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Remembering ‘bad boys’ of Nevada City

It has been six years since I pulled up stakes and headed east after living on Cabin Street in Nevada City for many years. I am now a resident of Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio. And the contrast is remarkable – specifically, the neighborhood dynamics.

When I last trod the sidewalks of downtown Nevada City, a plague had descended there: Youths on satanic meth roamed freely, pit bulls in tow, breaking into cars, assaulting and harassing people, disrupting businesses, making life for those living in that area (Pine Street, Commercial Street) a dreary prospect indeed.

While living on Cabin Street, the sound of beer bottles being smashed on the rocks of Deer Creek just below, rap music, deranged howls and laughter was the soundtrack, night and day; graffiti flourished like bacteria in a hospital Petri dish; there was even a shooting (nonfatal) in front of The Pub. The Nevada City Police Department seemed overwhelmed – or incapable – of dealing with these young “gangsta wannabes.”



In Little Italy, bad boys are not tolerated. If there is theft, assault, everyone in “The Neighborhood” knows of it immediately – and the problem is dealt with quickly and thoroughly. There is not much crime in Little Italy. Indeed, so thorough are the repercussions for ungentlemanly indiscretions that even I have considered serious reformation …

Of course, all have youthful follies that they may or may not regret when attaining adulthood, your faithful correspondence included. And so I am hopeful that the above mentioned state of affairs in downtown Nevada City has improved and that the Wicked Children have seen The Light – or, at least, the inside of jail cells – for their own good, for their spiritual resurrection.




My warmest regards to the boys at McGee’s and, of course, to the fine gentlemen of the NCPD.

John Sandoval lives in Cleveland, Ohio.


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