"You want to go where?"
It's just after 6 p.m in Soho, and I'm trying to catch a taxi. My destination is a club in East New York called the Elite Ark, which tonight is hosting a fundraiser for the family of Daesean Hill, an 8-year-old killed last November in a firefight between warring drug dealers. New York City Councilman Charles Barron, whose district straddles Flatbush, Canarsie and Brownsville, is sponsoring the event. So far, every taxi has refused to take me there. Say the words "East New York" and heads shake, windows go up, tires screech away. I finally flag down a beat-up Lincoln Town Car. "You want to go where?" The driver asks again. "East New York," I say. "73 Wortman Avenue." He motions me to get in, but only for 40 bucks, up front.