"You don't understand, there is a maniac trying to kill us!"
"Welcome to New York."
Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs, you know they just don't care
I can't take the smell, I can't take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with the baseball bat
I tried to get away, but I couldn't get far
Cause a man with a tow-truck repossessed my car
— Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, "The Message"
"But Marge, New York is a hellhole! And you know how I feel about hellholes!"
Don't you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, up
To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough!
You got rats on the west side
Bed bugs uptown
What a mess this town's in tatters I've been shattered.
— The Rolling Stones, "Shattered"
And so I come to the bottom line. I donít want to live in a city where a woman advertises for a lost dog and receives dozens of telephone calls from a variety of people saying they are torturing the animal and will continue to do so unless she pays large sums of money; or in a city where I am told I must always have $ 10 in my wallet for possible muggers because without that I will surely be stabbed; or in a city where my mailman leaves a slip in my box at Christmas suggesting the size of the tip he expects. I shall find some of these things wherever I go, and perhaps all of them, but I donít think so. Above all I want to get away from the indifference of New York. I want to care and ─ it sounds implausibly poignant ─ be cared about. The city has seen thousands of us come and go. New York doesnít give a damn.
— Caskie Stinnett, "Farewell, My Unlovely", The Atlantic Monthly, August 1976.
Welcome to New York. NOW DUCK, MOTHERFUCKER!
— Popular T-Shirt design
"New York feeds on human misery. Gradually, it sucks the life out of us. It's a monster."
— Perrine Valley, Mad Bull 34
"I remember the real New York of the 80s, when in a single night you could score some weed, catch a Times Square porno and get stabbed in the neck by a coked up Lou Reed."
...every New Yorker's a veteran. They know to take cover when shooting starts.
— Frank Castle, The Punisher War Zone