Monday, July 6, 2020

Will New York Ever Come Back?

The prognosticators are sounding New York’s death knell. Based on the unerring projections of their crystal balls and a few computer models they have concluded that New York is down and about to be counted out. 

By the laws of contrary opinion this means that New York might again rise from the ashes. It did so after 9/11. It did so after the 2008 financial crisis. But, will history repeat itself again? Your guess is as good as mine.

Anyway, the Daily Mail reports the bad news:, beginning with the new crime wave (via Maggie's Farm and Lucianne:

Two bullet-ridden bodies lay sprawled on bloodstained concrete steps. Alongside, relatives of the victims are wailing and collapse to the ground. In another part of the city, a gang of youths use spray paint to disable security cameras before robbing a corner store. Later, video footage captures police officers sitting helplessly in their patrol car as a baying crowd hurls glass bottles at them.

This is lawless New York – a city that was once America’s glittering crown jewel but which risks descending into mob rule.

Murder figures have skyrocketed and a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and weak political leadership is in danger of achieving what Osama Bin Laden never could: bringing the Big Apple to its knees.

As for the numbers, here they are:

According to figures released by the New York Police Department, for the first six months of this year, there were 176 murders, an increase of 23 per cent on the 143 killed during the same period last year.

The number of shooting victims has gone up 51 per cent to 616 this year. In June alone, there were 250 shootings compared to 97 in the same month last year. 

Month-on-month, burglaries are up 119 per cent and car thefts up 48 per cent.

Anyone who lives here knows that the fault lies largely with our mayor, Comrade de Blasio, an inept radical leftist who believes that the solution to the minority crime problem is to decriminalize crime:

Many blame New York’s liberal mayor, Bill de Blasio, who has slashed police funding by $1 billion (£800 million), ended the NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy (which allowed police to stop and search anyone solely on the basis of ‘reasonable suspicion’) and who last week vowed to paint a huge Black Lives Matter sign outside President Trump’s flagship Trump Tower.

De Blasio has also introduced criminal justice reforms, including changes to bail for dozens of offences, which has meant violent criminals released on to the streets.

Of course, the city has led the nation in coronavirus deaths, far surpassing the totals in red Southern states: 

Parts of Manhattan, famously the ‘city that never sleeps’, have begun to resemble a ghost town since 500,000 mostly wealthy and middle-class residents fled when Covid-19 struck in March.

New York state has suffered the highest death toll in America, with more than 24,000 dead, nearly 10,000 more than the second-hardest hit state, New Jersey, and eight times the number killed by terrorists on 9/11.

Business has been especially hard hit:

Streets once teeming with tourists are virtually empty. Shops and restaurants are boarded up to protect against looters. Hotels are closed. According to one resident: ‘New York has become a place where the soup kitchens are full and skyscrapers are empty.’

And the entertainment industry, especially Broadway, is dead. The subway system, necessary to the city’s economic well being, is moribund:

The Broadway theatre district sits in darkness, unlikely to open before next year. The subway, which once carried 750,000 commuters a day, is mainly deserted. In Times Square, a handful of street vendors offer hand-sanitiser and face masks in place of knock-off designer sunglasses and bags.

As it happened, the city could not deal with the virus. The Daily Mail quotes noted urbanologist, Joel Kotkin:

‘... Millennials went home to their parents. That left poor people and immigrants living in incredibly crowded conditions with high levels of poverty and multiple generations in one household. Add to that the [BLM] riots and the protests and New York was a perfect storm of everything that could go wrong – and did.’

Significantly, Kotkin believes that people being able to work from home will dramatically change the nature of life in New York for ever. ‘When the Twin Towers were hit in 2001, the internet was still in the early stages. Now it is easy for people to work remotely.

‘A city which is perceived as dangerous and dirty doesn’t hold any appeal. It makes sense to locate to suburban regions and smaller towns that are generally safer, cleaner and less expensive.’

Of course, suburban and exurban towns are less exciting than New York. But perhaps crime waves and shuttered stores are not the kind of excitement people want for their children. Of course, it is going to take quite some time for the tourist business to recover:

With no reliable forecast when tourists might return, up to a third of the city’s small businesses – including 186,000 shops – could fail. Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the city’s Small Business Agency, said: ‘I don’t know if the New York we left will ever come back.’

More than 1.2 million people have lost their jobs, mostly low-paid roles in restaurants and retail. 

But, hope gleams eternal, and one should never count New York out:

And an executive with a major Wall Street bank said: ‘No one should write off New York. After the 2008 fiscal crisis hit, we reinvented ourselves and attracted tech companies like Facebook. We need a progressive leader, someone who can restore faith in law and order and give people hope.’

He flouted his own call for people not to make unnecessary journeys by being chauffeur-driven to his gym.

But the Wall Street executive added: ‘New York has always been a beacon for people from around the world who come here believing in the American Dream.

‘That dream may have become a nightmare but there’s a toughness and resilience in New York that people shouldn’t underestimate.

‘New York is definitely down. But you should never count us out.’ 

If New York were a stock, one would say that its value had been seriously out of sync with its inflated market price. Now, the market price, led by real estate, is correcting. We might even say that it crashing. Something similar happened in the mid-1970s, when they were practically giving away some of New York’s prime residential real estate. The question is, how low will the price need to fall before the city catches a bid.

10 comments:

David Foster said...

NYC in America popular culture:

https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2020/06/new-york-no-longer-cool-or-interesting.html

Giordano Bruno said...

I must admit, I find this all very satisfying. Truly schadenfreude in the best definition. The endgame is rich NY leftists vs the mobs--with no police interest in stopping the fight. Globalism drove out all the old, white ethnic populations from the city, and now you just have atomistic elites with no tribe and no posse, and (must not say) mobs who have no virtues except forming a posse. Tribes vs stragglers. Big tribe, the police, are driving around listening to Bronze Age Pervert.

The big difference between 9/11 and 2008 and now? Hundreds of leftist kooks in every position of power including the DA and a police force that is at war with the commie mayor and no longer does anything past the bare minimum. They come and clean up the corpses. Try coming back with violent mobs ruling the streets. Did they have that after 9/11? No, they did not. The self-preservation of people pursuing the American dream is the first priority of the government, and NYC is no longer a government. NYC cannot assure my security, so I will not be attending for some time. I'll wait until enough damage is done, then I'll buy in at firesale prices.

You know who was quite the expert at buying rock-bottom NYC real estate after Lindsey et at ruined the city? Orangeman.

ted said...

Interesting. As someone who also lives in a big expensive city, and I do see this phase as a blip. It will impact things for at least a couple years, but the bottom line is young people do want to live in cities and enjoy the creative energy of being in close physical proximity. I don't see this changing. But yes, there may be some older people (who do possess the wealth) that may opt for more spacious locations.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Of course, older people are often the tax base. But, what will happen if young people in sufficient numbers gravitate to smaller cities, where they can find creative energy without the cost of NYC. I am thinking of Austin, Tulsa, Nashville, etc.

Sam L. said...

I vass dere, Sharley, ven I vass yust a kid. Now, I'm on the other side of the country, and have no interest in going back there. Indeed, I've only been east of the Mississippi River twice as an adult.

"Stuart Schneiderman said...

Of course, older people are often the tax base. But, what will happen if young people in sufficient numbers gravitate to smaller cities, where they can find creative energy without the cost of NYC. I am thinking of Austin, Tulsa, Nashville, etc." Preach it, Mr. Schneiderman!

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I am reliably informed that bail reform in New York was enacted by the state legislature and the governor, not by comrade de Blasio. Consider the point corrected.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Stuart: "I am reliably informed that bail reform in New York was enacted by the state legislature and the governor, not by comrade de Blasio. Consider the point corrected."

Great. That means they're ALL crazy!

urbane legend said...

Significantly, Kotkin believes that people being able to work from home will dramatically change the nature of life in New York for ever.

Plumbers, electricians, truck drivers and obstetricians cannot work from home, to name just a few. I see comments from time to time in various places that working from home is not the be all and end all of existence, either. It seems a number of people find the work environment away from home useful.

Sam L. said...

Eventually, I suspect. May take years, though, to smarten up enough to do so.

Giordano Bruno said...

I keep hearing about all this creative energy that can only be gathered up in cities, but whenever I visit these places, I fail to see the tangible, salutary results of these creative energies. All I notice is derivative art, idiotic ideas, bad music, and ugly people with Ill-fitting clothing who speak with a vocal burn. Our elites are marked by sub-literacy. If our history will be measured by our artistic achievements, as Jacques Barzun suggests, then we are In a mini-dark age, and it’s about to get darker. Aside from technical advances, the culture is a shitbog. Drain it, then set it on fire.