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Big, boring, apple

The murder rate has halved; taxi drivers will soon speak English. But, says Michael Pye, New York is losing its point

By Michael Pye   February 1996

All the old warnings have a hollow sound nowadays, or so our Manhattan guests say. They don’t need to be frightened. New York is Clean City.

They sense the change from the gossip columns. Drew Barrymore felt free to leave a bra at Hogs and Heifers, a show-biz redneck bar on streets where once there was only the after-midnight drama of gentlemen beating each other for fun, in the blood-and-gristle heart of the meat market, on premises controlled by senior mafiosi.

They read that the squeegee men at the Holland Tunnel used to be the world’s most intimidating welcome ceremony…

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