Citation

New York City’s "Lonely Crimes" Narrative in the Sixties and Seventies

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

This paper examines the evolution and consequences of the image of New York City as a site of ubiquitous crime, social disorder, and spiritual decline. This narrative emerges from various jeremiads against New York in the mid-sixties. Specifically, I focus on Dick Schaap and Jimmy Breslin’s “The Lonely Crimes,” a week-long expose of the “crimes you don’t hear about” published in the New York Herald Tribune in late-October 1965. Running just before the mayoral election that year, the columns discussed random violent crimes like mugging, assault, drug-use, and armed-robbery -- crimes that weren't big enough to make the papers, but that made living in New York City appear inconvenient. The “lonely crimes” message boiled down to this: in New York City anyone, anywhere, at anytime could be a victimized by random and violent criminal activity. It stirred up fears and seemed to confirm the nation’s worst suspicions about the city.

John Lindsay was elected mayor that year, and from the beginning he sought to counteract this narrative through local film production that would portray New York as a “fun city” rather than the “fear city” Schaap and Breslin imagined. As the city began incentivizing the film industry, the “fear city” image prevailed, and the lonely crimes became a veritable trope in the New York film cycle of the late sixties and seventies. This paper will discuss at least two films in this regard, one examining the experience of the intrepid migrant looking for a fresh start and another commenting on the city’s hospitality towards middle-class, white-collar visitors: Midnight Cowboy (1969) and The Out of Towners (1971). Ultimately, the incessant “lonely crimes” narrative in this period established an indelible imaginary of the city as inhospitable to migrants, tourists, and business interests at a time when New York faced its worst political and economic crises.
Convention
All Academic Convention is the premier solution for your association's abstract management solutions needs.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p508866_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Tochterman, Brian. "New York City’s "Lonely Crimes" Narrative in the Sixties and Seventies" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p508866_index.html>

APA Citation:

Tochterman, B. "New York City’s "Lonely Crimes" Narrative in the Sixties and Seventies" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p508866_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: This paper examines the evolution and consequences of the image of New York City as a site of ubiquitous crime, social disorder, and spiritual decline. This narrative emerges from various jeremiads against New York in the mid-sixties. Specifically, I focus on Dick Schaap and Jimmy Breslin’s “The Lonely Crimes,” a week-long expose of the “crimes you don’t hear about” published in the New York Herald Tribune in late-October 1965. Running just before the mayoral election that year, the columns discussed random violent crimes like mugging, assault, drug-use, and armed-robbery -- crimes that weren't big enough to make the papers, but that made living in New York City appear inconvenient. The “lonely crimes” message boiled down to this: in New York City anyone, anywhere, at anytime could be a victimized by random and violent criminal activity. It stirred up fears and seemed to confirm the nation’s worst suspicions about the city.

John Lindsay was elected mayor that year, and from the beginning he sought to counteract this narrative through local film production that would portray New York as a “fun city” rather than the “fear city” Schaap and Breslin imagined. As the city began incentivizing the film industry, the “fear city” image prevailed, and the lonely crimes became a veritable trope in the New York film cycle of the late sixties and seventies. This paper will discuss at least two films in this regard, one examining the experience of the intrepid migrant looking for a fresh start and another commenting on the city’s hospitality towards middle-class, white-collar visitors: Midnight Cowboy (1969) and The Out of Towners (1971). Ultimately, the incessant “lonely crimes” narrative in this period established an indelible imaginary of the city as inhospitable to migrants, tourists, and business interests at a time when New York faced its worst political and economic crises.


Similar Titles:
Understanding the Complexities of Policing and Crime Statistics in New York City and London

Relationships among Transit Captives, Crime Rates, and Geography in New York City

Segregation and Crime in New York City Neighborhoods

Examining Ethnic Political Narratives in New York City


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.