and amazing: NYC Yuppies are now doing "the Crime Watch thing"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
So nice of the NY T. to let me know how the old neighborhood is making out. 77th East is a bit "tacky" but then they don't have Richard Avedon snapping away in his Town House as the lucky ones at 75th and First do.
THIS says it all from the bottom of the article:
"I didn't think there was that much crime around here," said Julian Zeichner, a retired hairdresser who was waiting for his two grandsons to come out of the Birch Wathen Lenox School. "I always feel very safe on this street. If there are some homeless people, they get rid of them."(Of course, they are driven to Queens miles from the nearest subway.)
This is one of the few "local" neighborhoods where you can be guaranteed finding a Taxi no matter what the time or weather. That alone is worth $100 month in the next rent increase (2 BRs for $3,500 might come without a roach but fumigate anyway on move in). LOOK AT THE "AVERAGE INCOME" : $114,000. They can hire the finest of "security patrols" with their incomes (usually the NYC off duty guys). BUT...Maybe its a trend. They gather in the "Drawing room" and discuss how best to "guard the neighborhood" from Aliens (defined as anyone who doesn't live between Central Park and the E.River South of Harlem).
September 13, 2000
City Block Puts Its Thumbs to Work as Crime Busters
By BLAINE HARDEN
f a perpetrator on the Upper East Side were to track a woman home late one night, follow her past the Pookie & Sebastian Clothing Boutique on 77th Street and pounce just as she enters her building, then that perpetrator could be in for an unpleasant evening of crime.
A thumb-detonated electronic alarm attached to the victim's key chain would trigger the following wake-the-dead chain reaction.
From the top of a nearby building, a loudspeaker loud enough to ruin the sleep of everyone on an Upper East Side block where the average household income is about $114,000 a year would proclaim: "Intruder on the block! Call the police!"
At the same time, a police siren would go off and a series of strobe lights would begin to flash. A central alarm would alert the local police station house to the address and name of the victim.
Neighbors would move to their windows, having been instructed by their block association to pay careful attention to how the suspect is dressed. Then they would call 911.
This device, the first of its kind to be tested in New York, is soon to be part of the crime-stopping arsenal of about 100 residents on East 77th Street between Second and Third Avenues. One perturbation in this barrage of high-decibel crime stoppage is that there has been something of a shortage of perpetrators on the Upper East Side, one of the richest neighborhoods in the world.
The block where the Safe-Block security technology is soon to be activated is nestled inside the 19th Precinct, one of the safest in the city. Serious crime there, never very high by city standards, is down 66 percent in the last seven years, according to Lt. Stephen Biegel, a Police Department spokesman.
There had not been a single shooting this year, he said, until Monday, when a landlord in the East 60's was charged with killing one of his tenants.
The neighborhood is pretty darn safe, neighborhood activists agree, but not safe enough.
"While the block itself may not be a high-crime block, it is indicative of a block where a perpetrator might have some easy activity," said Nikki Henkin, the founder of the 77th Street Block Association, which last night showed off the crime-busting technology to local residents. "Hopefully, this is going to scare the hell out of a perpetrator and he is going to take off. This is a deterrent."
On 77th Street yesterday afternoon, other East Side residents were not quite so confident that a cacophonous medley of recorded shouts about an intruder, screaming sirens and flashing lights which could be turned on by any neighbor with a twitchy thumb was a perfect solution for big-city peace of mind.
"It is hard enough with the car alarms," said Natalia Kissel, 50, who lives on 80th Street and is a researcher for an investment bank. "You could end up with a bunch of elderly women who claim they are being accosted and have nervous trigger fingers. I wouldn't want to have it on my block."
The alarm system found its way to the Upper East Side courtesy of Richard Soloway, chief executive of Napco Security Systems, a company in Amityville, N.Y., that makes electronic sirens, panic buttons for banks, and other alarm systems.
Mr. Soloway approached Assemblyman John A. Ravitz, a Republican who represents the Upper East Side, and offered the key-chain alarm system as a way of addressing longstanding fears among many neighborhood residents about stalkers and rapists.
Since 1994, an unidentified suspect who has come to be known as the Upper East Side rapist has committed at least 16 rapes and assaults four of them on East 78th Street, a block away from the test zone. His last known attack occurred exactly two years ago today, the police said.
"He had heard about the East Side rapist, and he came to me with this idea about the alarm," Mr. Ravitz said. "I told him that since there was cost for the alarm that I could not advocate it myself, but I did hook him up with the block association. I am not promoting it. I am just saying this is an option, another tool in our arsenal to make people safe."
Mr. Soloway said that he was offering his alarm to residents on 77th Street between Second and Third Avenues without charge. He said he hoped they would use it for several months and offer suggestion about how it might be improved.
"We intend on putting up signage to let the predators know this is a safe block, that everything on the block will be protected by the panic button," Mr. Soloway said. "You want to create commotion. These predators like it when it is quiet."
After a free two-month test period starting in October, Mr. Soloway said, he will sell his key-chain panic button citywide for $69.95, plus a monthly charge of $5.95. He said that to pay for the block-by-block installation of receiving equipment the large gray panel housing a loudspeaker, siren and flashing lights his company would need at least 50 customers per block.
"I'll market it to whoever has the need," said Mr. Soloway, who lives in Manhattan. "There are a lot of areas all over the city that could use a device like this."
But last night, only about 30 people from the neighborhood, mostly women, showed up to hear about the system at the private Birch Wathen Lenox School. They ate chocolate chip cookies and sipped lemonade in the street while Mr. Soloway demonstrated the alarm for television news cameras.
Only about a dozen were from the 200 block, which disappointed Ms. Henkin. "When you spend days and nights trying to inform people, and they don't show up, I get a little antagonistic," she said. "I am not doing this for my health; I am doing it for theirs."
Mr. Soloway said that police officials had looked at the alarm and shown some support for it.
A police official familiar with the neighborhood said yesterday that the alarm system could prove useful in giving residents an easy way to alert the police to crime. But the official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he feared that he might annoy the city's new police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik, said that there were two significant downsides to the alarm system.
"It could be like the boy who cried wolf," he said. "If you get nervous nellies pressing the button whenever they see a guy drinking beer on the street, then you will have annoyed neighbors who do not spring to the windows to see the perpetrator. They will say: `This is the 12th time this week. I'm watching my TV show.' "
Second, the police official said, while the alarm system quickly alerts the police to the address of a possible crime, it does not give them any specific description of the nature of the crime or the appearance of the suspect.
"It could be very useful, but you do get crank 911 calls," the police official said.
On 77th Street yesterday, where word of the alarm system was spreading quickly, neighborhood residents said they were all in favor of cutting crime, adding that there had been some assaults on the street in recent years.
But more than a few said they feared that the alarm system would mutate into an Orwellian device for sabotaging sleep.
"I didn't think there was that much crime around here," said Julian Zeichner, a retired hairdresser who was waiting for his two grandsons to come out of the Birch Wathen Lenox School. "I always feel very safe on this street. If there are some homeless people, they get rid of them."
-- cpr (email@example.com), September 13, 2000
Whats a matter cpr? Are you running out of news articles on 'falling' gas prices? ROFL!
-- In Your Own (Little@world.com), September 13, 2000.
$114,000 for a family income isn't that much, especially in New York. My boyfriend and I make a little more than that between the two of us and we aren't rolling in dough by any means, even without kids.
-- Alice in Wonder Bra (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 13, 2000.
Get a good CPA and your life will greatly improve with your increased cash flow.
BTW, many of those "households" are single or empty nest retirees. It is an understatement to call it one of the most expensive neighborhoods.
Parking garages were at about $200-300 month and that was 10 years ago when I left.
-- cpr (email@example.com), September 13, 2000.
We do have a good CPA, but we get penalized pretty badly for not being married. Don't get me wrong, we live very comfortably, but we're not rich.
-- Alice in Wonder Bra (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 13, 2000.