New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wild West

There are phenomenon in New York City which are the result of the unique confluence of numerous factors - population density, large ethnic groups with their cultural traditions and what I perceive as a certain lawlessness and laissez faire attitude regarding victimless crimes in New York.
It's really a question of numbers. Any densely populated city affords opportunities not found elsewhere. For example, there is always some need for emergency umbrellas with the onset of an unexpected downpour, but only a place like Manhattan will offer enough potentiality to actually buy umbrellas, set up on the street and make it a venture - see my post, Opportunity, with photo of a street umbrella salesman in a rainstorm.
For some time, there were the squeegee men - individuals, particularly in the Bowery area, who worked washing the windows of cars stopped at traffic lights. What started in New York as a annoying "service" eventually became tantamount to blackmail - the windshield washing was done hurriedly without asking permission and followed by demands for payment. Mayor Rudolph Guiliani effectively eliminated the squeegee men as part of his quality of life campaign.
One activity that remains and can be often seen around the metropolitan area, is the sale of flowers on highways. This is obviously a dangerous activity for both the vendors and motorists. Arrests are occasionally made and fines collected. According to a New York Times article, many of these flower vendors are Ecuadorean - you can read the story of one man's trials and tribulations here: Hard Way to Sell Flowers: Dodging Cars and the Police.
Turning corners and not waiting for pedestrians, double and triple parking parking, jay walking, counterfeits of luxury products sold openly on the street, known drug dealers chatting with police officers - all somewhat surprising activities in a first world city in the 21st century.
But Americans don't really like rules. I often think of the wild west as symbolic of the American temperament with New York City keeping that tradition alive :)

5 comments:

Islipian said...

yeah, i have to say, rules or no, dangerous or not...I like the flower vendors.

bettye the rebel

Brian Dubé said...

Islipian - many of the things complained about are secretly appreciated in times of need. Or often the convenience of such things are bragged about to outsiders as evidence of the plethora of things so easily available. I imagine someday I will need flowers when I am in a car and one of these vendors will come in handy :)

Anonymous said...

Brian,why suspend the Lik blog?Extremely helpful!Were you contacted by his attorney?If so,post the letter sent to you and keep in tact with the blog.Your bringing justice-thanks Brian.

Brian Dubé said...

Anon - No, there was no legal action threatened. However, the allegations and claims had escalated to an extreme level. Names were named. Most of the comments were anonymous. I have no way of knowing whether these claims are true or spam and whether the comments are the work of one or many. These types of allegations are very damaging to a business - if true, they should be dealt with through the legal system. Or, if a forum is truly needed, a separate blog should be started for this purpose.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian for sharing about Lik.No need to post this on your blog as I only want to speak with you.
First of all,I have posted as an anon only because I do not have a google account and anon was an option.Not because of what was shared was inaccurate.
With that being said,some of the employees (I wrote about their whinning and you did not post that-which I was okay with)knew what they were into to.However,your forum rightly moderated presents feedback and an essential tool to find the truth for both sides.From a personal standpoint %85 what was shared is true.I sat at a table with my kids one night in Vegas and the manager removed him for his foul language.I almost went over and personally confronted him about subjecting the kids to this BS.From there I have read various forums and they are legit and consistent.Keep that forum alive Brian-these types of people don"t need hallpasses.You know from your own offerings he uses techniques they deny.Clean up the harsher ones and let people vent either way.And remove the anon option:)
By the way,I love your writing style-I might be asking you to do some work for me!ty,Kyle