Writers and journalists keep recalling the turbulent New York of the 1970s, when budget cuts and crime and unemployment had brutalized the city. I lived through those days, and the place was more fun than now. The cops were mostly white, wore their hair long, and had droopy mustaches. Blacks did the muggings and the arson attacks were daily. The place was gritty and magnificent. It was like living in a war zone. One had allies, the cops and others like oneself, law-abiding souls. No one, but no one took the side of the bad guys. Al Sharpton was in the future, as were all the “ community activists” who have sprung forth. Media types did not dare take the side of the bad guys. They now climb the ladder of success by doing just that. Bring back the ’70s anytime. Down with Disneyland New York.BTW: The arson attacks were known as "Jewish lightning." Apartment property owners in the Bronx, mostly Jews, were faced with rent controls that didn't allow them to raise rents, at the same time taxes and climbing inflation of maintenance costs on the properties were often higher than the rental income. It caused many to torch the buildings for the federally-subsidized fire insurance money.
The city government also provided incentive for residents to torch their own buildings. They got to the front of the line for brand new public housing, if they were displaced by fire.