Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

City That Never Sleeps Grows Uneasy Without Rudy
Independent (UK) ^ | 1-18-2003 | David Usborne

Posted on 01/17/2003 2:48:03 PM PST by blam

In Foreign Parts: City that never sleeps grows uneasy without Rudy

By David Usborne in New York
18 January 2003

The other night, we were passing a fancy new apartment block in the Chelsea area of Manhattan (units rent for $6,000 (£3,500) a month) when a large rat zipped across the pavement. Nasty, I thought.

It was surely even less pleasant for the tramp sleeping in cardboard boxes across the street. It's only an impression, but Manhattan seems to be getting scruffier again.

Every night, honking rubbish trucks disturb my sleep, yet the heaps of bursting bin- bags outside never seem to get smaller. As temperatures stayed below zero last week, the homeless crowded subway stations.

I also find myself feeling a little less safe. Nothing untoward has happened to me or to any of my friends. But I can't shake the sense that this town I love is in danger of slipping back to the bad old days of a decade or so ago, when no one walked alone at night for fear of attack.

In this, I am not unique, even though statistics show the murder rate continues to fall. Indeed, there were fewer murders in the city last year – under 600 – than in any year since 1963. Compare that to the 2,245 murders reported in 1990. Yet a recent poll in The New York Times showed that one in three New Yorkers thinks their city is less safe now than it was four years ago.

There are reasons for the anxiety. People say they feel the absence of Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor credited with making the city safe.

And the economy has soured since Michael Bloomberg took over as Mayor a year ago. A budget crisis has driven the police department to get rid of 3,500 officers in a year – 9 per cent of the force. And more cuts are coming.

Experts have long held that there is a link between urban decrepitude (think rats) and crime. It's the "broken windows" theory of crime prevention.

Then there is the bizarre story of Charles Boccaleri, which, if you wanted to be fanciful, might be interpreted as a sign from the gods – assuming anyone up there is watching over us – that the dark ages of the Seventies and Eighties are stalking us once again.

Mr Boccaleri, himself a bit of a drifter, died on 19 October after being stabbed in Greenwich Village.

This kind of thing happens, of course, but the difference here is that the attack happened in 1981. The fellow, almost as if he wanted to jog our memories of what it used to be like in the city, waited more than 20 years to die.

Doctors, who declared the cause of death as manslaughter last week, agreed such cases are extraordinarily rare, but that they can happen. Apparently Mr Boccaleri, who was 46 when he died, suffered from a build-up of scar tissue around the intestines that eventually restricted his blood flow.

All of us tend to pay more attention to murders when they occur close to home. Someone else dead in the Bronx? Who cares, is usually the response here in midtown Manhattan.

But last week the papers were full of the case of Burke O'Brien, a 25-year-old banker, who met his death last weekend just after arriving in the city from Chicago to start a job at the Bank of America.

His killing chilled me. He was walking back to his cousin's apartment last Saturday at about 4am after going out clubbing when he and a friend were accosted by two men demanding their wallets.

He resisted and was shot in the chest. It happened on the Lower East Side on Orchard Street. I have wandered there late at night myself on a few occasions. What makes it more worrying is that a close friend in the city left a bar on an adjoining street, at that precise hour on the same evening, even though he saw nothing of the incident.

On Wednesday, Mr Bloomberg said he was staking his political reputation on fixing the city's failing schools system. It is a vital mission, of course. But it seems he needs also to pay more attention, if not to rats and broken windows, then to rising crime or – correction – to the perception of rising crime. Keeping up the numbers of cops might be a first step.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bloomberg; chelsea; city; giuliani; manhattan; never; ny; nyc; rudy; sleeps; uneasy; without

1 posted on 01/17/2003 2:48:03 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All

Look into my eyes! You Vill not Succeed !


Donate Here By Secure Server

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at Jimrob@psnw.com

STOP BY AND BUMP THE FUNDRAISER THREAD-
It is in the breaking news sidebar!


2 posted on 01/17/2003 2:49:32 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Fat police(wo)men job now is to issue expensive parking tickets, they are revenue chasers rather than law and order protectors.
Any similarities to "crazy Eddy" Koch?

3 posted on 01/17/2003 2:57:44 PM PST by Leo Carpathian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
At least the threat of indoor smoke has been dealt with.

Priorities, you know.
4 posted on 01/17/2003 2:58:21 PM PST by swarthyguy (Strategery - A Root Canal for Mother Earth!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
This is what happens when a Democrat takes office.

And Bloomberg fools no one...he is a Democrat.

5 posted on 01/17/2003 3:07:31 PM PST by what's up
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Hey, what's more important - Cracking down on assaults and murders, paying cops, cleaning up trash, or eliminating smoking in public?

Bloombutt, whatta guy!
6 posted on 01/17/2003 3:08:18 PM PST by Humidston (CONTRIBUTE TO FR - NOW! WE NEED MONEY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Bloomberg is a very useful idiot. His role is to remind people, as the 2004 election approaches, of what really changes when the liberals get back in.

They always talk a good game, but the next thing you know, the squeegie guys are back. And you start seeing rats. People you know are getting mugged; that wasn't happening when "fascist" Giuliani was in charge. Our health-conscious liberal officials banned smoking finally, but now your favorite restaurant is closing; business is down 30%. It was supposed to feel good, but the reality sucks.


7 posted on 01/17/2003 3:22:28 PM PST by Nick Danger (Light fuse, step away, do not hold in hand)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nick Danger
Well said: an ex New Yorker in Texas.
8 posted on 01/17/2003 3:40:44 PM PST by ffusco (siempre raggione)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Nick Danger
Our health-conscious liberal officials banned smoking finally, but now your favorite restaurant is closing; business is down 30%.

Two friends of mine who own small restuarants in NYC actualy removed tables to escape the previous smoking restrictions. At this time of year, the regulars who come in after work for a few drinks and a smoke or ten are what gets them through the winter.

After living/working in NY for twenty years, I visit about once a month and each time notice a little more slippage.
9 posted on 01/17/2003 4:16:04 PM PST by mr.pink
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: blam; firebrand
FYI....please bump to any and all interested parties!!
10 posted on 01/17/2003 4:32:20 PM PST by Dutchy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
Bloomberg is the argument against term limits.

Rudy, you brought the Big Apple safely through the biggest crisis any American city has faced in history. You served 8 accomplishment-packed years. You're an urban legend. You're fired. There's something wrong with that tautology.
12 posted on 01/17/2003 4:53:44 PM PST by Man of the Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nutmeg; firebrand
NYC Ping
13 posted on 01/17/2003 5:00:38 PM PST by evilC (The tag is back ....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
From a post today on NRO's blog site The Corner:

BURGLARS [Rod Dreher] Derb's mention of burglars prompts me to report a rather minor couple of incidents, but ones that I think are significant, in part because "broken-window" things like this are starting to happen all over New York again, or so it seems from conversations with friends here. I live in a pretty good middle-class neighborhood. We've been seeing a bit more vandalism lately, and hearing stories of women being threatened on our formerly calm streets. There was even a rape outside a hospital half a block away, which is in no way a minor incident. A couple of nights ago, someone troubled himself to unscrew and steal the brass cover of the mail slot of our building, and also the brass handle on the top of a board we use to cover a trash can. It's no big loss, obviously, and we're blessed that nothing worse has happened -- yet. Still, these things are another reminder that New York criminals in the post-Giuliani era are getting bolder. Oh yes: junkies are starting to congregate on the street outside the neighborhood methadone clinic. That never happened when Rudy was in charge. Posted at 02:15 PM

15 posted on 01/17/2003 7:35:55 PM PST by LibertarianLiz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibertarianLiz
Drip, drip, drip.
16 posted on 01/17/2003 7:48:43 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: swarthyguy
"At least the threat of indoor smoke has been dealt with."

Isn't that the truth. Don't want to risk health and safety. Before I go down an unfamiliar street, I always stop and look for deadly clouds of cigarette smoke linguering in the air. Wouldn't want to be at risk...

17 posted on 01/17/2003 7:52:37 PM PST by cibco
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: evilC
Whoa, how did I miss this one? Thanks, evilC... I'll ping the Tri-Staters now.
18 posted on 01/17/2003 11:41:44 PM PST by nutmeg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: firebrand; StarFan; Dutchy; stanz; RaceBannon; Doctor Raoul; Neets; evilC; Black Agnes; Cacique; ...
ping!

Please Freepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent ping list.

19 posted on 01/17/2003 11:44:36 PM PST by nutmeg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; nutmeg
Blunderberg has been a disaster and yes, many of us miss Rudy.

What people fail to mention in articles such as this, however, is that Rudy got the cops OFF THEIR AS-SES in the coffee shops and OUT ONTO THE STREET. Although there are still great cops on the force, it appears that some members of the NYPD are starting to SLACK OFF under Commissioner Ray Kelly (who was Dickens's commissioner as well).

I myself still feel fairly safe, but that will last just until I get mugged (which will probably be soon, thanks to Blunderberg and New York States lack of a Right-to-Carry law).

20 posted on 01/17/2003 11:58:03 PM PST by Clemenza (East side, West side, all around the town. Tripping the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nick Danger
...but the next thing you know, the squeegie guys are back...

The squeegie guys are back. We encountered one causing a massive traffic jam on the West Side Highway in early December. My husband was incredulous that there were no policemen around to control the situation. About a week or two later, the NY Post reported more sightings around town. Very depressing...

21 posted on 01/17/2003 11:58:47 PM PST by nutmeg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: blam
No reports yet of the ol' "Beast of 96th Street" reappearing. Maybe he got old and tired - or was hired by some pol to replace Livingstone.
22 posted on 01/18/2003 12:04:53 AM PST by 185JHP (Was "Tuco" right? "If you're going to shoot...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza; nutmeg; evilC
At the 86th st. IRT station(4,5,6) - probably the richest station in NYC- the bums have been back for months now. In October, above ground, the pols were asking us for their votes- then we would be treated to the sight and smell of the bums.

Don't get me wrong- I'm on a first name basis with the reasonably functional bums in my neighborhood and have been for years through the Guliani era- the folks sleeping on the floor of the 86th St Station are folks I've never seen before.

When Ray Kelly disbanded the Street Crimes Unit- that was a stern message to good cops that their work will no longer be tolerated. Only criminal appeasement for this Police Comissioner. The Democrat gets my vote next year.

23 posted on 01/18/2003 12:21:46 AM PST by Oschisms
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: 185JHP
Larry Hogue had a brother named Harry. He was sent up in Jersey for murdering prostitutes. A case of sibling rivalry, I guess. When the Madman of 96th gets out, the Post will set a circulation record.

My friend Allie always called it, "The Larry and Harry Hogue Brothers Revue."

24 posted on 01/18/2003 12:28:07 AM PST by Oschisms
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Oschisms
At the 86th st. IRT station(4,5,6) - probably the richest station in NYC- the bums have been back for months now. In October, above ground, the pols were asking us for their votes- then we would be treated to the sight and smell of the bums.

You should see the lovely jaundiced gentleman always begging me for change at the 57th Street/Carnegie hall N//R/Q/W stop.

I grew accustomed long ago to block out the "homeless," most of whom are single men who were kicked out of the projects/Section 8's by their old lady for drinkin' and druggin' too much.

The funny thing is, they tend to stay out of Brooklyn, although they seem to enjoy sleeping on the R train all the way out to Bay Ridge (there smell makes my occassional late night commute SOOOOO enjoyable).

25 posted on 01/18/2003 12:28:21 AM PST by Clemenza (East side, West side, all around the town. Tripping the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza
"homeless?"

Stop it! You're killin' me!

Considering anyone without a home can get put up, for free, by the city- not in a shelter, mind you, but a nice hotel or a subsidized apartment.....There are no homeless in NYC anymore- just bums.

26 posted on 01/18/2003 12:36:00 AM PST by Oschisms
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza
I know that you know...just for the benefit of our dear readers...
27 posted on 01/18/2003 12:37:37 AM PST by Oschisms
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Oschisms
"Millions of stories in the Naked City - Larry's is one of them." FReegards
28 posted on 01/18/2003 1:01:23 AM PST by 185JHP (Was "Tuco" right? "If you're going to shoot...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 185JHP
Larry Hogue, the Wild Man of 96th Street, has been controlled under Kendra's Law, the law we were begging for for years before Kendra got pushed onto the subway tracks. Also, a very brave woman in our neighborhood got the Castle closed, an SRO that was Larry's big crack-den hangout when he got out of the hospital.
29 posted on 01/18/2003 7:20:43 AM PST by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: madg
But it's a little unfair to entirely lay the current situation at Bloomberg's feet.

I agree. He did not create New York's fiscal mess and has been raked over the coals over his projected ways to balance the city's budget. O.K. there will never be another Rudy. We all feel his absence and I, for one, do not feel as safe as I used to. How can you patrol a city with a reduced police force? If they don't raise property taxes, don't levy another commuter tax and don't reduce the size of the city's labor force, among other measures, how will they make ends meet? We wish we had Rudy back, but even he isn't a magician.

30 posted on 01/18/2003 8:59:19 AM PST by stanz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: madg
Rotation in office is desirable, but term limits are anti-democratic.
31 posted on 01/18/2003 2:14:14 PM PST by Man of the Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: firebrand
Excellent. Great news that that beast is under control.
32 posted on 01/18/2003 9:58:30 PM PST by 185JHP (Was "Tuco" right? "If you're going to shoot...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson