Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, October 16, 2021

By odd circumstance, over the past few days I’ve come into contact with a handful of former acquaintances, all formerly from Tampa Bay, like me.

Yes, some have websites/blogs: Rachel, who had a penchant for drawing online controversy; Dave Pinero, a quieter participant in the Bay area blogosphere; and Blunted On Reality, who’s just relaunched his blogging machine.

Rachel and Dave are making their way in/around the Big Apple, and have recently transplanted themselves. Blunted is now finds himself in the Philadelphia area. And there’s another member of this ex-Florida reunion who’s not so active online, so I guess he doesn’t count ( ;) ); but he’s in Brooklyn and has been for a while now.

It’s funny that I’d hear from all these folks in so short a timeframe. Must be something in the air.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/16/2008 12:24:24 PM
Category: Bloggin', Florida Livin'
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Whenever I walk through Times Square — which is probably once a week, despite best intentions to avoid those tourist-clogged sidewalks — I regard those comedy club street barkers with some wonderment.

Yes, they sure are annoying. But they could be a lot worse than merely that; and indeed, they used to be, in a wholly different Times Square of twenty years ago:

No legitimate business—indeed, scarcely a normal person—would willingly visit so blighted and threatening an area. As head of the [city Urban Development Corporation] during the mid-eighties, I would walk through Times Square at night, a state trooper by my side, and feel revulsion. We’d hurry past prostitute-filled single-room-occupancy hotels and massage parlors, greasy spoons and pornographic bookstores; past X-rated movie houses and peep shows and a pathetic assortment of junkies and pushers and johns and hookers and pimps—the whole panorama of big-city low life.

I can’t help but think that today’s legit sidewalk hustlers are only a couple of degrees removed from their sleazebag forebears. The pitch isn’t all that different, it’s just not as aggressive. And had the Square not been cleaned up/corporatized, I wonder if today’s barkers wouldn’t still be out there anyway, endemically doing their thing regardless of specific product or circumstance.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/16/2008 12:04:21 PM
Category: History, New Yorkin', Society
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