Friday, March 9, 2007


So, a funny thing happened earlier in the week. I wrote about it, and then felt like maybe I shouldn't post it, but I've changed my mind, so here it is after all:

Our condo is in a converted factory building, between a street of restaurants, bakeries, and cafes, a highway, and--on the other side of the highway--a grittier area warehouses, business, and clubs. I really like the area--and it's a relief after the disturbing preppiness of the town I moved from (I much prefer grit to prep... maybe I shouldn't be an archivist?), and I always feel safe, but it's definitely not the fancy suburb I lived in before.

We've been going to bed really early because we have to get up so early to work out. So Kevin was asleep last night [Monday night] at 9:30 or 10, and I was getting ready for bed, when I heard a commotion outside in the neighboring parking lot, which belongs to the lodge of a local fraternal organization. There were several loud thumping sounds, then people yelling what sounded like "stay where you are and get down!" So of course I turned out the light and peeked out the window... and saw a bunch of men in FBI jackets (!) going into the lodge!

I woke up Kevin (who was not as impressed by "the FBI is storming the building next door!" as he should have been, because he looked out the window then went back to sleep), but it wasn't at all clear what was going on. I could see reflected flashing lights, as though there was a police car on the next street over, and there seemed to be flood lights of some kind shining on the doors of the building next door, and maybe the FBI agents were taking down the license plates of the cars in the lodge parking lot. We cut through that parking lot on the way into work this morning [Tuesday morning], and all we noticed was a broken plate glass door, with the glass all around on the ground and plywood over the wole in the door... weird.

I googled for all the combinations of the name of the club and FBI I could think of, but I didn't find anything. I looked at the FBI district office's website but still nothing (although there were press releases about other investigations and arrests). This was the stage when I wondered whether I should post anything--would it just make my mother panic? What if I somehow alerted the bad guys that the FBI had gotten their minions and might come for them next? Why were the bag guys reading a knitting blog? What if the FBI was actually the villain, and my post allowed the good guys to escape from the government? (But still, why were they reading a knitting blog?)
Then I finally googled just the name of the club. And it turns out that the club has a regular Monday night poker game, with a minimum bet of $200. I understand that you need to advertise, but maybe it's not the greatest idea to list your club's name and address in a directory of poker games when gambling is illegal in your state? So it looks like the FBI was just cracking down on illegal gaming (or else looking for a major criminal who happens to play poker next door to me! Maybe I have an overactive imagination?)
Since I'm still a new blogger, it didn't occur to me that I should have taken a picture of the broken glass door (or the FBI guys... if only it had been daylight!) till just now--long after the glass was gone. I'll try to do better next time!


Annie said...

Great story! I have some memory that gambling is legal in private clubs for charity events, etc. And I'm betting that that charity line gets pretty blurred.

Carry that digital camera with you at all times--no telling when the next chapter of "New Haven--the Seamy Side" will present itself.

soozies said...

I understand that some of those who were in the bar at the time of the raid were NHPD; one of whom was again arrested today by the FBI...