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Old 03-31-2017, 02:45 AM
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,124 posts, read 10,731,548 times
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Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
Early 1970s.

They too suffered from urban "core rot."

The turn arounds during the 80s and 90s were not due to tech per se.

I was just a kid, but my recollection is they used redevelopment districts. The key was, they mixed preservation with redevelopment. They brought in more public transit. Pedestrian friendly zones were established. They encouraged night life.
This is what San Diego did with its Downtown. They preserved the 1890s buildings of the Gaslamp district and turned it into a nightlife spot. They used redevelopment to bring in a shopping mall. It was built as somewhat of a fortress at first to fend off the seedier elements, but later on they've opened it up more as Downtown as improved. They build a fair amount of housing Downtown as well, at first along the harbor front for unparalleled views. Interestingly, a lot of these 20,000 - 30,000 Downtown residents commute out of Downtown to work in the suburban tech areas.
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Old 03-31-2017, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
I heard about the "gang tolls" from a few people who were in NYC back then. That is craazzzy. They basically used the old mafia "for your protection" type crime on civilians. In the Chris Rock show "Everybody Hates Chris", little Chris Rock used to have to pay this guy everytime he walked through his block or whatever on the way to school just like a toll road. I thought it was a joke on the sitcom until people told me that was a regular occurrence in NYC back then and Chris Rock actually toned it down for the show, in real life it was the New York gangs that would charge you to walk through their turf unharmed. In Detroit that type of stuff you will easily get you shot (no matter who you are) even by a regular person, Detroiters have a serious reputation of taking the law into their own hands.
It has always amazed me the way people yell and scream obscenities at each other in some places on the East Coast and people just keep it moving. Like you said....that type of stuff will get you shot real quick in Detroit. People take it personal. You can't even look at a lot of people for too long.....without risking conflict. Every place has its rules though.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:13 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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All they did was come out and line up across the street and tell you that you had to pay them a toll to continue down the street. It was usually a quarter or fifty cents per person. Most of the time we just paid them. If you did not have or want to pay the money, and just turn around and go back the other way, sometimes that was fine, sometimes you have to run in the other direction. They would yell at you, but usually not chase you.

We went into one seedy bar and a gal came over and started hitting on a friend of mine. She asked him to buy her a drink and he said OK, so she ordered something that looked like water. The bartender said the drink was $15. My friend called BS because our drinks were less than $5. Bartender said drinks for the girls are $15. My friend said he never agreed to that. Yelling became running. They had really big bouncers. They did not chase us very long.

We had occasional other confrontations where we had to run away usually because someone in our group said the wrong thing, we were in the wrong place, or once just because one of our group bumped into one of their group and their group was far more numerous than ours. We would just run a few blocks, or jump on a subway and go somewhere else.

We had to run after people three times that i can remember. Once when a guy grabbed a necklace and ripped it off a young woman we met. We gave chase, but because I was the only runner in our group, eventually I was the only one still chasing him. After a mile plus, he ran up to a group of friends and I found myself running the other way (being chased). It took me hours and hours to find my friends again.

We saw a guy grab a ladys purse and run. We chased him for a few blocks and he eventually threw the purse down, so we picked it up and took it back to her. We saw several grab and run incidents, but we did not usually chase the guy. Usually by the time you processed what happened and had time to react he was gone anyway. Mostly purses and shopping bags. The necklace thing was shocking because he grabbed it right off her neck, yanked it and broke the chain and took off.

The other time we gave chase was just a tussle where one of a group of guys ended up punching one of my friends and then his group immediately ran. We had to chase them down to punch them back.

Many areas, but especially in and around times square was a non stop barrage of invitations to go into see sex shows. Some of the names of the shows were intriguing. But we never went in.
People regularly approached us and offered to sell us drugs or pipes, or stolen merchandise (which likely was not stolen but just cheap Chinese junk - it was common to pretend it was stolen so people would think they were getting a deal).

Notwithstanding it was rough and seedy, it was extremely fun. We never had much money, so we had to sleep in the car, or get help from homeless people to find a place to sleep or meet some girls who woudl invite us to stay. Sometimes for entertainment, we woudl just go ride the subway around to different places and talk to people. We also found you could talk your way into many things that cost money if you were nice enough and persistent enough. However just watching the street action was entertaining all by itself.

Crime rates in New York City at that time were through the roof. Some areas you were advised to stay out of entirely (which of course were areas we had to visit).

Although it was far more seedy and dangerous, it was also more friendly in some ways. It was fairly common someone would buy us a drink, (or on new years eve share their campaign), offer advice, or offer or tell us a place where we could spend the night. I do nto think any of that good or bad would happen now.
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:28 AM
Location: Southeast Michigan
1,285 posts, read 1,077,960 times
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My husband used to go there weekly on business, early to mid 1980's with another guy or two. Many different locations in various boroughs, including some run down areas. They never got "mugged," chased, or asked to pay tolls. I don't think they chased after anyone else, either.
I guess it helped that they avoided seedy bars.
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