I'm Going to Florida. That's My Only Chance.

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No one actor knows more about the dark, pre-Giuliani New York than Joe Buck himself, Jon Voight. He's stumping for the mayor in his Florida farewell tour, spellbinding audiences with tales of the mayor who swooped into office and took care of all the country-fried johns and their tiny rheumatic friends before they could bring their poison to the Sunshine State.

I lived there for ten years when I was learning to be an actor. I saw the city go downhill—it was a sad thing to see. Home is where your heart is, and I was heartbroken to see it become the most crime-ridden city in the country. That wasn't a statistic—you couldn't walk down certain streets. Kids couldn't walk outside with their Jordan shoes. It was a bad, bad time. We were all praying something would happen. You pray, but you don't know if something's going to come and change things. And then, from God, Rudy Giuliani came!

More like this. And more here:

"God sent an angel, his name was Rudy Giuliani," said Voight, adding: "He's kind of a genius."

For… slightly more nuance and a few more facts on New York in the Rudy century, read Tim Cavanaugh here or me here.

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  1. *Barfs all over shoes*
    Awww, Man. Not again!

  2. He should read “Freakonomics” to get a better idea of what slowed crime in America during that period. For New Yawk, Rudy’s policies were only marginally influential if I remember correctly.

  3. And to think people wonder why Angelina Jolie is crazy as a shithouse rat.

  4. You pray, but you don’t know if something’s going to come and change things. And then, from God, Rudy Giuliani came

    I’ve got to hand it to Jon Voight, that’s a better argument for atheism than Christopher Hitchens ever made.

  5. Rudy gets a bad rap around here, but he was exactly what New York needed at the time. Freakonomics was interesting but to think all of the crime issue in new york was solved by Roe V. Wade is absurd. For example, The Tipping Point makes the case for the Broken Window theory of crime prevention playing a part.

    In any case just because Rudy was good for New York 15 years ago does not make him good for the country in its current state.

  6. I don’t want yer damn mayor!

  7. You know, I just saw the same pic when I googled images of Jon Voight. I wanted to confirm it was him in that latest Disney loopfest, National Treasure. The movie lies about Lincoln and places Mayan ruins in South Dakota.

    That Giuliani sure don’t have a pretty mouth on him. Take a look at this:

  8. cocaine is a hell of a drug.

  9. That wasn’t a statistic-you couldn’t walk down certain streets.

    You could just shout, “Hey! I’m walkin’ here! I’m walking here!” and they’d usually leave you alone.

    Fun fact: that line was an ad lib.

  10. I think that Rudy’s iron fist definitely had some impact, but New York’s status as a world financial and cultural capital had put a floor under its property values, and the value of Manhattan real estate set in motion waves of gentrification that made NYC a city of the wealthy. That kind of city will experience a reduction in crime.

    Try the same set of policies in Cleveland and see what it gets you.

  11. No wonder Angelina Jolie doesnt claim any bloodline with that doofus any longer.

  12. And then, from God, Rudy Giuliani came!

    Well, can’t argue with God…

  13. There’s apparently something alluring about tough guys who can’t manage their personal lives so they fell qualified to manage yours.

  14. I think that Rudy’s iron fist definitely had some impact, but New York’s status as a world financial and cultural capital had put a floor under its property values, and the value of Manhattan real estate set in motion waves of gentrification that made NYC a city of the wealthy. That kind of city will experience a reduction in crime.

    Yeah and getting rid of rent control was essential for that value to be realized.

  15. That last comment wasn’t meant to give credit to Rudy, merely to point out the large number of factors that lead to New York City’s current gentrifcation.

  16. Hell, I think Cleveland would be ready to try anything after a long, long, long, etc. time in the wilderness.

    In my lifetime, I saw Kucinich bankrupt the city, the graft of Boss White, the vacuity of Jane Campbell, and the gun-snatching & whore-busting of Frank Jackson – Cleveland’s Li’l Rudy.

    Somewhere in there, Voinovich didn’t suck too bad.

  17. You know, I’ve never seen Jon Voigt and DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! in the same room….

  18. People were perfectly willing to let Rudy bust some skulls in order to clean up the city, because it was a real fucking mess. Oh, sure, they would complain about it at cocktail parties and on editorial pages, but they wanted to be able to walk down the street at night.

    Now, the extent to which his busting of skulls was a serious factor is debatable. But since a lot of people in NYC would never consider the lessening of statism as a vehicle for crime reduction and prosperity, the statist “solution” is what they view as successful.

  19. Yup. There’s no God. Now that it’s settled, who wants ice cream?

  20. “God sent an angel, his name was Rudy Giuliani,” said Voight, adding: “He’s kind of a genius.”

    Archangel Rudy, Patron Saint of Horses Asses.

    Wonder how ‘Ratso’ feels?

  21. “God sent an angel, his name was Rudy Giuliani,” said Voight, adding: “He’s kind of a genius.”

    NO! No No No No. Not again. This country can’t take another POTUS from God. Let’s let the Devil run things for a spell while we lick our wounds.

  22. A good deal of shadenfreud is merited at Rudy’s expense.

    Having said that, editor-in-chief Fonzie is also due for some banana peel/open manhole karma as well.

  23. “New York’s status as a world financial and cultural capital had put a floor under its property values, and the value of Manhattan real estate set in motion waves of gentrification that made NYC a city of the wealthy. That kind of city will experience a reduction in crime.”

    That’s exactly what I’m hoping is/will happen in London (where I live), but I fear the process is seriously hampered by the large amount of socialized housing throughout the city.

    I, being a libertarian, would obviously call for the privatization of the social housing stock, but my liberal friends would no doubt argue that without anything to constrain them London property (and living) prices would go through the roof, making the city unsustainable for anybody not already wealthy to live in.

    I have to admit, as a relatively modest earner, the cost of living is much more demanding here than elsewhere in the UK (for example – is this true of NYC vs. the rest of the US?).

    Sorry to ask such a simple question, but why, economically literate Reasonoids, are prices (of everything, not just property – which I can understand) so high in economically successful locations? Or is this a London-specific problem?

  24. Giuliani is a pig.

  25. 2 Points:

    1 – The Broken Window Theory would get a lot more respect if it was called the open bag of chips theory.

    2 – The moment I decided to change my life around was when I saw Midnight Cowboy and realized that I was Ratzo to a t.

  26. AND ANOTHER THING…

    I for the life of me can’t see why someone would want to live in Manhattan except for ease of commute reasons. And if Wall Street goes down the toilet, there’ll be a lot fewer of those people, and we might see the rebirth of Dinkinsville.

  27. Cerro — One theory is that it has to do with the constraint of growth. NYC was successful financially but it was geographically and otherwise restrained from growing outward like the western cities. In other words, urban sprawl generally keeps prices down because you can create suburbs, ex-urbs, etc. — much the way that people who can’t afford Manhattan move to Brooklyn (or to New Jersey, or Kansas).

    London seems to be a bit of an anomaly, in that it is swallowing all of SE England but prices aren’t coming down. I think this may have to do with the fact that it’s a city on an island, but I don’t know. I recently compared real estate in Hawai’i v. Montana. You can guess how that turned out.

    In these constrained urban areas, you end up with poor and homeless. There aren’t any suburbs to move to that are affordable, and as a result you don’t gut the inner city and create dirt cheap real estate. So what do you do with that?

    As for other prices, I think it’s just supply and demand. Takes a hell of a lot of fuel to get produce in and out of major urban areas. I recently saw watermelons for sale in NYC for $7. I used to sell 20 lbs watermelons in the southwest for $3.

  28. Cerro, lots of people want to live in London and NYC for many reasons. This drives up the price of real estate. Commercial property is expensive because all real estate is now expensive due to demand. To cover the rent or lease of the business it is necessary to charge a lot for whatever one sells. The logistics of shipping in food and other goods that are not produced in these cities is also more complex. In other words the space premium causes all sorts of ways for prices to be increased. Rent, transportation, etc.

  29. I have to admit, as a relatively modest earner, the cost of living is much more demanding here than elsewhere in the UK (for example – is this true of NYC vs. the rest of the US?).

    absolutely.

    though not quite as absolute as it once was, perhaps. you’d be amazed at what they charge for shitholes all across the other four boroughs.

  30. Cerro,

    Because you can’t import more land to meet a growing demand on the established supply. It’s the “location” part of “economically successful location.”

    One possibility would be to tear down the historic areas of the city – the part responsible for it being a desireable place to live – to build at much greater density, and thereby both boost supply and reduce demand. But that’s probably not a good idea, either.

    A better solution would be to build those suburbs a little more like the city, so they can supply more housing. It probably wouldn’t bring down London housing prices, but it would give people more choices.

  31. My car was previously owned by Jon Voight!

  32. There are many reasons, some attributable to Giuliani, some not, why New York City has turned into one giant frat boy coke party the paradise that it is. Moreover, gentrification has helped coked up ex-frat boys and bleach blonde Jersey sluts spending daddy’s money the real estate market push out minorities lower income individuals, thereby making the city boring and lame safe for morally upstanding individuals such as the mayor himself.

  33. “He’s kind of a genius.”

    Man, the bar for genius keeps getting lower and lower. If this keeps up, I should be able to qualify soon. Once I make it, I’m definitely getting it on a business card like Wile E. Coyote.

  34. “To cover the rent or lease of the business it is necessary to charge a lot for whatever one sells.”

    Understood.

    So, if neither outward sprawl or tearing down historic parts of the city are viable options, high prices are here to stay, it would seem.

    Happily though, London would seem better placed for expansion than your own NYC.

    Sucks to be on your side of the pond!

    Thanks for the answers, folks.

  35. Sucks to be on your side of the pond!

    Perhaps, but the US has a more than one major city and a business or person has the option of saying fukk it if New York is too much of a bitch to hit up Chicago or LA or San Francisco, etc.

    For the UK, it seems like London’s the only game in town.

  36. Too bad he couldn’t have traded places with Ned Beatty.

  37. Vitriolic , Florida-based windbag radio personality Todd Schnitt endorsed Giuliani yesterday, too, providing more evidence that only retards are going to vote for the Rudster.

  38. Lamar, that pretty much sums it up.

    “”””God sent an angel, his name was Rudy Giuliani,””””

    I think he sent the big devil that could whip the smaller devils

  39. I saw the city go downhill

    Huh? NY has always been downhill. Just ask Kitty Genevese who was murdered in the streets while New Yorkers closed their windows to block out the screams.

  40. Never fear lads. After he gets hammered tonight in the Florida primary, we won’t hear another word about Rudy for quite a while(thank God).

  41. Wo ist Dondero?

    I’d like to know how he thinks his boy Giuliani is doing!

  42. twc, the bystander effect is by no means limited to new york city.

  43. Didn’t you hear, An Ottawa Reader?

    Giuliani’s campaign released a statment saying that their intention was really to position themselves well for the 2012 elections, and that they never planned on winning Florida. In fact, he hasn’t even spent much time campaigning there, so any result he gets will be astonishing grassroots support!

  44. So hes good at kicking crazy old guys out of the UN?

  45. NY has always been downhill. Just ask Kitty Genevese who was murdered in the streets while New Yorkers closed their windows to block out the screams.

    In California, they find that a few miles of limited-access highway does a much better job of blocking out those screams.

  46. Hey “Muslims Against Sharia” You do know Arafat was a secular socialist who was reviled by groups like Hammas right? Oh no, you don’t know that, because to you they’re all alike!

  47. Then again, they figured that out pretty well in New York, too.

  48. “Home is where your heart is.”

    Actually, home is where the hearth is.

  49. Let’s let the Devil run things for a spell while we lick our wounds.

    I wouldn’t have pegged you for a Hillary supporter, Warren. 😉

  50. Baked Penguin, that was awesome.

  51. NY cleaned itself up because crime got more sophisticated. With G’s help.

  52. Cesar – thx. It helps that it’s all pretty much written for me on these pages…

  53. cocaine is a hell of a drug.

    dhex is Rick James, bitch!

  54. twc, the bystander effect is by no means limited to new york city.>/i>

    Course not, Dhex, but rank hyperbole sometimes serves the purpose of making a long comment, well, shorter.

    NYC has had crime problems (for all of the usual reasons) since well before Roosevelt the First was police commissioner.

    My point was that Voigt could not have possibly seen NYC go downhill in “the last ten years” because NYC has always had problems.

    OTOH, when Voigt was living in NYC, that was when the Genovese murder took place.

    I’ll shaddup now.

  55. In California, they find that a few miles of limited-access highway does a much better job of blocking out those screams.

    That. And the 25 foot sound walls.

  56. I know the Ghoul gets a lot of crap for his methods of cleaning up the crime problem, but part of what he did was to make people care more about their own neighborhoods. Leaving aside the stuff we don’t like, he insisted on the city taking care of things they should. Cleaning up the trash, filling the potholes, immediate graffiti removal, and by doing so it encourages people to live more like civilized people. It is a valid premise and it works with all of us, especially kids.

  57. I recently compared real estate in Hawai’i v. Montana. You can guess how that turned out.

    So you’re moving to Hawaii, right? *nudge, nudge* Aloha, dude!

    (you wouldn’t like Montana… trust me)

  58. headline: RUDY GETS ENDORSEMENT/SYMPATHY IN FLORIDA FROM GUY WHOSE KIDS ALSO HATE THEIR FATHER.

  59. If Rudy really wants to clean up, I’d happily buy him a bucket and a squeegee, and point him toward the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

  60. “He’s kind of a genius.”

    Ghouliani reminds me of Simon Bar Sinister.

    /Help us Underdog!

  61. Here in Chicago we just try to keep our violent crime to the South and West sides.

  62. Ah, this means that the coveted Jolie endorsement is soon to come. As a counter to the endorsement of her estranged father, Milo Minderbinder.

  63. Cleaning up the trash, filling the potholes, immediate graffiti removal, and by doing so it encourages people to live more like civilized people. It is a valid premise and it works with all of us, especially kids.

    The problem was, from what I’ve heard from various New Yorkers, is that in his second term he went from harassing actual criminals to harassing hot dog vendors. The guy didn’t know when to stop.

  64. Just voted for Ron Paul in Broward County, now I officially wash my hands of him…

  65. Reinmoose,

    It took me a moment to realize that had to be a joke. I was about to ask for a link.

    (“Maybe this will be the year the polls die?” Anyone who thinks the Paulistes have been grasping at straws hasn’t been paying attention to to the Rudistes lately.)

    Question for the floor: Would things have worked out any differently if Rudy had campaigned hard in the early primary states?

  66. Cerro, while it’s correct that NYC can’t expand it has more incentive to refurbish areas when they get bad, rather than just move outward leaving bad areas to get worse faster. So, NYC can actually use it’s limitations as an advantage in maintaining a desirable compact location. London can just stretch for a while. And like someone else pointed out, we have many cities to turn to. The UK should actually do this. I haven’t looked at the physical limitations of Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh but what’s stopping people from putting some capital into them instead? Sometimes not being a behemoth is desirable in itself.

  67. One more: with Rudy out of the picture, which GOP candidate will become the new darling of Fox News?

    (Answer: McCain, who is the most likely to hand Fox News an Iran Show to keep them nicely profitable for the next eight years, or at any rate until the devil reclaims Mr. Murdoch.)

  68. Ottawa, we will never know. I doubt he would have done a whole lot better in Iowa or South Carolina, but I don’t see why he couldn’t have done well in NH or Nevada, at least picking up a few delegates and not completely blowing his chances and getting pushed to the end of the stage at debates.

  69. The Wine Commonsewer | January 29, 2008, 1:28pm | #

    I know the Ghoul gets a lot of crap for his methods of cleaning up the crime problem, but part of what he did was to make people care more about their own neighborhoods. Leaving aside the stuff we don’t like, he insisted on the city taking care of things they should. Cleaning up the trash, filling the potholes, immediate graffiti removal, and by doing so it encourages people to live more like civilized people. It is a valid premise and it works with all of us, especially kids.

    Amen! You can’t just throw “everything Guiliani did” into a big box and treat it all the same.

  70. I suspect that Rudy competing more in NH could have seriously disrupted John McCain’s bid and we’d be looking at a 3-way contest between Rudy, Romney, and Huckabee… or possibly just Rudy and Huckabee, if Rudy did well in Michigan. It would be the Sickeningly Hawkish Tax Cutting Pro-choicer vs. the National Greatness Evangelical Former-fatty!

  71. I watched Midnight Cowboy for the first time recently. What struck me the most was the overall shitty, run-down, decrepit state of NYC.

    Then I read some contemporary reviews of the movie (mostly New Yorkers) and no one even mentioned it. New Yorkers back in the 70s had no fucking clue that people weren’t supposed to live like that. (at least people in Detroit today know they are in hell)

  72. Try the same set of policies in Cleveland and see what it gets you.

    You get Baltimore.

  73. why … are prices (of everything, not just property – which I can understand) so high in economically successful locations?

    Yes, most things are more expensive, but not nearly as outrageous as rent. I find with my salary, once the rent is paid, almost everything else seems cheap compared to the distressed city I came from (Buffalo). In other words, the high salaries more than make up for the high costs.

    PS. NYC is not like California, where rents are outrageous everywhere. It’s quite easy to find affordable housing in Jersey or LI.

  74. PPS. I used to laugh at the idiots who mourned for 70’s crime-ridden Manhattan. Today we have the opposite, and yes, Manhattan is now boring in addition to unaffordable to mere mortals.

  75. Here in Chicago we just try to keep our violent crime to the South and West sides.

    Fool around with the map at ChicagoCrime.org
    The violent crime is more evenly distributed than you would think.

  76. In law school, I had a couple of classmates held up in Lincoln Park. The train to Oak Park was also a popular location for hold-ups and robberies, with one of each. I was merely threatened and got spat at in the Printers’ Row area (downtown, slightly southerly). I had to laugh when I heard that Tampa had more violent crime than Chicago. One city may have been underreporting its crimes.

  77. The violent crime is more evenly distributed than you would think.

    The outrageously-gentrified, high-priced NYC neighborhood I left last year (Chelsea) has had a startling number of murders lately, perpetrated entirely by drunken residents of New Jersey and Long Island of college age in the wee hours of the morning. What surprises me most about the pattern of murder is how often it’s so predictable (or at least, not exactly “random”). Drug gangs, domestic violence, guidos.

  78. The train to Oak Park was also a popular location for hold-ups and robberies, with one of each.

    Do you mean you were held-up once and robbed once, and, if so, what is the difference between a hold-up and a robbery? And which train – Green line (Lake St el) or Blue line (Congress)?

  79. Cerro – My uncle lives in NYC on Broadway. In his building they permanently shut down one of the freight elevators.

    Which they then rented out for $2400 a month IIRC to a guy selling nothing but cigerettes.

    $2400 a month for an area the size of a freight elevator. I guess he was renting by the square inch at that price. I have 2.25 acres with a 1700 sq. ft home and a 500 sq. ft. detached workshop and I don’t pay half that much a month for my mortgage. My cousin who recently graduated college just got a place in the Wallstreet district. A nice one bedroom efficency he has to share with a freind because it costs $3000 a month to rent. My front patio has more sq. footage than his whole apartment. When he sent our relatives pics of his place they were asking if there were more but all it took was one pic to get the whole place in the picture LMAO. But he does have a wonderful view of all the congestion surrounding him.

    The only thing that makes things more expensive is the fools willing to shell out the money regardless of cost. Pretty soon NYC will be sold by the square millimeter.

    Oh and Rudy sucks Chocolate Salty Balls

  80. highnumber,

    The Oak Park train incidents both happened to a friend of mine. She was one seat away from the hold-up; she was the victim of the robbery. It’s a robbery if force is used to take something (in Illinois, it’s really all “theft”, I believe, but I speak in common law parlance here). In her case, it was a purse that was grabbed, and the guy fought her for it. She was (is) a toughie. In fact, she’s still a JAG attorney 12 years later. Not surprising for a native of the South Side ?

  81. I bet it was on the Green line. Though they run through a lot of the same neighborhoods essentially, and the Blue is the one that runs all night, for some reason the Green attracts a rougher crowd. (Could be because the Green veers south and runs through some really rough areas, while the Blue veers northwest toward O’Hare after the Loop.) For the record, the worst experience I’ve had on the CTA was a guy in our car who smelled like the dead possum in his pants had taken a crap after rolling in pig shit. You could call his odor a form of violence.

    Does “hold-up” imply that a gun was used?

  82. But it makes perfect sense to take everyone’s guns away from them, especially when they live in large cities. Now, we’re just waiting for the criminals to comply…waiting…waiting…

  83. highnumber,

    This was thirteen years ago–don’t remember which line. And yes, we’re talking hold up with a gun.

    When I lived there, the Guardian Angels were around the stops in Rogers Park. There were also some CTA ninjas (yeah, all in black. . .with dogs, also black) on that line.

  84. “””The problem was, from what I’ve heard from various New Yorkers, is that in his second term he went from harassing actual criminals to harassing hot dog vendors. The guy didn’t know when to stop.”””

    I think that sums it up. Rudy did get some results, I’m a major critic but some credit is due. He is a ends justifies the means kinda of guy, I am not.

    “””Which they then rented out for $2400 a month IIRC to a guy selling nothing but cigerettes.”””

    At 7 or 8 bucks a pack.

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