"They plunder, they steal and they slaughter; this they falsely name 'Empire' and where they make a wasteland, they call it 'Peace'..." -- Gaius Cornelius Tacitus
Or is it "Social Justice"?
Tacitus, the sly devil, attributed that speech (certainly contrived for an audience) to a German warlord fighting the Roman Empire in the early 1st Century A.D. His aim was to question the motivations of Empire and the means by which it was constructed and maintained.
You might as well apply that same quotation to the current state of affairs in New York City, these days.
As I write this, my usually-quiet street is alive with the sounds of people moving out of it.
Trucks have stopped before my building, and the others across the street, every day for the last week or so. Large movers trucks. Every morning I have been awakened by the clamor of diesel engines, assorted clangs and bangs, the shouts of large men with huge muscles carrying furniture and casually dropping it with a tremendous racket inside an aluminum box on wheels.
Had Moses been capable of the speed and efficiency of these men, the Exodus wouldn't have taken 40 years to complete.
Then again, I'm inclined to accept Solzhenitsyn's maxim that if the Exodus took that long to reach the Promised Land, then perhaps Moses wasn't so much leading the Hebrews across the desert as misleading them to their final destination.
But, I digress...
The mass flight has begun in earnest, even here in the semi-bucolic splendor of Staten Island, perhaps the last bastion of Middle Class (with no class) sensibilities and family-friendly atmosphere.
The reasons are easy to discern.
The condominium apartment you could have sold two years ago for $400k is now worth $300k.
The property taxes have gone up, and with it, the 'assessment' (or HOA fee) one must pay has risen commensurately. Considering how bad our HOA and property management people are, it is hardly surprising that they expect more money to do even less with and then they expect to be worshiped for it.
In my own building, for example, our elevator was out of commission for 4 weeks this past summer due to damage caused by an unexpected power outage. When it was discovered that there wasn't $100k in the HOA kitty to replace the elevator because someone absconded with the funds, we were forced to wait that month while replacement circuit boards were located for a 35 year old elevator system that no one makes anymore, because that was a cheaper option.
A majority of people who live here are what one might call 'extraordinarily elderly'; that is to say, every last one is older than dirt, but still younger than the Sun. This means fixed incomes. This means Social Security checks which have not even pretended to keep pace with the rampant Bidenesque inflation. It means a loss of previously-available city services for the elderly that Mayor Adams, the new brown Gauleiter in town, has 're-directed' 'into the community'.
Which 'community' was the beneficiary of this 're-direction' is never explained, but rest assured, it wasn't formerly-Middle Class white elderly people, and you can stake a kidney on the proposition that most of it has been wasted through grift.
And it gets no better at the gubernatorial level, as the Wicked Witch of the East, Kathy Hochul, a person so loathsome that even the Nazi SS wouldn't allow her in their ranks, recklessly spends every last twice-borrowed dollar the state can steal in an effort to keep a job she was never qualified for in the first place through direct bribery and a plethora of deliberate assaults upon the people least-likely to vote for her.
Which is to say, people who pay taxes and who do productive things.
The Overlord's landlords -- thankfully I do not own this unit, but merely rent it -- are so hot to either cut their losses on a devalued property, or find some poor sucker to pay a higher rent, that upon hearing of the death of Mrs. Overlord decided the best thing to do was to immediately ask when they could start showing the apartment to prospective renters/buyers, rather than to express condolences for my loss.
Quite frankly, I'd be better off setting fire to this place for the renter's insurance money than to continue to stay here (not that I ever would, I'm just spitballin' here) and be subjected to the following list of ever-increasing complaints about New Yorkistan's current sorry state of affairs:
Everything is too expensive.
You get nothing for your money. Either that which you spend freely, or that which is extorted from you in taxes.
Crime is way up. The newest crime wave involves someone cutting out your catalytic converter in the dead of night, most likely for the precious metals inside, or to sell to a black market auto repair racket. Thankfully, I have an underground parking spot and don't have to deal with this.
Parking enforcement has reached such insane levels that I can look out from my terrace this morning and see at least 4 vehicles with 'boots' on them, and the traffic enforcement people make routine sweeps (you CAN actually set a watch to them) of the neighborhood, instead of directing traffic and preventing people from parking in front of fire hydrants or blocking hospital entrances, like they should be doing. Again, thankfully, underground garage.
'Speed cameras' have proliferated...in a neighborhood with mainly one-lane streets routinely choked with traffic. The Overlord has been hit three times in the last month with 'infractions', all of them involving speeds of no more than three (3) MPH above the posted limit, in the dead of night on empty streets. Each carries a $50 penalty. Certainly not about 'safety', but rather generating revenue for a city that more-and-more comes to resemble East Germany (only with Spanish and Chinese being the predominant languages).
In the last three or so weeks, I have discovered that my usual hairstylist (employed her for years) has packed up and gone to Florida. So has my dentist. So, too, my housekeeper. I have seen 'Out of Business' signs spring up like mushrooms in the last few months -- the local grocery stores, the pharmacy, some really good pizza joints, and even a fucking pawn shop.
Speaking of pawn shops, I like to shop in them every so often, because bargains. Especially on musical instruments (the Overlord being a drummer and so-so bassist). Lately, I've tried to pawn off jewelry that none of Mrs. Overlord's heirs have wanted and which I do not need, only to be told the shops no longer want any of it. They simply want the gold and silver and screw the stones. Can't sell it, you see, but they can melt the metals and get a decent price for scrap.
Empty supermarket shelves. Assuming that your local supermarket hasn't posted a whiteboard outside telling you what they don't have, or informing you of strictly-enforced limits on what they do, the lack of anything salable is a sad commentary on several fronts -- supply chain issues, stuff that 'didn't sell' being phased out of inventory.
The streets are awash in trash, both the material and human sort. Feces, urine, once the mark of inconsiderate dog owners but now the product of human endeavor, are as common on the sidewalks as cracks are in the concrete. There is hardly a business establishment (the ones that are left, anyway) that isn't plagued by wave after wave of shoplifters, homeless panhandlers at the doorway, and escaped (more like deliberately-set-loose) mental patients milling about in parking lots.
The Overlord a few weeks ago got into a confrontation with one such individual who demanded money from him, despite having his hands full of food just purchased at the local Dunkin' Donuts. He seemed to believe that he was entitled to it and that my refusal was an overt act of racism. The ensuing conflict was broken up by bystanders before any real damage was done to anyone, as I was told "don't do it...you'll be the one to go to jail, not him...".
And not only is that assessment spot-fucking-on, as the Criminal Class has been mollycoddled as a means of 'social justice' in a city which more-and-more comes to resemble Mogadishu with indoor plumbing (that no one bothers to use) or Tegucigalpa with running water that isn't full of parasites or deadly pathogens...
...oh wait...I've spoken too soon.
For polio has been found in the water in and around New York City, a disease once formerly-eradicated, but which has made something a comeback in recent months. Couldn't be all these new 'migrants' the city is housing in $600-a-night hotel rooms in Manhattan and about which city government complains about having 'dumped' in their laps by those evil Texans and Floridians (well, you did declare yourself a sanctuary city, so you're only reaping what you sow, democrats), not to mention the thousands more that probably arrive each week and disappear into the nooks, crannies and crevices of the seedier areas of the city.
Can't tell the truth about that, can we? Because if we told the truth about thousands, tens of thousands, of 'undocumented migrants' and their total lack of hygiene, vaccinations and filthy habits, we might have to do something about it...other than put them on the welfare rolls and then milk them for (illegal) votes, right Kathy and Eric?
And so it is that three or four moving trucks a day shatter the tranquility of my formerly-cosseted nabe and that the local population drops faster than a prom dress and the riff-raff that was once contained and controlled by the likes of a Giuliani slowly and inexorably take control, aided and abetted by a leftist power system that absolutely loves chaos as it provides an excuse for greater control and greater robbery of the taxpayer.
And if the constipated system that is the New York City Surrogate Court ever gets around to settling Mrs. Overlord's Estate sometime in the next decade, I'm out of here, too. That's the only thing keeping me here, for the moment.
This is no longer 'The City that Doesn't Sleep'; it is now the City that no longer gives a fuck. It is no longer a place where dreams can come true and where the decent, hard-working, upright citizen can live in something resembling peace and security, not to mention opportunity, but rather a place where convicts and mental patients are given carte blanche to do their worst. It is a place where children are being taught how to mutilate themselves as liberating identity exercises in schools, which themselves are on the verge of collapse, staffed by the bottom-of-the-barrel, and wasting taxpayer funds by the moving-truck-full every hour of every day, and demanding more.
The Influx has been worse than the Exodus.
For if the explosion in the indigenous mental case population weren't enough, the onslaught of the mentally-suspect from the regions between the Appalachians and the Rockies would be enough to drive one to mass murder. Particularly the human scum that was vomited forth by the upper plains states.
I'm looking squarely at you, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. I'd like to give you all back to the Indians, but they've gotten too smart to take that land back.
Manbuns in spandex who have turned the streets into a free-for-all of reckless bike riding. The shaved-headed, overly-tatted, indecently-pierced for-show, wanna-be lesbian Karens who 'care'...too much...about everything, but none of it important. All of them escaping their version of Hell with a Wal-Mart, or Footloose, to come here to exact their revenge upon 'the townies' on US.
New York used to attract the best-and-brightest of these people, but no more. They used to arrive here in U-Hauls ready to kick ass and take names, to make it or break it in The Big City, but now they merely take up space, make decent living impossible with their retarded amalgam of Socialism and Gay, and ruin once-vibrant neighborhoods with luxury condos (which they all scream they can't afford, but somehow manage to pay for), littering the streets with brown ladies (most likely migrants with polio or COVID) pushing carriages bursting with 2.5 pink babies in NIMBY enclaves of the wanna-be-bohemian, upper-middle-class-with-more-pretense-and-fewer-braincells, who vote like Communists because the consequences don't land on them.
No, it is no longer New York, and at the rate the moving vans are arriving and departing, it will, indeed, be a wasteland very soon.
It's enough to make you nostalgic for Abraham Beame and David Dinkins.