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"Things don't have to be rotten"

Glenn Reynolds:

I had this experience last week when I spent some time in New York City on business. My wife and I both lived in NYC back in the era before Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the streets, and it was pretty ugly. It was years after the movie Taxi Driver, but had very much the same feel:  Crime was rampant. Streets and subways were dirty and decaying. Most everyone you met when you were out and about was rude and unhappy.

Now I barely recognize New York. I remember being there on a book tour in 1997 and thinking that it had turned into “Disney New York,” and that things were amazingly clean, shiny, and pleasant. Since then, that impression has only grown.

For those who have forgotten or who never knew: "Death, Destruction, And Debt: 41 Photos Of Life In 1970s New York".