When I was growing up in Detroit in the 50s and 60s I, like everyone else across the nation, was well aware of the soaring crime in New York City. Detroit was no paradise either. In fact, crime comparisons between the two cities were often made.
In the ensuing years crime showed a marked decline in the Big Apple. But no longer. In fact, violent crime now occurs with regularity in neighborhoods like the Upper West Side and Times Square where it had been rare.
This was underscored by the shootings of three people, one of them 4-year-old girl, at Times Square.
Today I reported on yet another Asian woman being attacked in New York City. She and a friend were walking through Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan when, police say, a homeless woman confronted them and struck the victim over the head with a hammer. Police have arrested the suspect and are investigating it as a hate crime.
The 31-year-old victim, who came here to study, says she’s had it and she’s returning to Taiwan until New York is safe again. But when will that be?
Any local news site gives the impression that New York City isn’t very safe these days. Just now, as I write this, on the Fox 5 New York website, I see these stories prominently displayed:
“Man Stabbed in Gang Attack in Bronx Bodega”
“Arrest After Two Men Viciously Attacked, Robbed in Queens Road Rage Incident”
“4 Violent Attacks in 4 Hours in NYC Subway”
Not yet reported on the website was the shooting tonight of a police officer in Brooklyn.
I have colleagues who used to routinely take the subway. They say they won’t any longer. They don’t feel safe underground.
I used to walk the mile each day to work from Penn Station. And the mile back. A bit of exercise each work day that I thought was good for my health. But it no longer is. Because what was once a safe stroll is now dangerous because of all the violent crimes taking place in midtown Manhattan.
If New York City wants to ‘’come back” from the pandemic, it needs to be safe for tourists. It’s great that Broadway plans to reopen in September. But Broadway won’t stay open very long if people are afraid to come. And without a vibrant tourism industry, the city will continue to suffer.
Originally published at https://garybaumgarten.substack.com.