– Tens of thousands of homeless people are either begging or sleeping on street corners in every neighborhood, not just the lesser affluent ones.
– In just the past five years, there’s been a whopping 52 percent increase in the number of people who stay in homeless centers.
– New homeless centers are being opened smack dab in the midst of established middle-class neighborhoods, causing residents to freak out and bolt.
– At the same time, median apartment rents have increased 75 percent since 2000 while median real incomes have dropped during that same period. That ugly scenario has created a perfect storm that’s literally left New Yorkers holding the bag, forced to pay staggering fees or leave.
– The number of murders in New York City has increased by 20 percent since the beginning of the year.
– The city’s police force and Mayor de Blasio like each other about as much as do Donald Trump and the country of Mexico. Mutual contempt might be the best phrase to describe their totally dysfunctional relationship.
And, last but not least, there’s the non-stop construction, aircraft-carrier sized trucks and endless pedestrian walkways that combine to bring traffic to a complete standstill on most weekdays.
It’s a pretty horrific scene that, sadly, seems to get worse with each passing day.
NYC will continue to deteriorate until its current image and reputation finally catches up with it, and negatively impacts city coffers.
We’ll have to wait until large companies decide to relocate, business conferences choose to hold their conventions in nicer, safer venues and the middle class, the back bone of any city, takes flight to the burbs. Then, and only then, will we begin to see improvements.
Manhattan’s sordid state reminds me of Mick Jagger’s long-ago ode to Abe Beam’s decaying New York City. Shattered is the perfect word to describe what’s happening today.