The man on the other end of the intercom had warned me he was going to call the police. When he said it, The Observer knew he didn’t mean the kind that would pull up to the curb in a blue and white squad car with the letters NYPD stenciled on the door. This was Borough Park, after all.
The neighborhood, a stronghold of the city’s Hasidic community, has its own ambulance corps, rabbinical courts and civilian security squad, the Shomrim. The Observer had been drifting around the area, a stranger in a strange land, and given our mission, we weren’t surprised to see a neighborhood enforcer bounding towards us. He had a huge belly that parted his suspenders, a sandy beard and noticeably thick hands. Read More