Naked City

The Story

Last summer, New York City established special zones in Times Square to give half-naked women and people dressed as cartoon characters a space to pose for pictures with tourists in exchange for tips. The experiment has not been altogether successful, as entertainers refuse to stay within designated boundaries and complaints continue about aggressive solicitation. The lawless nature of what’s happening in Times Square resonates throughout the city, which has decriminalized many quality-of-life violations, leading to a degradation of New York’s street culture.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Naked Truth: Four “desnudas,” or topless painted women, were arrested last week for stealing a tourist’s phone and insisting on a tip before returning it. Read more.

  2. No Boundary: According to the Times Square Alliance, two-thirds of interactions between costumed characters and the public occur outside the city’s “Designated Activity Zones.” Read more.

  3. Jump the Gate: The disorder in Times Square, on top of recent news that the Manhattan and Brooklyn district attorneys’ plan to stop prosecuting subway-fare evaders, is a sign that the city is giving up on Broken Windows policing. Read more.

“Left unchecked, street corners can degenerate into criminogenic environments.”

William Bratton, former NYPD Commissioner

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

“Official statistics tell police they are doing a great job. Meanwhile, citizens are in hiding. How can we gauge the community’s true needs?”

And in other news...

“Councilman Ritchie Torres, the youngest member of the City Council and considered by some to be a rising star in the Democratic party, is running to become the council’s next speaker.”