Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I once had a conversation with someone from New Orleans. A displaced Katrina victim. She was very smart, but she said something I disagreed with. She said New Orleans was more dangerous than New York.

I asked her why she thought this.

She said it was because our shitholes here in New York looked too “clean.” She said even the police don’t go into housing projects in New Orleans. She said the so-called dangerous neighborhoods here in New York aren’t as “scary” as the ones in New Orleans.

This is because New York is not a depressed city and our infrastructure isn't crumbling. It's a matter of aesthetics. Her perception, though borne out statistically, is not, in fact, reality. I can take you places and show you.

I once had a conversation in a bar with a guy from South Boston. He, too, was a very smart guy. He, too, said something I disagreed with. He said South Boston was more dangerous than New York.

I asked him why he thought this.

He said it was because even though there were “tough guys” in New York, they weren’t as “tough” as the “tough guys” in Southie, because all the “tough guys” he knew in Southie were serial killers with dozens of bodies on them. I said this was because the serial killers around here don’t go around bragging about it, so they don’t get caught and the beat goes on.

He didn’t say “bodies on them.” I did. That’s a New York term, from back in the days when the whole city smelled like piss and I’d never met anyone who didn’t understand the concept of keeping the front door locked.

People keep asking me what I think about the Laura Garza/Michael Mele/Marquee situation.

See, Imette St. Guillen.

Reference, Jennifer Moore.

This has nothing to do with the shitty parts of New York. I know that. This is about people moving here and trusting a place I wouldn’t trust to watch my kids if I had any. It’s about people not taking precautions, then arguing with me when I tell them to lock their doors and not wander the streets in a drunken stupor in the middle of the night.

I never root for New York to be bad. I want for it to be good, all the time. This shit happens everywhere. But when it happens here, it reminds me of how much worse this place can be than anyplace else.

Put the Shiner on ice, Clint. It’s looking promising.