New York on the rise
Back in 1992, when I was graduating from high school, Columbus Circle was little more than a block with a nearly-abandoned coliseum and home to used magazine sellers and fake watch peddlers. Times Square was home to sex shops and porn theatres. And my old neighborhood in Queens was a crack-ridden sliver of the city complete with a massive dump.
No more. Today, Columbus Circle is alive with the Time Warner redevelopment and the Trump International Hotel at the center of the buzzing activity. Times Square is a tourist trap. And my old neighborhood has ball-fields and running tracks; even the local park is clean.
Much of this can be credited to the efforts of Rudy Giuliani and his successor, Michael Bloomberg, who have concentrated on the broken windows of community life -- keep streets free of crime, crack down on graffiti and get vagrants off the street. Their efforts, along with those of their predecessors, have made New York -- once called ungovernable by the incompetent mayor John V. Lindsay -- livable again. The only Bronx Zoo you would think about now isn't the burned-out sections of the borough or the New York Yankees, but the actual zoo itself. As these photos show, the Big Apple exemplifies how good governance leads to safety and economic revival.