Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. NYC: “Ghost Town”

 

I’ve been watching and reading, with much dismay, the implosion that is happening in New York City. It has long been one of my favorite cities on this big, blue marble; a beacon of possibility and entrepreneurship and the grit it takes to carve out your own destiny and future. It pains me to see this play out, even more so because it seems like a foretelling of what could befall the rest of our country.

While there have been varied accounts of the situation unfolding in our great financial capital, a colleague’s LinkedIn post last week really hit me right in the feels. This just might be the gloomiest yet most poignant post I’ve read so far, and while the author may be considered controversial by some standards, he does have a knack for spotting trends, he was a full-time resident of NYC, and his take makes a lot of sense. The taxes are high, the cost of living is outrageous, and businesses and residents are disappearing to never return again. How can the city come back from this devastation? Also, I suspect his predictions for NYC will also ring true in other cities like San Francisco and Chicago.

Other folks have also been discussing this very topic: Buck Sexton, also a resident of New York has covered it on his podcast, and Tucker Carlson explains why all Americans should care about what happens to New York City.

When (and how) do we wake up as a country and realize that this pandemic and how it’s being handled (read: manipulated) is killing us economically? If we knowingly plunge ourselves into a deep financial depression, what’s the point?

Published in Business
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 45 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Richard Fulmer Member

    NYC is suffering from far more than the pandemic; it’s got the lousy, blousy, de Blasio blues: High taxes, lax policing, a policy of getting arrested criminals back out on the streets ASAP, and unrestricted BLM/Antifa rioting.

    • #1
    • August 17, 2020, at 10:47 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    As a former Bostonian, I shed no tears for NYC. But it is a shame that it is once again in decline. It is going the way of all the smaller cities of the 8os; those with the means will leave. Those without will stay. Then the gangs and the squeegy-men take over. Good luck with that.

    • #2
    • August 17, 2020, at 10:49 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I’ve never had an attachment to a city–I mean there are cities I love to visit, but I don’t experience the kind of visceral experience many people describe, especially for a place like NYC.

    • #3
    • August 17, 2020, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Those urban sophisticates got their 2nd chance after Gulliani saved that city. I feel about them how they feel about flyover country. 

    Stay or leave just don’t infect wherever you end up with your stupidity.

    • #4
    • August 17, 2020, at 11:38 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  5. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I was about 3/4 of the way through the linked article and decided to go for a walk before it gets too hot. On the walk, I was listening to Limbaugh (usual afternoon fare) and he started sounding very familiar. In the 3rd hour, he said that there was an article that captured what he felt and mentioned the linked article and author. He is going to link to it from his site.

    It happens a lot that I hear about things first on Ricochet and then they spread out to other media.

    Thanks

    • #5
    • August 17, 2020, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Ekosj Member

    From Thursday through and including Sunday there were 60 people shot in NYC. 60. And while Trump USPS BS conspiracy theories got 10 minutes upfront on the morning NYC news, 60 New Yorkers shot got 45 seconds. One man was shot and killed while visiting a memorial to another murder victim. This was in Grand Army Plaza/Prospect Park … right across the street from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Botanic Gardens. Just up the street from the Barclays Center. This is expensive, gentrifying Brooklyn. It’s gone from bad to worse out there. But this is Bill DiBlasio’s NYC. No bail. Prisoners released due to Covid. Courts closed. Junkies shooting up in the street, living in Penn Station. 600 strong undercover anti-crime unit of the NYPD disbanded. This was entirely predictable.

    • #6
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:00 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  7. Sandy Member

    Every crisis is different and every crisis has similarities with past crises. Maybe this is the end for New York and maybe not. Who would have predicted what Trump was able to accomplish in four years with his hands tied behind his back and body blows raining down?

    What I think is helpful about Altucher’s article is the breadth of negative consequences he describes, because we need to know and remember how extensive is the damage from shut-downs, so extensive that we really cannot comprehend it. What I would like to know is whether New Yorkers are still paralyzed by fear of the virus, or are only fearful of crime, because crime can be stopped but there is no hope until we understand that the shut-downs were worse than the disease. Taking their fear to Florida or Texas and working from their new homes will not be helpful to those who can’t do so and whose businesses have been destroyed, whether in New York or in countless smaller cities and towns. 

    • #7
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. AUMom Member
    AUMom Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We were in NYC in December of 2018. It was incredible. I had never been during the holiday season. The Rockefeller Plaza tree was more spectacular than I had ever dreamed. Macy’s decorations enthralled my 60 year old self they way the Thanksgiving parade did 50 years before. The time was magical.

    I am grateful for that time. I had every intention of going back. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time in the museums. I wanted another water tour. I didn’t visit Russ and Daughters. Maybe next time, we could actually see a show. 

    I suspect I’ll going on wishing. I have no plans to return. I don’t expect it to be that way again in my lifetime.

    • #8
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:18 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. Hoyacon Member

    I love Manhattan, and this saddens me. There are amazing restaurants, amazing museums, and amazing music venues. There are many more decent people in the borough than not, and it’s a true melting pot. I can understand not liking cities, but I can’t understand not liking Manhattan if you like cities.

    • #9
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:20 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  10. Old Bathos Moderator

    Tough to write off New York. I still remember what it was like in the early 70s and I could not believe there was any hope of preventing the rot from devouring the place. I think there is enough talent and entrepreneurial spirt there to find new ways to grow even if the financial sector is never the same. I also think there is a silver lining in that deBlasio will make it impossible for anybody to think that the left is the answer for at least another generation. 

    • #10
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:23 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Was talking to my cousin who lives there but is thinking of leaving. She said it is “sad”. I’ve heard many adjectives applied to NYC, but never that one. The dynamism is gone-too many boarded up shops, too few people, rising crime, rising homelessness. Where are the Guilianis of yesteryear?

    • #11
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. MarciN Member

    I read the LinkedIn post. It’s very sad, and it confirms what my daughter and son-in-law have been experiencing these past few months. My daughter is a veterinarian doing a residency at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. She’s just a few blocks away from the United Nations building. Up to a few months ago, she was have a wonderful time in the city. But now, it’s getting really depressing. She and my son-in-law would describe the scene exactly as the writer did in the LinkedIn post.

    I don’t think the United States should sit by and let this happen. Congress at GW’s urging spent a lot of federal money to help New Orleans get back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina and the dam breaking. Notre Dame is being rebuilt. I hope we do something similar for New York. It’s a matter of national pride. And New York City has tremendous historic significance for our country. Those are reasons to rebuild it somehow. But the most important to me is, How do we disassemble that city? Those unoccupied skyscrapers are vulnerable to all kinds mischief, foreign and domestic.

    • #12
    • August 17, 2020, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):
    hope we do something similar for New York. It’s a matter of national pride.

    Not with my tax dollars! Big cities should live with the consequences of their decisions. Their failure is an important reminder to other cities to not be dumb. 

    • #13
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:16 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  14. Midwest Southerner Member
    Midwest Southerner

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    I was about 3/4 of the way through the linked article and decided to go for a walk before it gets too hot. On the walk, I was listening to Limbaugh (usual afternoon fare) and he started sounding very familiar. In the 3rd hour, he said that there was an article that captured what he felt and mentioned the linked article and author. He is going to link to it from his site.

    It happens a lot that I hear about things first on Ricochet and then they spread out to other media.

    Thanks

    My husband just told me that Rush read parts of Altucher’s post on his show today. It’s a powerful visual for sure.

    • #14
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Richard Fulmer Member

    Maybe this Cashman and West song, written before Rudy Giuliani’s mayoralty, was just premature:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-h_5eC3FU

    • #15
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    hope we do something similar for New York. It’s a matter of national pride.

    Not with my tax dollars! Big cities should live with the consequences of their decisions. Their failure is an important reminder to other cities to not be dumb.

    I agree with both MarciN and you. NY is an asset to the US-it is one of the world’s great cities. But NO blanket bailout. In the 1970’s, NYC civic leaders had to come up with a plan before any help was forthcoming: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-night-new-york-saved-itself-from-bankruptcy. I’d like to the citizens step forward and form a similar commission, then I’d like to see an election that puts someone in place who has the skills to actually bring NY back and then and only then, should the US lend a hand.

    Here are some ideas: https://nypost.com/2020/08/16/experts-weigh-in-on-how-to-save-new-york-city-post-coronavirus/

    • #16
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    hope we do something similar for New York. It’s a matter of national pride.

    Not with my tax dollars! Big cities should live with the consequences of their decisions. Their failure is an important reminder to other cities to not be dumb.

    I agree, and I’m a New Yorker. States have their own budgets and they need to exercise fiscal responsibility. Nobody in Iowa or Tennessee should have to pay for New York’s stupidity.

    • #17
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. Headedwest Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I hope we do something similar for New York. It’s a matter of national pride.

    Nope. That just lets DeBlasio and Cuomo off the hook.

    • #18
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Ekosj Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Tough to write off New York. I still remember what it was like in the early 70s and I could not believe there was any hope of preventing the rot from devouring the place. I think there is enough talent and entrepreneurial spirt there to find new ways to grow even if the financial sector is never the same. I also think there is a silver lining in that deBlasio will make it impossible for anybody to think that the left is the answer for at least another generation.

    I think there will always be a need for companies to be in NYC – Even if only for the panache of being there. The top brass who wants face to face time with their peers will need to be there. But will there continue to be a need for a mid-town or Wall St office tower filled with thousands of low – mid level employees? Maybe the lockdown shows that the answer is no. Maybe work-from-home is not the answer, but the work can be done somewhere less expensive than NYC. That was already happening. It will accelerate. That will further hollow out the middle class from NYC and suburban NY NJ and CT. That’ll be good news for Tulsa and Chattanooga and Jacksonville and Nashville etc.

    • #19
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Jules PA Member

    Sad about NY and NYC. 

    People need to recall DiBlasio, and get rid of Cuomo too. 

    On the other hand, sometimes I think that the destruction of cities is to give wealthy people an opportunity to scoop up the property. 

    I also see sick HUD policies making rebirth managed, not organic. 

    So, it all comes down to voting.

    Make your choice. 

    • #20
    • August 17, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. MarciN Member

    I hear all of you, but I think it’s a big mistake. Especially given the significance of the terrorist attacks twenty years ago.

    I think it is a bad idea to bulldoze the city into a pile of rubble or leave the buildings up but vacant and decaying. I hope we don’t do that.

    • #21
    • August 17, 2020, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Sandy Member

    Just heard from a real estate agent that New Yorkers are coming to the D.C. area with cash and driving up already inflated prices. I love New York and lots of New Yorkers but this makes me want to put up a sign saying “New Yorkers go home.” As a home owner, I might benefit if I need to sell, but as a business owner struggling with the effects of the shut-downs, the predictable increase in property taxes feels like another punishment, and this is a killer for young families.

    • #22
    • August 17, 2020, at 3:06 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. James Lileks Contributor

    The renaissance of the American city has been one of the great stories of the last 20 years, and it was inherited by fools who believed the accumulated riches would flow unabated no matter what. 

    Wuhan flu was one thing, but it’s the riots that do the most damage – especially when the leadership of the city seems ideologically sympathetic to the rioters. It’s almost as if the mayors are annoyed at the rioters: yes yes of course, destroy capitalism and replace it with the Great Justice of Socialism, but at our pace! You’re spoiling the timetable. 

    This weekend I was talking to friends who live in downtown Minneapolis. They’ve seen the entire mood and character of the place change in two months. The bad elements are emboldened; they know there’s no restraints anymore. No more walking the dog after dark, or even close to sunset. Carjackings, prostitution, petty theft.

    They’ll get no sympathy, because if they can afford to live there, well, privilege. It is only fair they should experience what the rougher parts of town endured right? And if the entire area clears out, and the condos are turned into public housing, isn’t that progress?

    • #23
    • August 17, 2020, at 4:13 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  24. Sandy Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    The renaissance of the American city has been one of the great stories of the last 20 years, and it was inherited by fools who believed the accumulated riches would flow unabated no matter what.

    Wuhan flu was one thing, but it’s the riots that do the most damage – especially when the leadership of the city seems ideologically sympathetic to the rioters. It’s almost as if the mayors are annoyed at the rioters: yes yes of course, destroy capitalism and replace it with the Great Justice of Socialism, but at our pace! You’re spoiling the timetable.

    This weekend I was talking to friends who live in downtown Minneapolis. They’ve seen the entire mood and character of the place change in two months. The bad elements are emboldened; they know there’s no restraints anymore. No more walking the dog after dark, or even close to sunset. Carjackings, prostitution, petty theft.

    They’ll get no sympathy, because if they can afford to live there, well, privilege. It is only fair they should experience what the rougher parts of town endured right? And if the entire area clears out, and the condos are turned into public housing, isn’t that progress?

    Meanwhile the rougher parts of town get rougher, too, but ho hum. 

    • #24
    • August 17, 2020, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. Poindexter Member

    Regarding NYC, my give-a-crap has gone completely missing.

    • #25
    • August 17, 2020, at 6:55 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Jules PA Member

    Sadly, not all residents of NYC are burning looting leftists. I feel bad for the sane people. I hope they can tough it out, but it seems less likely every day. 

    • #26
    • August 17, 2020, at 7:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Retail Lawyer Member

    I’ve always thought of NYC as essentially a serious City. Problems arise but the citizenry will eventually deal with them. It is the capital of the world, after all . . . But this decline is so swift and deep, I really wonder this time. There is a critical mass of stupid useless people and the stewards are completely missing in action, or maybe they have passed away.

    I am less worried about San Francisco, which I have always viewed as a theme park for young adults. Very few (non-wealthy) people stay more than a decade, and if you do, you sort of start to stink. And who really cares about a theme park for young adults? Even the young adults don’t really care about San Francisco.

    And LA is just a toxic blight on the planet. What a complete mess.

    • #27
    • August 17, 2020, at 7:59 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    New York takes a visitor’s breath away with its energy and variety and bigness and substance. Mr. Charlotte and I were there in November 2019 to see Hamilton and do some sightseeing and eating and exploring. I’m so glad we got a (last??) visit in before the Plague. The linked article and this thread have made me cry. I can’t stand the thought of a United States, or a world, where New York is not, you know, New York.

    I get not wanting to live there, and I get the eye-rolling at its ludicrous politics, but Americans shouldn’t root for New York’s decline. It’s a wonderful, important, irreplaceable part of America.

    • #28
    • August 18, 2020, at 5:41 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  29. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I read the LinkedIn post. It’s very sad, and it confirms what my daughter and son-in-law have been experiencing these past few months. My daughter is a veterinarian doing a residency at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. She’s just a few blocks away from the United Nations building. Up to a few months ago, she was have a wonderful time in the city. But now, it’s getting really depressing. She and my son-in-law would describe the scene exactly as the writer did in the LinkedIn post.

    I don’t think the United States should sit by and let this happen. Congress at GW’s urging spent a lot of federal money to help New Orleans get back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina and the dam breaking. Notre Dame is being rebuilt. I hope we do something similar for New York. It’s a matter of national pride. And New York City has tremendous historic significance for our country. Those are reasons to rebuild it somehow. But the most important to me is, How do we disassemble that city? Those unoccupied skyscrapers are vulnerable to all kinds mischief, foreign and domestic.

    • #29
    • August 18, 2020, at 5:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Ekosj Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    New York takes a visitor’s breath away with its energy and variety and bigness and substance. Mr. Charlotte and I were there in November 2019 to see Hamilton and do some sightseeing and eating and exploring. I’m so glad we got a (last??) visit in before the Plague. The linked article and this thread have made me cry. I can’t stand the thought of a United States, or a world, where New York is not, you know, New York.

    I get not wanting to live there, and I get the eye-rolling at its ludicrous politics, but Americans shouldn’t root for New York’s decline. It’s a wonderful, important, irreplaceable part of America.

    Hi Charlotte. I agree. But it’s hard to overstate how bad it has become. We live in NJ just outside The City and until 3/11/20 I worked 30+ years in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I’ve never seen it as bad as it was in Feb-Mar. We did some museum weekends visiting the Metropolitan Museum, The Morgan Library and the MOMA. Penn Station was the absolute worst I’ve ever seen it. It was always kind’a sketchy. (I recall waiting for my train home from work on a Halloween night with the Grateful Dead playing upstairs in The Garden. Couldn’t tell who was dressed up and who was for real.). But this was a quantum leap down. Homeless druggies literally everywhere. Both sides of every hallway were lined with prostrate bodies. Lying head to foot. Sleeping? Stoned into oblivion? Dead? Urine. Excrement. Needles. Open drug use. Harassing travellers. It was horrific. Who wants to subject themselves to running that gauntlet every day? Broadband internet means you don’t have to. And that’s a game changer. Business no longer have to be in NYC. The impetus to get back to work in NYC that led to the rebirth of Lower Manhattan after 9/11 is no longer there. Broadband internet means that the ‘get back to work’ bit has been severed from the ‘in NYC’ bit. For the first time it’s possible to do one without the other. I’m sure that at one point Detroit believed it was an irreplaceable part of America. They thought they’d always come back from every downturn. They were wrong. America is worse off for it, but it happened. And it’s happening to New York before our very eyes.

    • #30
    • August 18, 2020, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 11 likes