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One False Move……..

by Speranza ( 121 Comments › )
Filed under Crime at April 17th, 2012 - 11:30 am

The author reminds New Yorkers of the way the city once was, the way it is now, and that things can revert to the bad old days of the 1970′s through the early 90′s. People did not get better, but the policing and the will of NYC government did and the broken window theory of fighting crime was the right one.  However there are dangerous omens that the city may well backslide,  aggressive panhandlers are now everywhere and it is not too alarmist to  think that the return of the squeegee men may  not be  far behind.  Elections do have consequences and memories are short. “Perpetual hyper-alertness kept me from being mugged” – me too!

by Steven Cuozzo

One hot summer Sunday in 1988, I watched a mugging just barely not happen. The kid a few yards ahead of me, about 17, crouched jaguar-like measuring his prey from behind: a young woman, her handbag slung over one golden-tanned arm. Her New York radar alerted her before I could shout. She spun on her heel into a restaurant, looking terrified but at least safe — until next time.

Sidewalk dramas in those days didn’t usually end so gently. A Post colleague was mugged at knifepoint on subway stairs; resistance might have gotten him killed. Both incidents took place in Rockefeller Center in broad daylight. There wasn’t a cop in sight. Nor were there many people at all: Tourists were scarce then, and savvy locals knew how scary even the heart of Midtown could feel on a sunlit weekend afternoon.

In less than two years from now, New York City will have a new mayor and, in all likelihood, a new police commissioner. To those of us who remember what things were like not long ago, the latter prospect is the scarier. Schools, zoning, budget, taxes, even bicycle lanes matter, but none as much as the question:

Will our streets be safe? Just as important: All those things which falls under the cognizance of man might very likely be mutually related in the same fashion and there can be nothing so remote that we cannot reach to it: Will we feel safe?

Friends in the businesses I cover for this newspaper, real estate and restaurants, privately worry more about who will succeed Ray Kelly than about who will be the next mayor. People now live, work and eat out and shop in neighborhoods previously forbidding. But the party’s over if muggers and hustlers return — or even if they’re perceived to be getting a pass from an NYPD marching to new, politically correct directives.

The knives are out for the kind of policing we have come to expect from Kelly. His detractors have not laid a hard glove on him; he’s parried glancing blows with stinging authority. Kelly enjoys a singular set of strengths — his triumph on the streets on top of staving off terrorism with a force 15% smaller than in 2001; Mayor Bloomberg’s unflinching support; personal integrity; guts befitting a former US Marine; and a post-9/11 mood that made the least authority-loving citizens unsympathetic to public mayhem.

Challenged a few weeks ago by City Council members who claimed there was a better way to fight crime than the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, Kelly had the balls to disdainfully retort, “Yeah, what is that?”

His successor is unlikely to have Kelly’s nerve. And if the next mayor is as spineless and craven to special interests as are the current candidates, look out.

If a regression to chaos seems unlikely, the sweeping improvement which began under Rudy Giuliani seemed just as far-fetched to those of us who lived through the hell years. Few subscribed at first to Giuliani’s faith that crime could be meaningfully rolled back; the best that seemed possible was a tenuous holding action.

If it’s hard to imagine the mugger-infested Midtown I recall, it was just as hard to picture back then it getting any better. It could, it did, but a thing done can be undone as well.

Most of the city is in good enough shape to rule out overnight collapse. A slide backwards would occur incrementally as it did in the 1960s and early ’70s. Beware first the squeegee man. The personification of government’s abandonment of its obligation not only to protect citizens but also to make us feel protected, he’s gone from the streets but not from our dreams. It would take a mere wink or nudge from a different top cop to invite him back.

Newcomers and those born here recently cannot fathom what the five boroughs were like from the mid-1970s through the late 1990s. Two episodes bracketed my worst memories. In the August 1977 blackout, looters and arsonists destroyed the core of my childhood Brooklyn neighborhood of Ocean Hill; 35 years later, most of Broadway under the el remains desok=late.

Nineteen years later, a uniformed business improvement district agent greeted riders leaving the subway at Broadway and 47th Street, “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Times Square!” Long accustomed to Paul Simon’s “come-ons from the whores on Seventh Avenue,” I marveled that things were getting better. But it wasn’t over yet.

Horrific statistics — 2,245 murders in 1990 compared with 515 in 2011 — don’t convey the extent to which the menace overhung daily routines. The young think they know it from “Midnight Cowboy” and “Bonfire of the Vanities.” But they don’t know it, because they can’t.

In the 1980s, young women didn’t happily bar-hop on Ludlow Street — rape, robbery and worse would likely have been their fate. The predatory “homeless” took over Columbus Circle, subway stations and department store vestibules. My friends leaving a Broadway show were beset by hostile drunks and drug pushers. Terrified of the subway, unable to find a taxi, they enlisted a horse-drawn carriage to deliver them from the cesspool.

[......]

I switched subway cars at the approach of roving male youths on the hunt, as they always seemed to be. Perpetual hyper-alertness kept me from being mugged. But if it took so much effort for an able-bodied, younger man to keep safe, what was it like for the old, the infirm, and the poor trapped in bad neighborhoods?

The apartment my wife and I bought in 1993 included a small terrace. I stood on it and thought: Up here, no one can harm us. Not everyone could afford a co-op just to have a pittance of secure outdoor space.

I didn’t fully let my street guard down until a year or so before 9/11. On Broadway near Zabar’s, my reflexes went on alert for transvestite hookers who prowled the neighborhood in earlier days. Then I saw mothers wheeling strollers. And I’ve walked without fear ever since.

Ray Kelly’s NYPD is embattled by pandering politicians, civic “libertarians,” jerks who miss the depraved West 42nd Street of the ’80s, and unreconstructed cop-haters.

So much political and social momentum can only test a new mayor’s and a new commissioner’s mettle. The flashpoint is widespread stop-and-frisk. The howling over it isn’t really aimed at Kelly but at who follows him — and Bloomberg. Alas, Christine Quinn, Scott Stringer, Bill Thompson, and Bill de Blasio appear made not of metal, but of mush.

The NYPD conducted 684,330 stops last year — 87% of them of blacks or hispanics, who comprise 59% of the city’s population. Of all those stopped and frisked, the NYPD’s detractors note, 88% were not charged with a crime.

But maybe because thugs in pre-Giuliani days reduced my Hull Street boyhood home to an empty lot , I’m more interested in the 12% frisked who were charged. In my book, a tactic that catches 82,119 villains in a year justifies its authoritarian-seeming nature.

Even so, stop-and-frisk befalls more non-criminals than a reflexively liberal culture can stomach. Kelly’s successor won’t have the luxury of telling critics, in effect: Get over it. Anyone who howls over kid-gloves airport security should know better. I’m rattled merely when I’m taken behind a curtain and made to empty my every bag and pocket. One agent spent so long at it, I feared he was planting something. My sense of violation overwhelmed knowing that it was for the greater good.

[.....]

For all that, I believe stop-and-frisk is defensible. For starters, some 53% of the NYPD’s patrol officers are black, hispanic or Asian. That large numbers of minority cops are acting out white-racist roles seems ridiculous in the extreme.

However, it will take a new mayor and a new top cop of resolve to make the case. A Quinnipiac poll found more voters prefer Kelly for mayor (24%) than any announced candidate. Running as a Republican, he’d likely clobber any wishy-washy Democrat.

[......]

If the bad guys retake the streets, I’d still have my terrace. But we need a better prospect for the future. We wait for those who’d follow Bloomberg to give us reason to believe in it. We whipped al Qaeda. Save us from the bucket brigade and its accomplices.

Read  the rest – Will we continue to feel safe in NYC?

 

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121 Responses to “One False Move……..”
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  1. RIX
    1 | April 15, 2012 2:37 pm

    You know the joke about a business man on his first
    trip to NYC.
    He had an address written on a piece of paper &
    kept asking passers by if they could diredct him.
    On his eighth attempt he asked a guy, “Can you tell
    me where this is, or should I just go fuck myself?”


  2. EBL
    2 | April 15, 2012 3:23 pm

    I remember the wild seventies in NYC. I think some wish those days back because rents were so cheap back then.


  3. darkwords
    3 | April 15, 2012 3:46 pm

    Star Trek 45 years


  4. Brick
    4 | April 15, 2012 4:06 pm

    When the folks in charge fail to address crime, the hoi polloi will.

    Unfortunately, when they do -- it serves notice to those paying attention that crime can ONLY be directly addressed at the personal level. The best any government agency/force, etc. can do is to make sure the is are dotted and the ts are crossed on the reports AFTER a crime has been perpetrated.

    Government “protectors” hate being embarrassed and will go to great lengths to make examples of those who do.

    Bernie Goetz in regards to NY, and the border “Minute Men” in regards to the fed gov are two excellent examples of this.


  5. brookly red
    5 | April 15, 2012 4:11 pm

    EBL wrote:

    I remember the wild seventies in NYC. I think some wish those days back because rents were so cheap back then.

    in 1976 the average rent for a 1BR apartment on my block was 190 dollars… today it is 2800. there are not many people paying that kind of money that are going to mug you. The city has changed a lot.


  6. RIX
    6 | April 15, 2012 4:25 pm

    My first trip to New York was as a kid, we did New York
    & DC.
    Every time that I have been back as an adult was on
    an expense account, thank God!
    The prices are high, but you could say the same about
    San Francisco.


  7. RIX
    7 | April 15, 2012 4:28 pm

    @ brookly red:

    in 1976 the average rent for a 1BR apartment on my block was 190 dollars… today it is 2800. there are not many people paying that kind of money that are going to mug you. The city has changed a lot.

    Does that get you a luxury apartment with off street
    parking?


  8. buzzsawmonkey
    8 | April 15, 2012 4:55 pm

    brookly red wrote:

    in 1976 the average rent for a 1BR apartment on my block was 190 dollars… today it is 2800. there are not many people paying that kind of money that are going to mug you. The city has changed a lot.

    Au contraire; to make a $2800 rent a mugger has to get busy.

    The reason prices are higher is, in part, that the 1970s were 40 years ago, people—and the money is worth perhaps a tenth of what it was then.


  9. Speranza
    9 | April 15, 2012 5:09 pm

    @EBL
    Most of the good apartment buildings went co-op.


  10. Speranza
    10 | April 17, 2012 11:34 am

    Too many panhandlers on the subways and in the streets.


  11. Speranza
    11 | April 17, 2012 11:35 am

    The leading Democratic candidate is Christine Quinn, a big union supporting lefty.


  12. Speranza
    12 | April 17, 2012 11:35 am

    Mayor Bloomberg has many things in common with former Mayor Lindsay -- both think that government knows best.


  13. 13 | April 17, 2012 11:38 am

    @ Speranza:

    Bloomberg wants a true totalitarian State where everything that is not illegal is compulsary. He i sone scary son of a bitch. Fortunately, the electorate isn’t crazy enough for him to be a viable national candidate. I don’t think. He’s a kook. A very fringe kook. It says something about New York that he is anywhere near the wheels of power.


  14. 14 | April 17, 2012 11:39 am

    In the 70′s NYC was circling the drain, Rudy fixed that, Bloomingidiot has returned NYC to circling the drain again… All Hail Mayor Bloomingidiot…


  15. 15 | April 17, 2012 11:40 am

    @ Speranza:
    @ Iron Fist:

    Bloomberg is really a Fascist.


  16. Speranza
    16 | April 17, 2012 11:40 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Bloomberg wants a true totalitarian State where everything that is not illegal is compulsary. He is one scary son of a bitch. Fortunately, the electorate isn’t crazy enough for him to be a viable national candidate. I don’t think. He’s a kook. A very fringe kook. It says something about New York that he is anywhere near the wheels of power.

    He is very WASPish and patrician despite being Jewish. We call him a WASH -- White Anglo-Saxon Hebrew. His shilling the notion that the Times Square bomber was some angry guy protesting Obamacare was the tipping point for me.


  17. Speranza
    17 | April 17, 2012 11:41 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    @ Iron Fist:
    Bloomberg is really a Fascist.

    He is the very definition of a multi-billioniare progressive.


  18. 18 | April 17, 2012 11:41 am

    @ doriangrey:

    Bloomberg wants to turn NYC into an Islamic state.


  19. Speranza
    19 | April 17, 2012 11:42 am

    doriangrey wrote:

    In the 70′s NYC was circling the drain, Rudy fixed that, Bloomingidiot has returned NYC to circling the drain again… All Hail Mayor Bloomingidiot…

    The signs are showing that NYC is reverting to the bad old days. I hope that Police commissioner Ray Kelly runs on the Republican ticket for Mayor.


  20. 20 | April 17, 2012 11:42 am

    @ Speranza:

    He has a very Totalitarian vision of the world.


  21. Speranza
    21 | April 17, 2012 11:42 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ doriangrey:
    Bloomberg wants to turn NYC into an Islamic state.

    That I doubt but he is an Islamic panderer.


  22. 22 | April 17, 2012 11:43 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ doriangrey:
    Bloomberg wants to turn NYC into an Islamic state.

    Like I said, Bloomingidiot has the city circling the drain again.


  23. Speranza
    23 | April 17, 2012 11:43 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    He has a very Totalitarian vision of the world.

    A benevolent despot but he really is not a nice guy so I should not call him benevolent. He is a petulant prude.


  24. 24 | April 17, 2012 11:44 am

    Speranza wrote:

    doriangrey wrote:
    In the 70′s NYC was circling the drain, Rudy fixed that, Bloomingidiot has returned NYC to circling the drain again… All Hail Mayor Bloomingidiot…

    The signs are showing that NYC is reverting to the bad old days. I hope that Police commissioner Ray Kelly runs on the Republican ticket for Mayor.

    Maybe somebody should pick up the Bat Phone and call Rudy and tell him he is needed again…


  25. Speranza
    25 | April 17, 2012 11:44 am

    David Dinkins (mayor from Jan. 1990 -- December 1993) was Barack Obama minus the charisma.


  26. 26 | April 17, 2012 11:44 am

    Deja vu all over again?


  27. 27 | April 17, 2012 11:45 am

    @ Speranza:

    He would make Il Duce proud!


  28. Speranza
    28 | April 17, 2012 11:45 am

    Mike C. wrote:

    Deja vu all over again?

    Thank you Yogi (Berra).


  29. Speranza
    29 | April 17, 2012 11:47 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    He would make Il Duce proud!

    His comment last year during the city’s failure to remove the snow after the snow storm “Come into Manhattan and see a Broadway show” -- yeah like I want to shlep in from Staten Island to pay $100 at ticket to see The Lion King. He was so out of touch with New Yorkers who do not live in Manhattan.


  30. Speranza
    30 | April 17, 2012 11:48 am

    He also said that those who were opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque should be ashamed of themselves showed him to be a shameless thought control fascist.


  31. Speranza
    31 | April 17, 2012 11:49 am

    Bloomberg also allowed the Occupy Wall Street filthy anarchists to take over Zuccotti Park for way too long.


  32. Speranza
    32 | April 17, 2012 11:52 am

    The municipal unions have way too much influence in NYC. Mayor Giuliani was the only one to really stand up to them.


  33. 33 | April 17, 2012 11:53 am

    @ Speranza:

    He supported them.


  34. 34 | April 17, 2012 11:55 am

    @ Speranza:

    He also shunned Sharpton.

    But remember, Rudy was a Liberal Republican!
    ////


  35. buzzsawmonkey
    35 | April 17, 2012 12:00 pm

    doriangrey wrote:

    Bloomingidiot has returned NYC to circling the drain again… All Hail Mayor Bloomingidiot…

    He was initially elected for his “business expertise,” but he’s shown no glimmer of that as far as the city’s treasury is concerned.


  36. Speranza
    36 | April 17, 2012 12:04 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    He was initially elected for his “business expertise,” but he’s shown no glimmer of that as far as the city’s treasury is concerned.

    I never bought into the notion that you can run a country, city, or state as you do a business in the private sector.


  37. Speranza
    37 | April 17, 2012 12:04 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    He also shunned Sharpton.
    But remember, Rudy was a Liberal Republican!
    ////

    Yeah that was such a crock.


  38. Speranza
    38 | April 17, 2012 12:05 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    He supported them.

    He certainly gave them (the OWS mob) the benefit of the doubt that he never gave to those opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque.


  39. 39 | April 17, 2012 12:06 pm

    @ Speranza:

    Bloomberg has business with Arabs. That’s why he has a soft spot for Islam.


  40. 40 | April 17, 2012 12:07 pm

    OFF TOPIC: Now this is precious! From Michelle Malkin….

    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) thought President Obama was making a “mistake” in pressing for healthcare reform in 2010 and urged the White House to back off after Democrats lost their 60-seat majority in the Senate, the congressman tells New York magazine.
    “I think we paid a tewwible pwithe fow healthcawe,” Frank told the magazine in a lengthy interview as he prepares to retire at the end of his 16th term. “I would not have puthhed it ath hawd. Ath a mattew of fact, aftew [Sen.] Thcott Bwown [R-Mass.] won [in January 2010], I thuggested going back. I would have thtawted with financial wefowm, but thewtainly not healthcawe.”
    Democrats lost 66 House seats in the 2010 midterm elections. One political science paper estimated that about 25 of those losses could be linked directly to voting in favor of the healthcare reform law.

    He says he would not have pushed it as hard. I don’t think he could have helped himself anyway….


  41. buzzsawmonkey
    41 | April 17, 2012 12:11 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    I never bought into the notion that you can run a country, city, or state as you do a business in the private sector.

    Lots of people do, though. It’s one of the Big Idiocies of American politics, which cross party lines; the notion that an “outsider”—i.e., someone with no expertise in the field for which he is applying for a job—is an intelligent choice. It’s one of the reasons I could not really get behind Herman Cain, even before the character assassination started—and his obvious flubbing of a number of issues before the character assassination began made it obvious he had no business running for President.


  42. buzzsawmonkey
    42 | April 17, 2012 12:12 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    Bloomberg has business with Arabs. That’s why he has a soft spot for Islam.

    Bloomberg has progressive friends and believes in all the progressive pieties; that is why he has a soft spot (in his head) for the Arabs. Also, his bike-lane queen is Arab.


  43. Speranza
    43 | April 17, 2012 12:14 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    Bloomberg has progressive friends and believes in all the progressive pieties; that is why he has a soft spot (in his head) for the Arabs. Also, his bike-lane queen is Arab.

    He does not have to live with the consequences of progressivism. He is so wealthy he is immune.


  44. Speranza
    44 | April 17, 2012 12:15 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    Lots of people do, though. It’s one of the Big Idiocies of American politics, which cross party lines; the notion that an “outsider”—i.e., someone with no expertise in the field for which he is applying for a job—is an intelligent choice. It’s one of the reasons I could not really get behind Herman Cain, even before the character assassination started—and his obvious flubbing of a number of issues before the character assassination began made it obvious he had no business running for President.

    I personally liked Cain but I never took him seriously as a candidate as so many of the folks here and at Weasel Zippers did. All he could say to any question was “9, 9, 9″.


  45. 45 | April 17, 2012 12:16 pm

    @ buzzsawmonkey:

    I think one’s management style also has to be taken into account. Take Ross Pee-rot for example. He is an Autocrat from the word Go, and would have constantly fought with Congress. Cain, from what I’ve read of him, does not possess the same style.


  46. Speranza
    46 | April 17, 2012 12:17 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    and his obvious flubbing of a number of issues before the character assassination began made it obvious he had no business running for President.

    He sucked the air out of the room for two months.


  47. 47 | April 17, 2012 12:18 pm

    @ buzzsawmonkey:

    He would welcome the Muslim Brotherhood with open arms.


  48. Speranza
    48 | April 17, 2012 12:18 pm

    Macker wrote:

    @ buzzsawmonkey:
    I think one’s management style also has to be taken into account. Take Ross Pee-rot for example. He is an Autocrat from the word Go, and would have constantly fought with Congress. Cain, from what I’ve read of him, does not possess the same style.

    He was ill informed and non informed on so many issues. The presidency is not the place to all of a sudden start learning about economics, government, and foreign policy.


  49. buzzsawmonkey
    49 | April 17, 2012 12:18 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    All he could say to any question was “9, 9, 9″.

    Hey, I like the Beatles’ White Album too, but “number nine, number nine, number nine” does get tedious after a while.


  50. Speranza
    50 | April 17, 2012 12:18 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ buzzsawmonkey:
    He would welcome the Muslim Brotherhood with open arms.

    They would have no use for a Jew like him though.


  51. Speranza
    51 | April 17, 2012 12:19 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    All he could say to any question was “9, 9, 9″.

    Hey, I like the Beatles’ White Album too, but “number nine, number nine, number nine” does get tedious after a while.

    It was his entire shtick.


  52. buzzsawmonkey
    52 | April 17, 2012 12:21 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    He does not have to live with the consequences of progressivism. He is so wealthy he is immune.

    Exactly. And his taking a couple of subway rides for show did not in any way change that.

    What gets to me about Bloomberg is that the so-called Business Genius was completely unprepared for any of the economic heavy weather that we have encountered during his tenure. He knows how to line his own pockets but he has no clue how to plan for a city.


  53. 53 | April 17, 2012 12:23 pm

    I’ve had a love affair with NYC since I visited there as a kid and even as an adult, it’s a place that makes me feel a little giddy when I know I’m going to be there. Live there? I don’t think so, but I suppose it’s all what one has grown accustomed to. I’m far too attached to my suburban lifestyle, my sunroom, deck surrounded by banana trees and my penchant for hopping in my car and going anywhere I want, effortlessly and quickly. Give me even a weak excuse, however, to hop a plane to The City and I’m gone. There were times I had the misfortune of having to make a trip to Newark, but it was always counterbalanced by the stunning view of The City on the approach.

    I always found New Yorkers to be, while gruff at times, far friendlier and helpful than indicated by their reputation. I was touched, though not particularly surprised by the extraordinarily civilized behavior New Yorkers exhibited on 9/11. Contrast that with New Orleans during Katrina and The Big Easy hang it’s head in shame -- by way of disclosure, my wife’s from NO and she was mortified by the aftermath of Katrina.

    The Giuliani years were quite a renaissance for a city that desperately needed one. I haven’t been back for about three years now but from what I’ve heard, there is a noticeable decline from those renaissance years….not quite the dark ages of the 70s, but definitely more regress than progress.

    I need to make another trip up there, maybe during Christmas….


  54. 54 | April 17, 2012 12:23 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    They would have no use for a Jew like him though.

    Neither do most Democrats, really. Oh, they’ll take Jewish votes (they count on them), but scratch the veneer of “anti-Zionism” and you find a run-of-the-mill anti-Semite nine times out of ten.


  55. Speranza
    55 | April 17, 2012 12:23 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    Exactly. And his taking a couple of subway rides for show did not in any way change that.

    What gets to me about Bloomberg is that the so-called Business Genius was completely unprepared for any of the economic heavy weather that we have encountered during his tenure. He knows how to line his own pockets but he has no clue how to plan for a city.

    He never likes to admit that any of his appointees made mistakes.


  56. Speranza
    56 | April 17, 2012 12:25 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    Neither do most Democrats, really. Oh, they’ll take Jewish votes (they count on them), but scratch the veneer of “anti-Zionism” and you find a run-of-the-mill anti-Semite nine times out of ten.

    Quite concur on that. They despise Jews and Israel but do like Jewish campaign contributions.


  57. Speranza
    57 | April 17, 2012 12:26 pm

    @ MacDuff:
    Come in the Autumn. It is a great time of the year to visit.


  58. 58 | April 17, 2012 12:29 pm

    @ Speranza:

    I don’t think he gets that.


  59. buzzsawmonkey
    59 | April 17, 2012 12:31 pm

    MacDuff wrote:

    I always found New Yorkers to be, while gruff at times, far friendlier and helpful than indicated by their reputation.

    I remember, years ago, a friend coming to visit from Chicago and being annoyed/insulted because New York people did not exhibit the same friendly hello-to-strangers style of interaction that one can find even in a city as large as Chicago.

    I tried to point out to him that ignoring, or pretending to ignore, other people is politeness in New York; the living is so much more dense than it is even in a place like Chicago that it is only by pretending to block out others that anyone has even the illusion of privacy.

    I told him that I had seen instances where someone would drop a glove, or a pack of cigarettes, and five unrelated people who would not seem to be looking at anyone else would say, “hey, buddy, you dropped your [whatever].” They were aware—you have to be in New York—but kept that awareness to themselves unless it was needed.

    In addition, you have to pretend to ignore people because that is necessary to avoid beggars, hustlers, and scam artists without permitting a situation to escalate.


  60. buzzsawmonkey
    60 | April 17, 2012 12:32 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Come in the Autumn. It is a great time of the year to visit.

    Ottoman New York…


  61. 61 | April 17, 2012 12:34 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    @ MacDuff:
    Come in the Autumn. It is a great time of the year to visit.

    Back in the 80s, I visited NYC on business and we went to the top of the Trade Center. It was one of the most stunning experiences of my life. My wife had never been, so we were planning a trip there as I wanted her to have that experience and spend a week just drinking in the City. We planned to go in the early fall, September, and even had reservations at the Millennium Hotel. Something came up and we had to cancel in October. That was 2001. As my mother used to say. “everything happens for a reason”.


  62. 62 | April 17, 2012 12:54 pm

    My apartment in Chelsea back in the 70′s was $225 a month. Studio -- but it was a BIG studio.


  63. 63 | April 17, 2012 12:55 pm

    @ MacDuff:

    I miss New York. The only reason I left was because I got married and my crazy Cajun husband wanted to go back home to New Orleans.


  64. Speranza
    64 | April 17, 2012 1:01 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    @ MacDuff:
    I miss New York. The only reason I left was because I got married and my crazy Cajun husband wanted to go back home to New Orleans.

    You married a Crazy Cajun?


  65. Speranza
    65 | April 17, 2012 1:02 pm

    MacDuff wrote:

    Back in the 80s, I visited NYC on business and we went to the top of the Trade Center.

    Sadly I only did that once.


  66. Speranza
    66 | April 17, 2012 1:03 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    My apartment in Chelsea back in the 70′s was $225 a month. Studio – but it was a BIG studio.

    I like to think that we met in the early 1970′s.


  67. 67 | April 17, 2012 1:07 pm

    @ Speranza:

    I think we probably did. As for crazy Cajun -- he was actually the office services supervisor at Cravath, and I was the data processing chick. Those were the days when you didn’t have onsite servers and these outrageous printouts had to be dropped off in data centers outside Princeton.

    One day after an especially late night partying (I was only 22 after all), I grabbed the Amtrak to Princeton (rather than my customary Conrail train), fell asleep and woke up in Philadelphia.


  68. 68 | April 17, 2012 1:10 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    I miss New York. The only reason I left was because I got married and my crazy Cajun husband wanted to go back home to New Orleans.

    Yeah, I married one of them too. ;) We went down there last April for her mother’s funeral and, aside from the obvious sad occasion, we had a nice time. We stayed down in The Quarter an the place looked better than it has in years.


  69. MikeA
    69 | April 17, 2012 1:11 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    MacDuff wrote:
    Back in the 80s, I visited NYC on business and we went to the top of the Trade Center.
    Sadly I only did that once.

    I ate at Windows on the World a number of times with a couple of girlfriends (but not at the same time, don’t think they would have gone for it…) It was a glorious view. Also took my cousins to the top and we walked down about 50 stories then said forget the rest and took the elevator. Being from NYC, I cry a bit when I visit and don’t see those magnificent towers anymore.

    We should have nuked Afghanistan and salted the earth….


  70. brookly red
    70 | April 17, 2012 1:11 pm

    wait… this thread WAS there, went away and came back… OK I thought it was me.


  71. 71 | April 17, 2012 1:16 pm

    @ Carolina Girl:

    I have many NY tales of my 20′s.


  72. brookly red
    72 | April 17, 2012 1:18 pm

    when talking about crime 1 thing people always forget get is that in the 70′s there were no cell phones… if you saw a crime you had to find a (working) pay phone and by that time the criminal was long gone.

    Today every one has a phone AND a video camera, police response time is cut like 85% and no politician can take credit for that.


  73. Buffalobob
    73 | April 17, 2012 1:19 pm

    Bloomberg is trying to bring the city back to the good old days one OWS riot at a time.


  74. brookly red
    74 | April 17, 2012 1:19 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Carolina Girl:

    I have many NY tales of my 20′s.

    and if the checks keep coming no one has to know ;)


  75. huckfunn
    75 | April 17, 2012 1:21 pm

    I’ve only been to NYC twice. The first time was in about 1958. We went up in the crown of the Statue of Liberty and my Dad took some 8mm film out the window. I had all of those old films put on a DVD. The Statue of Liberty part is just a few seconds long. I wish I could figure out a way to post that portion of the film.

    The only other time in NYC was when I flew into Lagaurdia on my way to Europe in 1976.


  76. 76 | April 17, 2012 1:22 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Carolina Girl:
    I have many NY tales of my 20′s.

    That would be the ones for which we all have actual memory….


  77. 77 | April 17, 2012 1:24 pm

    @ Carolina Girl:

    Yup, the 90′s were fun times for me.


  78. brookly red
    78 | April 17, 2012 1:24 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Carolina Girl:
    I have many NY tales of my 20′s.

    That would be the ones for which we all have actual memory….

    Max’s F’en Kansas City!


  79. Speranza
    79 | April 17, 2012 1:30 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    One day after an especially late night partying (I was only 22 after all), I grabbed the Amtrak to Princeton (rather than my customary Conrail train), fell asleep and woke up in Philadelphia.

    Sounds like a Seinfeld life.


  80. Speranza
    80 | April 17, 2012 1:31 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    I think we probably did. As for crazy Cajun – he was actually the office services supervisor at Cravath, and I was the data processing chick. Those were the days when you didn’t have onsite servers and these outrageous printouts had to be dropped off in data centers outside Princeton.

    Cravath Swaine Moore, or as we used to refer to it as (I temped there once) Cravath, Swine, Moore.


  81. Speranza
    81 | April 17, 2012 1:33 pm

    @Carolina Girl
    I like to think we met at Max’s Kansas City or CBGB’s.

    Hey C.G. -- I am working on a thread about the super group CREAM.


  82. Speranza
    82 | April 17, 2012 1:34 pm

    Buffalobob wrote:

    Bloomberg is trying to bring the city back to the good old days one OWS riot at a time.

    The good old days of John Lindsay.


  83. 84 | April 17, 2012 1:38 pm

    @ m:

    Both were Progressive leaders like Obama.


  84. 85 | April 17, 2012 1:39 pm

    @ m:

    You see this gem:

    the Church survived wave after wave of Jihads.


  85. 86 | April 17, 2012 1:42 pm

    m wrote:

    U.S. Catholic Bishop: Obama Following Path of Hitler And Stalin…

    The American Catholic Church seems to be becoming more conservative by the day; either that or the conservatives thereof are finding a voice that they haven’t had in the past.


  86. 87 | April 17, 2012 1:44 pm

    @ MacDuff:

    Hopefully the stench of Liberation Theology is on its way out.


  87. brookly red
    88 | April 17, 2012 1:46 pm

    m wrote:

    U.S. Catholic Bishop: Obama Following Path of Hitler And Stalin…

    A. it’s true & B. he picked a fight with the church, he lost the election right there.


  88. m
    89 | April 17, 2012 1:46 pm

    @ Rodan:

    Truth.

    @ MacDuff:

    I agree and even before the whole Obama mess, I think Obama woke even more people up.


  89. 90 | April 17, 2012 1:47 pm

    @ m:

    The Ann Romney attacked hit home as well.


  90. brookly red
    91 | April 17, 2012 1:48 pm

    MacDuff wrote:

    m wrote:

    U.S. Catholic Bishop: Obama Following Path of Hitler And Stalin…

    The American Catholic Church seems to be becoming more conservative by the day; either that or the conservatives thereof are finding a voice that they haven’t had in the past.

    It not just Catholics it all people of faith. It doesn’t take much faith to understand right from wrong.


  91. Lily
    92 | April 17, 2012 1:57 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ m:

    The Ann Romney attacked hit home as well.

    They are still attacking Ann Romney.
    /double-down on the stupid is what they are doing.


  92. Lily
    93 | April 17, 2012 1:59 pm

    brookly red wrote:

    MacDuff wrote:

    m wrote:

    U.S. Catholic Bishop: Obama Following Path of Hitler And Stalin…

    The American Catholic Church seems to be becoming more conservative by the day; either that or the conservatives thereof are finding a voice that they haven’t had in the past.

    It not just Catholics it all people of faith. It doesn’t take much faith to understand right from wrong.

    Exactly the attack on the Catholic Church woke up other churches. It was basically an attack on the Christian faith. The arrogance of obama saying you have to bow to the government and not adhere to the tenets of your faith was a huge wake-up call for many.


  93. brookly red
    94 | April 17, 2012 2:05 pm

    Lily wrote:

    brookly red wrote:

    MacDuff wrote:

    m wrote:

    U.S. Catholic Bishop: Obama Following Path of Hitler And Stalin…

    The American Catholic Church seems to be becoming more conservative by the day; either that or the conservatives thereof are finding a voice that they haven’t had in the past.

    It not just Catholics it all people of faith. It doesn’t take much faith to understand right from wrong.

    Excatly the attack on the Catholic Church woke up other churches. It was basically an attack on the Christian faith. The arrogance of obama saying you have to bow to the government and not adhere to the tenets of your faith was a huge wake-up call for many.

    You shall have no other gods before me. pretty simple really.


  94. 95 | April 17, 2012 2:10 pm

    I think Christians of all stripes have endured years of undeserved abuse at the hands of people like Maher and may well have reached the breaking point. Eventually, even nominal believers look at the kid-glove treatment of Islamic barbarians while Christians, who want no more than to practice their faith, are treated with open ridicule and scorn.

    Americans have an innate sense of fairness, and I don’t mean the divisive idea of “fairness” expressed in Obama’s class-warfare incitements. This administration has mistaken a lack of widespread social unrest and demonstrations as a sign of weakness. The people who really make America what it is aren’t in OWS encampments and they’re not waving misspelled signs -- they’re either looking for job or coming home from work and watching as their interests are all but being ignored.

    This administration will not end with a bang, it’ll end with a whimper.


  95. Speranza
    97 | April 17, 2012 2:23 pm

    Guggi wrote:

    40% in many European countries think Israel is waging ‘war of extermination’ against Palestinians

    They (the Euros) are not very bright.


  96. Speranza
    98 | April 17, 2012 2:24 pm

    @ Guggi:
    When their Muslim masters take over, then they will really see what a war of extermination is like (if they were born after World War II).


  97. Speranza
    99 | April 17, 2012 2:25 pm

    MacDuff wrote:

    I think Christians of all stripes have endured years of undeserved abuse at the hands of people like Maher and may well have reached the breaking point.

    Like Keith Olbermann, he will eventually overreach himself and become so toxic that he will be reduced to doing 3:00 a.m. infomercials.


  98. Speranza
    100 | April 17, 2012 2:27 pm

    Lily wrote:

    Exactly the attack on the Catholic Church woke up other churches. It was basically an attack on the Christian faith.

    The only Faith that Obama cares for is the one in which they face East five times a day.


  99. brookly red
    101 | April 17, 2012 2:29 pm

    Guggi wrote:

    40% in many European countries think Israel is waging ‘war of extermination’ against Palestinians

    /but of course! the Palestinians are being forced to spend all their foreign aid monies shooting rockets at schools in Israel at the expense of their own children, some of whom are so malnourished the can’t even lift the weight of an explosive vest…


  100. 102 | April 17, 2012 2:30 pm

    @ Speranza:

    It’ll happen quicker than that. Wait until Iran gets nuclear weapons, and they will see some real wars of annihilation.


  101. 103 | April 17, 2012 2:32 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    MacDuff wrote:

    I think Christians of all stripes have endured years of undeserved abuse at the hands of people like Maher and may well have reached the breaking point.

    Like Keith Olbermann, he will eventually overreach himself and become so toxic that he will be reduced to doing 3:00 a.m. infomercials.

    It’s funny instructive how these people who call themselves “edgy” always misread where the “edge” actually is and they oft find their edgy asses in the abyss.


  102. unclassifiable
    104 | April 17, 2012 2:42 pm

    @ MacDuff:

    One million updings.


  103. brookly red
    105 | April 17, 2012 2:44 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Like Keith Olbermann, he will eventually overreach himself and become so toxic that he will be reduced to doing 3:00 a.m. infomercials.

    unless of course O wins… then he is head of the FCC


  104. Speranza
    106 | April 17, 2012 2:45 pm

    brookly red wrote:

    unless of course O wins… then he is head of the FCC

    I think that Obama even knows Olbermann is mentally unstable.


  105. unclassifiable
    107 | April 17, 2012 2:45 pm

    @ Speranza:

    Sort of like when people were saying the Iraq war was about oil.

    A pundit said that a real war for oil would look like an invasion, 5 gazillion wildcatters sucking every drop of oil out the ground as fast as possible and every tanker in the world hired out to ship it all back here.

    I mean if you are really fighting a war why go half-assed?


  106. Speranza
    108 | April 17, 2012 2:47 pm

    MacDuff wrote:

    It’s funny instructive how these people who call themselves “edgy” always misread where the “edge” actually is and they oft find their edgy asses in the abyss.

    Part of the reason for that is that they surround themselves with sycophants who never tell them that they have entered the Crazy Zone.


  107. brookly red
    109 | April 17, 2012 2:47 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    brookly red wrote:

    unless of course O wins… then he is head of the FCC

    I think that Obama even knows Olbermann is mentally unstable.

    and?


  108. Speranza
    110 | April 17, 2012 2:48 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    It’ll happen quicker than that. Wait until Iran gets nuclear weapons, and they will see some real wars of annihilation.

    God forbid!


  109. brookly red
    111 | April 17, 2012 2:48 pm

    unclassifiable wrote:

    I mean if you are really fighting a war why go half-assed?

    Ahhhh a question asked since Vietnam.


  110. Speranza
    112 | April 17, 2012 2:49 pm

    brookly red wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    brookly red wrote:
    unless of course O wins… then he is head of the FCC
    I think that Obama even knows Olbermann is mentally unstable.

    and?

    When you hang out or get involved with crazy people (even if you share some of their politics), bad things happen (see Debbie Schlussel for a good example).


  111. Speranza
    113 | April 17, 2012 2:50 pm

    brookly red wrote:

    unclassifiable wrote:
    I mean if you are really fighting a war why go half-assed?

    Ahhhh a question asked since Vietnam.

    and I never saw a good answer to that question.


  112. brookly red
    114 | April 17, 2012 2:56 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    brookly red wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    brookly red wrote:
    unless of course O wins… then he is head of the FCC
    I think that Obama even knows Olbermann is mentally unstable.

    and?

    When you hang out or get involved with crazy people (even if you share some of their politics), bad things happen (see Debbie Schlussel for a good example).

    if they disqualified crazy who would be left… no pun intended.


  113. Guggi
    116 | April 17, 2012 3:08 pm

    And Zapatero was trained by the Friedrich Ebert Institut and they funded Jossi Beilin.


  114. brookly red
    117 | April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

    things are worse than anyone believes…

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/americans-making-over-50000-year-paid-933-percent-all-taxes-2010


  115. Canoe Convoy
    118 | April 17, 2012 4:24 pm

    @ Iron Fist:
    Please, Lord, don’t allow this to happen.


  116. Canoe Convoy
    119 | April 17, 2012 4:28 pm

    @ Iron Fist:
    One issue that newly Nuclear nations should realize is that, if one bomb gets used, it’s possible that the other nuclear powers may regard the user-nation as such a threat that they may turn around and wipe the user nation off the map.

    Once a nation acquires nuclear weaponry, it can obliterate others, it can be obliterated by others, but it won’t ever have to worry about defeat, as the survivors won’t be worth keeping around, and the surviving culture (if any) will be different than the culture that deployed the bombs.


  117. Canoe Convoy
    120 | April 17, 2012 4:29 pm

    @ brookly red:
    The tipping pont gets ever closer. This is but one of the reasons that I favor a flat tax — everyone pays, and pays the same percentage.


  118. 121 | April 17, 2012 8:09 pm

    Brick wrote:

    When the folks in charge fail to address crime, the hoi polloi will.
    Unfortunately, when they do – it serves notice to those paying attention that crime can ONLY be directly addressed at the personal level. The best any government agency/force, etc. can do is to make sure the is are dotted and the ts are crossed on the reports AFTER a crime has been perpetrated.
    Government “protectors” hate being embarrassed and will go to great lengths to make examples of those who do.
    Bernie Goetz in regards to NY, and the border “Minute Men” in regards to the fed gov are two excellent examples of this.

    I live in a motorhome in an unincorporated area.

    I hope I never have to live in anything that doesn’t have wheels underneath it.

    If things get bad I find someplace else to be.


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