The Map is not the Territory, the Menu is not the Food, and the Word is not the Thing.
The map it’s Mayor Adams bragging about how he’s making good on his promise to fairly restore public safety.
The territory there are a dozen cops milling around, racking up mandatory overtime, just inside the turnstiles of the Fulton St. station, while a guy with an ugly face paces the crowded platform just below them , expelling the smoke from the cigarette that is between his lips. of the aggressively antisocial people across the system who ignite various substances in tunnels and train cars far more frequently than at any time in at least the last three decades.
The menu is Adams pledging “we won’t sit idly by and stop until all illegal smoke shops are rolled up and put out,” while Gov. Hochul pushes for a ban on menthol and flavored cigarettes and an additional tax another dollar on each package that would bring the price in the city to almost $20.
Food it’s the opening of unlicensed pot shops in almost every store available and $11 packs in almost every cigarette shop, without worrying about enforcement to the point where my cigarette shop in lower Manhattan has chocolate bars with mushrooms behind the counter with a purchase -Punch card 10-get-one-free.
(I like mushrooms, and I wrote for a quarter of a century before New York came along about why marijuana should be legal and how its criminalization inevitably punished young people in high-crime neighborhoods whom the police should have been protecting. , not punishing.
But it’s not good to have rules that are meant to give money back to those communities and then let people openly break those rules. It could be said that these new storefronts are themselves broken windows).
The word it’s Adams talking about how the crime numbers in 2023 so far are down from the same stretch in 2022, as the city has turned its clock around.
The thing it’s that the numbers were 22% higher overall in Adams’ first year in office, and are still mostly well above the 2021 numbers he promised to shoot down as a candidate in 2021.
Adams is up against far-left lawmakers in the city and state who are fundamentally skeptical of the law’s enforcement. But he hides behind those legislators, too, as when he oscillates between promising to do something about unlicensed pot shops and saying he’d love to do more if it weren’t for state laws that allegedly handcuff their cops.
In fact, the mayor has enormous discretion to interpret the law and use law enforcement and has chosen to interpret things in a way that allows him to complain that his police officers have been handcuffed.
Adams has gotten himself into this predicament because, like the legislators he claims to be up against, he is rhetorically committed to the admirable idea—easier said than done—that New York can maintain safety and order without undue police surveillance.
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One place where rhetorical gum met the path of lived perceptions by New Yorkers in the previous two administrations was at the monthly press conference where the police commissioner fielded questions from the press about crime numbers, whether they were rising or decrease.
More than a year after quietly ending them, Phil Banks began holding online briefings that supposedly allowed him to speak directly to New Yorkers and answer their questions.
In reality, the questions are pre-selected and there is no sign of New Yorkers outside of the press corps tuning in to hear from the deputy mayor for public safety, who was barely seen in public during the first year of the Adams administration, with the form in which the new mayor created that job for his old friend who had abruptly resigned his top NYPD position and ambition to be the same commissioner not long before word broke that the feds appointed him as a co- unindicted conspirator for being knocked out and opening his office at 1 Police Plaza to a couple of crooks who had been bribing Mayor de Blasio and Banks’s friends in the NYPD while taking those police chiefs out on a weekend in Las Vegas Super Bowl on a private plane with a hooker on the flight and more at the hotel.
Banks said Friday that New Yorkers should “get used to my ugly face” on each weekly “episode” of his broadcast show in the Eric Adams Extended Universe that gives him a tightly controlled environment to interact with reporters.
As mayor, Adams chooses the players, draws the map, sets the stage, and delivers a daily script.
New Yorkers will navigate the city and judge things for themselves.
Siegel (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of The City and a columnist for the Daily News.