Miscellaneous Rumbles

Bit concerned about my trip to NYC

1

Well we're all set for our trip to NYC in a week or so, with plenty of dive bars on our list of things to do, thank you Gretsch Pages. But we caught part of a documentary last night on tv which concerns us. We watched the actor Kurt Russell in this documentary in what I can only assume were re-enactments of things which have happened in NY. This documentary disturbed us greatly. The gist of the documentary was all about escaping New York, not visiting.

Does anyone know if things have improved in NY? Judging from the cars shown in the documentary these awful events must have taken place in the 70s - have things improved since then? This documentary is not good at selling New York as a tourist destination.

2

I watched all of Animals. There were some disturbing developments.

3

The 70s and 80s in NYC were cool! Killing and mugging all around and the subway was filled with graffity and scum. Now it’s all gentrified and nice and sweet and safe. But still very cool....

4

AHHH. You got me at first ;-/ ... and I responded I'd feel a lo safer in NYC than Perth! ;-p (and i meant it)

Documentary...

5

It's like anything -- stay / be in mainstream places - keep your wallet/phone safe. Just be observant and use common sense. It was a bad scene there in the 70s, true.

6

New York City is very safe, nothing to worry about. As with the Gretsch Pages, don’t be a jerk and you’ll be disappointed how safe NY has become.

7

eCastro - yeah I've been the NY a few times already, and yes it probably is safer than Perth! Especially Northbridge at 3.00am on a weekend... My son used to work at a bar in Northbridge as a glassy and has some stories about leaving to go home at the end of his day.

Now the fjords of Norway - they look very dangerous. I saw this documentary on SBS called Dead Snow and Nazi zombies are out of control!

8

We were visiting from Melbourne in 2017 and I felt safe the whole time. It was my first time to the US and we spent about 7 days in total in NYC. The rest of the time was hopping around the NE corner visiting Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Niagara Falls.

Enjoy your trip Jimmy.

9

Did everyone think he was dead? I think I've seen that documentary - it's one of my favorites.

10

No Worries...

I would see visiting parents with children touring our neighborhood as I walked our dog. The kids always wanted to pet her, etc. The parents were always looking for danger instead of normalcy.

During the chat that would result I had a saying...

"Millions of people have lived here for 100's of years, it's just New York"

Everybody should have to live in NYC for a year, it teaches you something about people and life you don't get most places.

Your bigger issue is whether or not you get cooler weather versus "Summer in the City"!

We only used the word "escape" as to driving out of the City when the traffic was low, usually early morning opposite direction.

https://www.imdb.com/title/...

11

Stayed there for more than a month in Bronx. Friendly neighborhood, very diverse and safe! I walk a lot from 6am or 3am, nothing.

Museum of Natural History and Modern Arts alone is worth the trip!

12

That’s why it’s called Zoo York.

13

Biggest problem in NYC these days is rents are insane. Driven, it appears, by people who get apartments as investments rather than as a living space.

Seems that a lot of fringey places that seemed so interesting to me as a young'un have straightened out.

Also hot humid summer weather is, well, a thing here.

Have a good trip!

14

My wife and daughter were there a month ago to sightsee and catch a musical. Rode the subway, did touristy stuff, and they survived. Made it home safely with money to spare.

Like anyplace else, be aware of your surroundings, stay out of dive bars, don't hassle the locals. Enjoy yourself.

15

Probably the only place were you should be a little bit cautious is Times square... as always with touristic places anywhere. Was there the last time with my wife, and for the first time with our ten year old, went all over town (mostly by subway) including Harlem which I wouldn't have done my first time in NY around 92 : absolutely not a problem, even with a young one!

16

In 1979, a group of boys tried to walk across town.

17

Yer a funny man, Jimmy. It's a kind of test, ainit?

18

Hey, OZ has flying monkeys (saw it on video), so NYC’s got to be safer.

19

NYC's skid started in the '60s and for many reasons. The immigrants that moved there and built the city had children that moved out to the suburbs for more space. Mayor Lindsay was terrible and his administration incurred large debts, labor issues, and failed to quell an ever-growing division of both race and social tensions.

"Old New York" was in transition to a growing corporate metropolis but there was a "neutral" period that paralleled this change with zero growth and problems that reflected the effects of economic stagnation....much like the rest of the country at the time but more pronounced in the 5 buroughs of NYC which then became a petri dish of all these problems.

After Lindsay cam Abe Beam as a new mayor who failed to manage the aftermath of the turmoil that grew from the time of the previous administration. Note: Watch the "Out OF Towners" with Jack Lemon and there's a little taste of it. For starters there was trash everywhere.....sanitation strikes and a whole lot more.

I think this dark period reached it's peak in '77 when Beame reached out to President Carter for help, was promised it, and never received it. The city almost went bankrupt and private institutions bailed out the city. This is a brief synopsis which has a very many moving parts.

In short, the city had "personality"......the kind that would kill you. Ed Koch won the election and Part 1 of the rebirth of the city happened. The city exploded with promise but it took many years to erase the dangerous grit. Mayor Dinkins followed with a lousy 4 year term and Giuliani came in and started Part 2. Mayor Bloomberg was pretty good after Giuliani...at least for 2 terms

There is way more to tell as I painted a picture of pretty broad strokes. With this "cleaning up" thru the '80s and '90s, an open market where places were sold, foreign interests purchased the property, and a tumble occurred of massive rent spikes. Much of what made the city unique is gone but I am sure every generation can gripe about how things change.

Hope this helps a little as what I really can tell would take 20 + pages to write. My input above is an unpolished/condensed synopsis. Read the book "The Bronx Is Burning" and it will go into all of it.

Going to the gym now but will write more if I can provide some more detail that will paint an accurate picture of the present NYC. btw...... the current mayor Bill de Blasio is a mess. He passed a bill that made urinating in the streets legal and the homeless situation has unraveled a bit.

20

You know Tim I feel a bit bad now. I thought I was a bit more obvious.

Mind you, When I first visited NYC in 1988 I was a bit nervous. No internet then so of course no idea that any sort of rehabilitation had gone on. Still, Times Square was still not the place to be after dark and Hell's Kitchen was full of fenced off areas. At least Manny's was still there. The craziest thing was that on that trip we had gone to London before New York. You know "quaint historic London"? It was the unfriendliest, most dangerous place I had experienced. We stayed with friends in West Hampstead and a car was firebombed outside the flat one night. Going to the laundromat to find a skinhead with a knife down his boot shouting at the police. Half a dozen bobbies jumping on a guy at the train station when we arrived from the airport because he had stolen a briefcase... And the people who "worked" in the shops were usually surly and unfriendly.

So in comparison NY was amazing. Friendly people in stores and we saw no violence. The only action we saw was the hustlers in Times Square packing up their 3 cup game table (whatever that's called!) in record time when one of their spotters saw the cops. My wife (then my girlfriend) and I loved NY then and still do. This will be I think our 5th visit.

21

Well, there were enough hints. A feller just has to read every word - but I guess the internet runs on glib and skim.

No problem; it's become a general forum on NY and urban safety in general, and no harm in that. It has its own value.


On my first trip to NY in 1974 or '5, apparently near the nadir of public safety, I walked from somewhere near the Village to somewhere near Central Park at maybe 2, 3 in the morning. There was unquestionably dirt and squalor, and there were sights new to a small-town college kid from the midwest. (Though nothing like the public conjugation I witnessed on a downtown Atlanta loading dock ramp in broad daylight in the 80s.)

But I digress. In NY, I never felt in acute danger - but I was also aware in a wide-eyed way that I had no instincts for the circumstances. Times Square was on the route, and it was a bustling dirty neon purgatory of the transgressively weird. I generally kept my head down, avoided eye contact, and walked on. I may have been partially protected by my own naivete, and partially by the fact that with long hair, scraggly beard, holey jeans, and a worn army jacket I looked as much like a threat as a target.

The experience was all the more colorful because it was just cold enough for steam to be rising from grates and vents everywhere, with condensation on streets and buildings giving things a sweaty sheen. It felt very Blade Runner.

I also may have been perceptually enhanced, so that a long walk in foreboding and unfamiliar surroundings became an epic journey.

A few years later - 1977 - while living in suburban NJ for graduate school, my wife and I visited NY numerous times, generally during weekend days. (Couldn't afford the theatre, concert, or any other nightlife.) Learned to use the subway, got around to museums, galleries, and other public attractions, and spent a lot of time in the Village. We avoided panhandlers and other street people - and never had a problem.

At first the scale was overwhelming - not just vertical, but the sense of an endless full-packed grid. Eventually, at least Manhattan started to feel conceptually manageable - a dense but finite constellation of communities.

It didn't feel as vast and labyrinthine as London, which I found completely intimidating. I can't imagine Cairo or Mexico City - or any Chinese or Indian metropolis.

But I'm not an urbanite. Towns are more my scale.

22

Lived up that way for a couple years

Mourned at the Dakota when Lennon was shot, and that's the first time I ever felt a sense of community there, but it wouldn't be the last.

It's a great city that doesn't suffer bs, like certain members here...

23

my NYC exposure in recent years has been limited to trips to Manhattan or (more frequently) Brooklyn for concerts. tons of fantastic, lesser-known artists play the clubs in Brooklyn all the time, often as their only US engagement; i especially enjoyed the shows i've seen at Elsewhere and Warsaw. i must have been up there a dozen times in the last 18 months despite the fact that it's an 8-hour one way trip from here, and i'll be heading up there again at the end of the month. i haven't been in NY overnight since 1968, though, and that's not really relevant to now. at some point i want to spend a long weekend at the Met/MoMA, and i could stand another visit to the American Museum of Natural History as well. in any case, i've never felt nervous in New York City; possibly some of this has to do with growing up in Chicago when it was way hairier than NY is now. after 9/11 something deep changed there...people became less hard-edged, more open, more emotional in a positive sense.

24

Just like most other cities, use common sense and enjoy the place. The odds are in your favor. Make the most of it.


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