The New York Times has an article today poking fun at Rudy Giuliani for painting an overly grim portrait of New York City before he became mayor, and notes that Giuliani talks of a time when “a New Yorker couldn’t walk up Third Avenue without being on the lookout for muggers.” Matthew Yglesias chimes in that, “I’ve been known to remark on how formerly no-good spots like Avenue B have become hip, but I can’t ever remember a time when 3rd Avenue was particularly dangerous.”
My personal experience in pre-Rudy NYC was different. I was the victim of two muggings during the Dinkins administration, and the first one occurred in broad daylight on Lexington Ave. (one block west of 3rd Ave.). As a matter of fact, I did walk up 3rd Ave. on the lookout for muggers following that incident.
For what it’s worth, I was never the victim of a crime during the Giuliani years.