Posting this from Brooklyn.
On a statistical level, New York is weirdly safe. Despite being having like 13 times more people than Baltimore, it only has twice as many murders. That’s very bizarre to me. And you can kind of see it in the general tenor of life. People seem to spend a lot of time outside and on the street. Which is odd to me. I’ve always lived in dangerous cities: Washington, Oakland, Baltimore. These are cities where you don’t spend much time on the street. You don’t walk around after dark. You definitely don’t go into a park at night. You don’t raise children in these cities, unless you have to.
Oh, which brings me to the children. What is up with the children? I remember driving down a residential street in Oakland over the summer and having to slow down because a child was playing with a ball, and I was like, “Oh my god, what is a child doing here?” There just weren’t very many kids around. The same is true for my neighborhood in Baltimore. I’m sure that many children live in the city. They’re just not out and about and they’re definitely not on the streets. Everywhere I’ve gone in NYC (well, except Williamsburg), there’ve been tons of children.
This neighborhood in Brooklyn (Cobble Hill) just has every child in the world. Like, it belongs to children. This is what it must’ve been like to live in one of those new suburbs in the 50s, when ever former GI was fathering kids like crazy. They are everywhere! I have never seen anything like it in my life.
But even Manhattan has a lot of children. Part of this is probably just my inability to tell college students apart from high schoolers, but wherever I went in Manhattan, I saw kids: wandering in parks, eating ice cream, making out on the street, getting drunk in bars. Tons of kids.
Also, what is up with the making out in public? People do not do this in Baltimore. I think it’s because there’s more of a desire, in Baltimore, to remain situational awareness.