It’s time that we talk about New York.
New York City: former mecca of culture, arts, business and food. Most recently the epicenter of the Covid pandemic. And now, is decaying and rotting in the sun, just like the piles of garbage that are piling up on the street corners.
OK, maybe that’s a little melodramatic, but frankly…it’s not far off.
As you may recall, I stayed here in the city during the pandemic last year. I saw the freezer trucks outside the hospitals. I cheered for the nurses out my window during the “7pm Cheer.” I sanitized my delivered groceries, and even learned how to navigate the deserted city by bicycle.
But now…the city is not only unrecognizable, but in a freefall with an unknown bottom.
And I’m not even talking about “Daddy Cuomo” getting booted from office, or the fact that Mayor
Deblasio De-barf-io is now in hot legal water for his vaccine passport, where unvaccinated individuals are not allowed to go to restaurants, gyms, theaters, etc.
I’m not even talking about that.
I’m talking about the crime. The homelessness. The falling-apartness of this once booming city.
Steven and I were taking a walk on Friday afternoon of this past week. It’s one of our favorite things to do: be outside, talk, people watch, enjoy the beautiful city, especially during the summer.
Well, as we were walking along, we came upon the ruins of the cutest little French bistro; LouLou. It has this truly one-of-a-kind outdoor patio seating area with black and white Parisian-stripped awnings, and then an explosion of fabulous flowers and twinkle lights. It’s like the scene from a movie – people love to take photos there, it is the spot for brunch or a girls’ lunch. And here is was, rubble from a fire.
Turns out that an arsonist lit it on fire. One of a string of arsons and garbage can burnings that have been happening in the city recently.
And speaking of garbage…it is everywhere. Strewn on the streets. Overflowing from trash cans. Rotting in the 90+ degree heat.
But that’s not the only issue: The city is seeing a surge of homelessness. During the height of the pandemic, Deblasio put up more than 8,000 homeless people into NYC hotels in an effort to stop the spread of Covid. And just last month in July, he kicked them all out.
Obviously, my heart goes out to these people who are struggling with homelessness. Each one of those 8,000 people is a human being. With a story. With value. With dignity. Homelessness is a heartbreaking situation, and there needs to be a solution to get people back on their feet and self-sufficient. It is a real issue here in the city.
But I was talking with a former NYPD police officer earlier this summer, and he was saying how catastrophic Deblasio’s decision was. And how, since the one billion dollar budget cut to the NYPD last year amid the anti-police movement last summer, and the lack of respect for the badge on a national and city level, cops are just walking away. Not only are cops retiring early, but their incoming class of trainees, is microscopic. People simply aren’t signing up to be police officers.
And the city is feeling it.
I’m literally stepping over people who are strung out on drugs, passed out on the sidewalk.
Nearly everything except for nail polish at CVS and Walgreens is now behind locked plexiglass shelves because theft has become such an issue.
Crime is soaring.
My Citizen Crime App — that shows the police and crime activity in the area around me — it’s pinging all day, every day. Before, what would have maybe gone off a couple times a week at night, is now going off constantly, 24 hours a day — even in broad daylight, middle of the afternoon, with the incidents becoming more and more violent.
Woman attacked at subway. Assault on street corner. Robbery at bus stop. Armed robbery at liquor store. Report of man with a knife. Shooting on Christopher Street. Kidnappings. Man stabbed.
It is not okay.
The combination of the lack of police presence, the fact that there is are so many store front vacancies – leading to deserted streets, and the stores and restaurants that are still open, now close at 10pm….which for the city that never used to sleep, that is wild. Couple that with incompetent leaders, and you’ve got a city that is on the precipice of demise.
Not even the return of Broadway this fall can save our flatlining city.
But even amid all this, I have hope. There’s more to New York than the city streets and the crumbling infrastructure.
And that is the people who are in it. The friends and loved ones who have weathered the storm with me. Quite literally.
I was with Steven and my best friend since birth on Saturday night, and we were hunkered in my apartment watching a movie as Hurricane Henri raged outside. And I realized that, this is New York – the people inside those four walls of a very small and overpriced apartment.
And that is why New Yorkers put up with all this literal garbage all around us.
But I want to know, what is it like in YOUR city or town, post-pandemic? Are things back to normal? Are you seeing a rise in crime rates, or an insanely difficult housing market? Are businesses having trouble filling hourly-wage positions? Is there a mask mandate, or vaccine passport?
To everyone out there, stay safe, stay healthy and stay well!
And I’ll see you on Wednesday!
ALSO – BIG NEWS! I am super excited to announce that in the coming weeks, BeautyBeyondBones will be getting a major facelift! A revamp! A zhuzh! We’re talking: brand new website, video posts, a new Patreon schedule, perhaps even personal one-on-one coaching! But I’m really excited to share that with you next month. So stay tuned friends!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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