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Terrorists on the Brooklyn Bridge?

"But Susan Licht, a Brooklyn resident, said, 'I'm more concerned about getting mugged.' She added: β€˜All this stuff is window dressing. If somebody really wants to do something, they'll do it.’"

And that, my friends, is exactly why I'm doing this. My thesis is that no one is afraid of terrorism in New York anymore. Not even in the back of their minds. Their fear has moved onto the "normal" stuff... you know, muggings, slipping on Italian tiles in the subway, mystery substances dripping on their cars from elevated trains, insecticide spraying and other craziness.

- posted by matt @ 6/21/2003 10:27:00 PM

Somebody's watching you in NYC

"By his estimate, more than 10,000 remote eyes now monitor Manhattan streets, a three-fold increase since the New York Civil Liberties Union first mapped the cameras in 1998."

This isn't really anything new, but when the Canadians start noticing... look out!

"For more information on surveillance issues and a schedule of the tours, call (212) 561-0106 or visit"

- posted by matt @ 6/21/2003 10:18:00 PM

U.S. Cites Al Qaeda in Plan to Destroy Brooklyn Bridge

The reaction to this story by many NYC bloggers -- particularly Brooklyn bloggers -- tells me that I was right when I said people aren't scared of terrorist acts in NY anymore. Lots of "Try blowing up my bridge? I don't think so." and "Stay the hell away from the Brooklyn Bridge - OR ELSE." kind of stuff. No "oh my god, I go over that bridge every day."

- posted by matt @ 6/20/2003 05:49:00 PM

Two items over at Gothamist related to scary New York things.

Crime Statistics -- basically some coverage on crime stats and how things aren't as rosy as city hall would like you to believe. UPDATE: Crime drop probed.

Subway Tiles Yanked -- the NY subway can kill you. I was in the 86th Street station recently and I can attest to their slipperiness.

- posted by matt @ 6/20/2003 04:54:00 PM

Liberty Avenue Drip Problem Not Solved Despite MTA Work

"...the wooden railroad ties on the elevated tracks were dripping creosote, a brownish-black water sealant that was taking the paint off cars parked below."

Cresote is basically nasty stuff. Don't touch it. Ever.

"People whose cars have been damaged can call the MTA claims department at 718-694-3943."

I imagine you could have a lot of fun with that phone number.

- posted by matt @ 6/19/2003 03:29:00 PM

Bloody Crime Spree Continues

"Police are investigating four killings that occurred during the past two days, a continuation of a bloody spree that saw 13 people slain over the weekend."

Remember when Bloomberg said, "one weekend doesn't a crime wave make." What happens when it spills into the next week?

- posted by matt @ 6/19/2003 03:24:00 PM

The Beginning of a Joke?

(second from the bottom)

"A 30-year-old man was beaten and stabbed yesterday after he exposed himself to a one-armed hooker on a Harlem street, witnesses said."

- posted by matt @ 6/18/2003 07:54:00 PM

West Nile Spraying To Start

"Health officials will use a low-flying helicopter to treat non-residential, marsh areas with the larvicide product, VectoLex, a natural bacterial agent."

I don't know. Something called "VectoLex" doesn't sound "natural" to me. Leaf. Flower. Water. Dirt. Those words sound like something you would find in nature. Anything that has two capital letters in one word does not.

What Everyone Should Know from the NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene.

- posted by matt @ 6/18/2003 07:50:00 PM

Stats: Cops Frisk Blacks More

"According to the figures β€” which come from the NYPD and were given to the City Council as mandated by law β€” during the six months between January and June 2002, 45,577 people were stopped and frisked by officers. Of them, 20,884 or about 45 percent were black."

Now according to my 2003 Time Almanac -- great bathroom reading, by the way -- NYC's population (in the year 2000) was 26% black.

In other math news, 45,577 "stop and frisks" in 6 months equals 91,154 "stop and frisks" a year. That's nearly 250 a day.

- posted by matt @ 6/18/2003 12:31:00 PM

Update: Jury rejects shoe death charges

"A jury threw out manslaughter charges against a 220-pound woman alleged to have sat on her ex-lover's chest and clubbed him to death with her size 12 high-heeled shoe, her lawyer said Tuesday."

- posted by matt @ 6/17/2003 06:06:00 PM

M(ac)Y(s)PD Blue

"Last year, more than 12,000 people moved through detention rooms in 105 of Macy's stores, including more than 1,900 at the Manhattan store, in Herald Square. Only 56 percent of those people were sent to the police."

You must see some of the images that go along with this story. "Not worth it," someone scratched on a bench in the store's "jail." You think that was Macy's itself?

- posted by matt @ 6/17/2003 05:58:00 PM

Hurricane Evacuation Utility

In case of a hurricane in NYC, I need to remember that I live in Evacuation Zone C. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds pretty frightening. Oh, wait. This tells me that, "Zone C includes areas that would be removed from any pounding surf." Phew. "But these areas could still see tidal flooding in a very powerful hurricane." D'oh.

Use the above-linked tool to find out what Evacuation Zone you live in (if any).

- posted by matt @ 6/16/2003 04:40:00 PM


I've actually heard the number being reported as 13. This despite the fact that the murder rate has dropped 9 percent between 2001 and 2002.

UPDATE: See... NYT says 13

- posted by matt @ 6/16/2003 03:31:00 PM

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

Turns out members of the NYPD don't have the streets and landmarks memorized. Who knew? And that, my friends, is my first link to a permalink from another blog. I think I'm going to cry.

- posted by matt @ 6/16/2003 12:20:00 AM

Alleged assault on Bronx River Parkway

"Police said a man wearing only his underpants ran out into traffic on the Bronx River Parkway early Sunday morning. They said he tried to jump into a woman's car. The man took off after the alleged assault, and cops continue to search for him."

I don't understand why they didn't describe what kind of underwear he was wearing. How is anyone going to find him now?

- posted by matt @ 6/15/2003 11:42:00 PM

Bomb scare delays Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

"Worshippers were allowed back into the cathedral and the 10:15 Mass started at about 11 a.m., the spokesman said."

I dunno, I've been there plenty of times and I've never seen "worshippers." Just a whole bunch of out-of-towners, not that there's anything wrong with that.

- posted by matt @ 6/15/2003 11:37:00 PM

Postcards From the Edge

"For the last decade Julie has been part of a little-known segment of homeless youth often called urban nomads. Year in and year out they travel to a few select North American cities, living on little or no money on the fringes of a society they have grown disillusioned with or, like Julie, actively despise."

Homeless (or w/o a home) by choice?

- posted by matt @ 6/15/2003 11:30:00 PM

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