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Amid overall drop in crime, NYC murder rate creeps up

"When city officials brag about how crime has declined in America's largest city, the temper of one Brooklyn mother rises."

Crime is down, sure. But numbers don't take away the pain for some.

- posted by matt @ 12/20/2003 06:26:00 PM

Slice: Brooklyn Driver Fatally Shot

"If you were asked what the most dangerous jobs in America were, Pizza Delivery Driver probably wouldn't come to mind. In fact, it is the fifth most dangerous job, according to CNN/Money."

A Ukrainian pizza guy was shot and killed last weekend.

- posted by matt @ 12/20/2003 03:23:00 AM

BuzzMachine... by Jeff Jarvis

"I'm about to leave my New York City office to go over to my Jersey City office and I read this: 'Sources say the threat to New York City possibly involves a female suicide bomber...' Oh, goody, now I'm going to stear clear of every female carrying bags or in baggy clothes, not easy to do a week before Christmas. I hate this."

Jeff is clearly not a ScaryNY reader. There's a ton of other shit to be afraid of in New York City. Perhaps he's kidding. Whatever. Don't waste your time trying to use your x-ray vision to see through that lady's Macys bag or under her bulky coat. Don't let "Intelligence and law enforcement officials" scare the stuffing out of you.

Seeing this kind of stuff drives me nuts.

- posted by matt @ 12/19/2003 04:30:00 PM

Before & After: Stories from New York

I've only read a few stories so far, but let me just say that this is a great book.

"This is a book of true stories about New York, written, for the most part, by the people for whom the city is the stage set for their lives. Some of the voices to be found in its pages are those of well known writers—Michael Cunningham, Jeannette Winterson, Phillip Lopate, Luc Sante, Megan Daum, Sam Lipsyte, Thomas Beller—and many more are from people who may not even consider themselves writers, but who were tempted by the 'Tell Mr. Beller A Story' button on the critically acclaimed website,, where all these pieces originally appeared. Taken together these essays, reportage, and vignettes are a testament to the vitality, diversity, and complexity of New York City at the turn of the century."

To be honest, I could never really get into reading the stories on the Mr. Beller's Neighborhood Web site. There was something about reading the stories in my dark living room that made me feel a little disconnected from them.

What this book allows you to do is experience the stories where they happened. On a train, in the street, in a cab... the heart of the city. The lady across from you on the W train could very well be the person who made out with her cab driver, or the woman who plays pool in a Tuesday league.

One half of the book is pre-Sept 11th. The other half is post. Well worth the read.

- posted by matt @ 12/18/2003 01:19:00 PM

Gothamist: Prospect Park Crime Wave

"It seems like there is a crime spree in Prospect Park."

I'm still being lazy for a little while, so check out Gothamist's coverage on this.

- posted by matt @ 12/18/2003 12:41:00 PM

NYC Sublog SubText

Worth keeping your eye one. Could be a winner. I came up with that name. If you're looking for a weblog name, talk to me. $5 a name.

- posted by matt @ 12/18/2003 12:25:00 AM

Panel Finds Anti-Terror Efforts Waning

"The effort to protect Americans from terrorism 'appears to have waned' since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as both the government and its citizens worry more about the latest disaster or health crisis, a federal commission says."

This goes back to my original point for ScaryNY. People just aren't afraid or worried about terrorism anymore. They're more worried about the "latest disaster or health crisis," or in the case of New Yorkers, getting mugged, hit by a train or run over by a bus.

"'Americans have very short-term memories,'' said commission vice chairman George Foresman, deputy director of Virginia's office of preparedness. "People are dealing with the reality of their lives today.'"

Yup, that's what I was saying, and it didn't take my 329 pages to do it: Panel's Full Report -- PDF: Forging America's New Normalcy

- posted by matt @ 12/16/2003 12:55:00 AM

We're Not Under Attack

"If you happen to be up in the early a.m. on Wednesday December 17th, and you see or hear a plane flying a little low, don't panic."

I guess the U.S. Air Force will be conducting a series of flights at a low altitude around 1-4 a.m., in order to map images in and around Lower Manhattan. Though I have no idea where this bit of news comes from.

- posted by matt @ 12/15/2003 10:57:00 PM

ScaryNY Shopping

Well, it's the holiday season and frankly, documenting scary shit in the city is kind of ruining my festive mood, so I'm going to lighten things up a bit. Some recent search referrers make it clear that people are coming to ScaryNY for their shopping needs. Here, see for yourself:

Google Search: where can I buy a samurai sword in new york, ny

Nope, not here, bub. But I bet you'll find something if you wander around Chinatown long enough. I remember on a school trip in high school, this whacko in my school bought a samurai sword and a giant bag of fireworks. The chaperone said, "what's that, Peter?" Peter said, "A sword and a bag full of fireworks." The teacher laughed and Peter sat down. Amazing.

Web Search Results: prostitution in long i[sland]

Well, that's sweet. Probably a dad shopping for his son or something.

Google Search: switchblades ny

Some guy offered to sell me a switchblade on the street a few weeks ago. I wasn't in the market. Moral of the story -- hang out in front of you office building long enough and someone will ask you if you want to buy a knife.

Yahoo! Search Results for HASIDIC SEX

Something a little different for Hanukah this year.

Google Search: engraved gold teeth ny

I have no idea where you can find this, or why you'd want to find this. Do they engrave the tooth before they install it? I'd like to know.

- posted by matt @ 12/15/2003 10:42:00 PM

Teenager Shot to Death on Street After Being Chased From a Party

"A Brooklyn teenager was shot to death early yesterday, shortly after he arrived at a party in a Crown Heights storefront."

This kid was killed over a chain or clothes or something. I call big time bullshit on that.

He was about to graduate from Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn. When I was in high school, I attended a bunch of YMCA Youth and Government conferences. Growing up in Upstate New York, I didn't get much of a chance to interact with people that were unlike me. That all changed when I attended these events. District 5, as it is known, encompasses the New York City area, but it is mainly comprised of students from Boys and Girls high school.

To this day, I value the time I spent learning about what living in the city was like for them and telling them about what life was like when you have 19 kids in your public high school class. When I hear stories about students from Boys and Girls High School like this, they bother me more than any other story I link to here.

- posted by matt @ 12/14/2003 04:38:00 PM

Woman Gets Bat-Bashed in Brooklyn

"A 36-year-old woman was in critical condition yesterday after she was whacked in the head with a baseball bat during a scuffle outside a Brooklyn nightclub in which her boyfriend was also hurt, police said."

- posted by matt @ 12/14/2003 04:19:00 PM

Qns. Girl Kidnapped and Raped: Cops

"A 15-year-old girl was grabbed off a Queens street, forced into a car and raped by a man who claimed had a knife, police said yesterday."

- posted by matt @ 12/14/2003 04:17:00 PM

A Stone-Cold Murder Mystery

"Manhattan detectives are hoping a sketch and a gold-colored signet ring will help them solve the murder of a mystery woman strangled and buried in concrete in a Manhattan building as long as 24 years ago."

Here's the thing. They found her in February. Why did they wait so long? I mean, I guess she wasn't going to get any more dead, but it seems weird to me.

- posted by matt @ 12/14/2003 04:07:00 PM

Man Critically Injured By Bus

"An Atlanta man visiting Manhattan was struck by a private commuter bus and critically injured near Times Square Saturday morning, police said."

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.

- posted by matt @ 12/14/2003 04:03:00 PM

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