Carl Remick cremick at
Mon Aug 16 10:25:21 PDT 1999

> Another thought: talking about "quality of life" may not be all
> crypto-fascist hogwash (even though some of it undoubtedly is). Many
> people are really sick and tired of 'crime and grime' in city
> cores, and
> they genuinely want to see their quality of life improve.

Sure, but you're not going to get it from the cheap fixes people like Giuliani deliver. E.g., from all the publicity that New York City's "new Times Square" gets, you'd think the place gleams like the City of Oz. I walk through Times Square twice a day, and, believe me, it is still a pig's sty. The area in front of the new Times Square subway station -- emblazoned with cartoon-like motifs, the better to fit in with all the frenzied Warner Bros. and Disney merchandising nearby -- reeks like an overflowing cesspool. God knows what's going on under the street, but a huge water main break occurred a couple of blocks away a year or so ago -- one of an ever increasing number of water main breaks that have plagued the city. I saw a figure quoted once for what it would cost to restore NYC's rotting infrastructure, and, while the exact sum escapes me, it amounted to many billions of dollars.

Simply scaring away homeless people, intimidating racial minorities, and turning prime commercial real estate over to Disney and its ilk doesn't really create the basic "quality of life" differences that make for a decent city.


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