Monday, August 20, 2012

A Glimpse of Pre-Giuliani New York

This is really interesting for someone who didn't arrive in New York until late 1996.  The drastic changes that occurred there during the mid-90s were a common and sometimes polarizing topic among New Yorkers then, with many hard-scrabble natives bemoaning the "Disney-fication" of Times Square, etc.  Nevertheless, I heard some things about the old upper west side that were hard to believe after seeing how relatively clean and crime-free it was in '97 and after.

This clip says it all.  In six years in the city, including residing in two different burroughs, I never saw graffiti inside a subway car anything like this: 

It might also surprise you to know that around '99 or so, New York ranked No. 1 as the safest big city in America.  Hard to believe, I know.  Whether you love or hate Rudy Giuliani, he was widely popular as Mayor there until he made the controversial move of pushing for the removal of a work of art from the Brooklyn Art Museum.  Of course, his lasting legacy will be his cool-handed leadership during and after the events of September 11, 2001.  In the end, I'm sure most New Yorkers would agree he did a great deal to make the city a better place.

See the full blog-post about that subway ride here:


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