and by his next birthday, he'd kicked the previous set (bunch of lames called the Dominators) out of the projects and established The Warriors as an independent gang. I started working as an affiliate around the summer of 1975, when the set was still relatively young, and got promoted up to full member in the early summer of 1976. In the autumn of 1978, we managed to eliminate the Dominators entirely, and by the summer of 1979 we were strong enough to stand up to any other gang in Coney.

Of course, if you are one of those who know gang history, the summer of 1979 will have special significance to you. On Independence Day, 1979, the leader of the Gramercy Riffs, who were the largest gang in the city at that time, called for a conclave of every New York set with over fifty members at Van Cortlandt Park. His intention was to unite the gangs in a front against the establishment, but he was assassinated as he spoke, sparking a conflagration which tore the Riffs apart and sent the city spiralling into violence. The Warriors were of special attention during all this, as the nine emissaries we sent to the meeting were accused of being the ones who murdered Cyrus. Only some of those nine survived the trip back to Coney Island.

I was one of them.

I don't have time to write any more right now, but the history of the gang will be revealed as I go anyway, so it's not a huge loss. My next post will be a general overview of gang politics in New York City around 1979, as I intend to start off my online memoirs with the part everyone will want to know about the conclave.

-Cowboy62
Last edited by Anonymous on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dud
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Re: Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang

Post by Dud »

I guess you can tell from the comment I left after your fan-fic in the competition that I really enjoyed it, so I am very excited to see where you go with this, especially seeing how interesting and well-written this little background chapter has been. 8)

Really looking forward to where you take this. Good job! :D

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papa arnold
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Re: Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang

Post by papa arnold »

GR99. Boy oh boy its been a long time since ive seen a peice of your work. Your were reigning Fan Fic Champ when i first started writing :D
well i must say this is on par as all your rest! keep it up dude

Best, Papa
[url=http://imageshack.us][img]http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/6373/20255849yq4.jpg[/img][/url]AND THATS THE BOTTOM LINE BECAUSE PAPA ARNOLD SAYS SO!!!!!

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Re: Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

Before I post this, I'd just like to link to the two other excerpts from this blog that I've written. Given that I'm reviving this after so long, some people may well have not read them, and they do quite a bit to define the kind of tone I'm going for with this whole thing.

Excerpt one: http://warriorsmovie.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 21#p128250
Excerpt two: http://warriorsmovie.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 57#p128617

That said:

Entry #2: New York City

New York City in 1979 was... complicated, to say the least. The city itself was a cesspool, with all but the most upper class neighbourhoods having a gang or two of their own. A map of gang turfs would be a complex and ever-changing patchwork, stretching from Van Cortlandt Park to Tottonville to the Goethals Bridge to the Cross-Island Parkway. Beyond those boundaries, there were gangs from the Jersey Shore, Westchester County, and Long Island who considered themselves more or less a part of the New York gang community.

The indisputable kings of New York at the time were, of course, the Gramercy Riffs. The Riffs were founded in 1969 by Jeremiah Harris, known to us as Darius, and his younger brother Cyril, known to us as Cyrus. A few years later, their youngest brother Marcel (Masai, to us) would join, and the three of them lead the gang to prosperity, though Darius was assassinated by an unknown party in the summer of 1977. By 1979, they could field around 500 full members, more than any other gang in the city, and they controlled a substantial area of turf on the Upper East Side. They were simultaneously feared and respected, and if you saw a dude in white pants and an orange shirt, you were better off staying clear.

I could go on for hours about the other top gangs in the city, but all you really need to know for now other than the Riffs are the gangs of Coney Island. Exactly how many gangs were there in Coney Island? Well, let's see here. There were the Warriors, of course. Then there were the Mongols, who were our top rivals. They owned the apartments east of the F-train tracks and the police department, and they were stronger than us, at least in '79. To their north, between Neptune and the Shore Parkway, was the Jupiters, who inhabited the apartments there and some of the houses and stores to the east. East of the Mongols, past Ocean Parkway and into Brighton Beach, were the Destroyers. Further past them, even, were the Brighton Beach Stingrays. The Destroyers and the Stingrays didn't mess with us nearly as much as the others; they were usually too busy fighting each other to care.

To our west, things were less crowded. To the north-west were the Zodiacs, who we usually didn't rumble with much. We respected their territory and they respected ours, generally, which worked out in their favour later on, but I'm getting ahead of myself. To our south-west were the Surf Avenue Stonebreakers, a bunch of straight-up dickheads. They weren't quite as irritating as the Mongols, but they were up there, alright.

Now, on the Warriors specifically. In 1979, we were the strongest we'd ever been up until that point. The previous autumn, we'd finally managed to take out the Coney Island Dominators, who'd held our buildings before Cleon started up the Warriors. We'd gained quite a bit of territory from that victory, and I'd won myself a promotion to lieutenant. Our turf was just about everything between West 21st and the F-train tracks, and we'd been milking it as much as possible, growing to around 150 members plus affiliates by the time of the conclave.

On that note, how did you know you were looking at a Warrior? Good question. We didn't pull any of that Hollywood crap, like giant flashy coats with our names on it or something idiotically obvious. Gangs were a bit more subtle back then. In our case, we'd go with two elements. Plain red leather vests (or coats, once it got colder) like you might see any person wearing, and our war pins. Imagine a medium-sized metal pin shaped like a flaming skull with two huge, sweeping wings coming out from each side and extending above the flames, and you'll come pretty close. The pins would only go on if we knew we were going to rumble, or if we were outside our turf representing the gang.

It's now that I'd like to take a moment to introduce some of the key characters in our story. A dramatis personae, if you will, comprising the eight men who accompanied me to the Bronx. Trust me, you'll be hearing a lot about them.

Cleon – I've already mentioned a bit about him. Cleon was a hell of a capable leader, and the founder of the Warriors in 1974. If you want a mental image, imagine a really big, burly black guy with a do-rag and a look like he's constantly either going to tell a joke or tear your head off. You could never tell which.

Swan – Swan was Cleon's right hand man. He was the co-founder of the Warriors, but allowed Cleon to take charge because he recognized that Cleon was the better leader. Swan was like that; he didn't let macho dick-waving take over his sensibilities much. On the rare occasion when he did, it usually meant trouble, because I don't think I've ever seen anyone better with a blade than Swan, and he was never afraid to use one if he had to. We used to joke that Swan was White Lightning, because he looked like the former and was faster than the latter.

Ajax – Ajax was our muscle man. He got into the Warriors relatively early, having been in the same classes as Swan for pretty much his whole life, and boy were we better off for it. If you needed someone who could take a half-dozen punches, then still mop the floor with the other guy, Ajax was the one to call. Of course, he was also brash, abrasive, mysogynistic, and... I guess “a dick” would probably be the clearest way to get things across. Oh, and he really liked the ladies, something that got him in trouble more than a few times.

Snowball – Usually just “Snow” in casual parlance. Note that his name is nothing more than a joke that got out of hand; Snow was very, very black, happened to be gifted with some of the poofiest hair I've ever seen, and if you gave him grief about either, you'd be lucky to get out alive. See, Snow was more a man of action than a man of words: frequently silent, but always deadly.

The Fox – The Fox was your archetypal Coney Island Jew, except for the fact that he cared less about his ethnic heritage than he did about school, and that's saying something. He was barely an adult yet, but I knew gangbangers ten years older than him who knew less about the city. He was the perfect scout: thin, quick, nimble on his feet, and in possession of a near-astoundingly broad knowledge of the city's gangs.

Rembrandt – The New Blood. Rembrandt was only sixteen at the time of the meeting, and wouldn't have even been invited were it not for two things: one, he was buddies with the Fox (their apartments were right beside one another), and two, he was the best damn tagger we had. He started tagging in middle school, but it wasn't until the winter of '79 that the Fox finally convinced him to show us what he could do. The kid was amazing, and the rest is history.

Cochise – Cochise was half-black, half-Indian, and all muscle. He was a real capable soldier, and the only one of the nine delegates not to live in the apartments. He rented an apartment in a lowrise across the tracks, on Stillwell, and since he was on the top floor and the guy below him was a deaf World War Two veteran, we could party all night with no complaints if we felt like it.

Vermin – Vermin... well, he earned his nickname for a reason. He was a bit of a slimeball, and was known around Coney Island more for his ability to get in women's pants than anything else. That didn't mean he wasn't respected, but like Ajax, he tended to get into trouble as a result of his romantic inclinations.

I think that about covers the major stuff you need to know. I'll wrap this post up, and my next one will be the beginning of what everyone, I'm sure, wants to hear about. Independence Day, 1979: the big meeting.

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Re: Nights of Blood and Fire: Tales of a New York City Gang

Post by Dud »

I am so glad this is back. Really looking forward to this, GR99, and even though that was only really an introduction to the characters and gangs it was still really well-written and interesting, and I can't wait for you to delve into the story; I'm especially looking forward to your take on meeting.

It also looks as though you've fleshed out the characters a bit more, so I'm looking forward to seeing how deep you go with that. Keep it up man, really anticipating where the story goes from here. ;D

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