Norman’s Market that is..in all its powderblue-graffitied glory.
I used to live in Brooklyn in the hood and I’m not kidding about the hood. Anytime when the weather was near decent there would be loads of people hanging on the corner, some up to no good but most just chilling, chatting, domino’n and being seen. If you are from a smaller town and not the hood, it is a bit scary at first to see lots of African-Americans hanging out on the streets who don’t appear to be doing anything ‘normal’ like going to work or heading anywhere. I can’t speak for all white people (doh!), but I know a lot of peeps who lock the car doors and scurry on through when they encounter such a thing. After a while, I realized that the hanging out was mostly about community and just didn’t fit the template from my middle-class-sidewalkless-let’sstayindoors-world in which I grew up.
When I first saw the crowd hanging out at Norman’s here in Salemtown I was thinking….hmm, this is going to make a lot of people nervous and sure enough, there have been plenty of complaints. I think some of the complaints are just seeing what some of us are not used to seeing in places we’ve lived before, but in fairness, after talking to some folks who live right up close to Norman’s, I can understand the lack of enthusiasm about SOME of the Norm-crew. It’s hard to find public urination praise-worthy or much to brag about the trash buildup after a summer weekend. Excessive public alcohol consumption isn’t really my cup of tea whether it’s part of the Uptown Mix or Norman’s Midnite Madness.
Like many other things in the world of gray, Norman’s is a mixed blessing. Bobby’s short-order work on the grill in Normans is magical. Cheeseburgers with grilled onions made Bobby-style are as good as anything at Brown’s Diner. On the other hand, they do have their beer license back after a brief interlude when Norman’s was either leased or sold to some of the guys who work there (I get mixed stories about the purchase..I think the business was sold but Norman still owns the building, but not sure).
On the positive note, beer can no longer be consumed on-site (which was the case with their former license because they had a little room with tables that pretended to be a restaurant).
As long as Bobby mans the grill, I’ll be a patron. The daytime crowd at Norman’s corner doesn’t bother me, as long as they let me consume my cheeseburger in peace…