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What do Bratton and Giuliani think of graffiti in the L.E.S 20 years after their “Broken Windows” policing?

September 8, 2016

As you already know, I’m a native New Yorker and proud to be from the Lower East Side. The L.E.S wasn’t always the trendy hot spot it is today. The 80’s and 90’s were full of drugs, prostitution and a housing crisis. But rent was cheaper and most working families were able to make a decent living while having a few bucks to spare. Things have changed, for the better and for the worse.

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The streets are safer. Buildings are safer. But with the quality of life improvements came the high-rise buildings, high end supermarkets and more than enough luxury residential apartments and condos. Now many of the same working families who lived through the rough decades of the 70’s and 80’s can’t afford to enjoy the new “luxuries” of the Lower East Side and New York City.

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Geometric Lace Cold Shoulder Sheath

For me the changes are bitter sweet. I’m grateful things have changed for the better. I feel safe walking home late at night. I enjoy the restaurants- both the old and the new.  I’m glad I can meet with friends from out of town and take them to the “best new bar” or “best new restaurant” without having to go very far. But having many longtime residents moving out because they can no longer afford the place they call home is unacceptable.

Just a few days ago I spent my lunch break at a rally on 11th Street. Marriott wants to demolish five adjacent historic walk-up residential homes to build a 85,000-square-foot hotel on the site. How is this even possible? Don’t get me started on how the Catholic church is selling many parishes whether or not the parish is financially stable and well attended. And Mayor de Blasio’s scandal with Rivington House…

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I was inspired to write about the Lower East Side after taking these outfit pictures by the former Sol Moscot (the iconic eyeglasses shop moved across the street to 108 Orchard Street).

I ordered this little black laced dress from Rent the Runway for my cousin’s wedding. I met with my intern/contributing writer Claritza before the ceremony to take pictures in front of the yellow, graffiti wall on Orchard and Delancey. While posting one of the pictures on Instagram, I got to thinking…

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I remember when Mayor Giuliani got rid of graffiti because “a cleaner city is a safer city” and many urban boys got arrested during Commissioner Bratton’s “broken windows” policing. Giuliani said the art form was vandalism and an eye sore. But now that the neighborhood/city has been gentrified, graffiti (or street art) is now “accepted” and celebrated. I want to ask Giuliani and Bratton what they think of graffiti in the Lower East Side today. Do they consider it street art, or is it graffiti? 

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A few days after I posted my thoughts on Instagram, Commissioner Bratton coincidentally spoke about his Broken Windows policing on “Inside City Hall.” It was also the topic during tonight’s “The Call” on NY1. I’m obsessed with both shows, and I tweet The Call every chance I get.

The tweet got some traction and John Schiumo quoted me on the show. I love when that happens!

broken windows nyc Mercedes Sanchez with a dress from Rent the Runway

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I didn’t have a pizza from the shop behind me, but I did eat a slice from Two Boots after the wedding ceremony.

But first I had to walk my aunt back to my mom’s for an outfit change. Apparently she saw a woman wearing the same gown she had on. Thankfully my aunt brought a spare and we hurried back in time for our ride to the reception.

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It was while we waited for the coach bus to arrive that my husband brought me the slice and I ate it right in front of the church. I didn’t think it was a big deal but a random guy asked to take a picture of me. He was either a tourist, a novice photographer or some sort of freelancer. I didn’t ask what the picture was for. I was too hungry to care.

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Lower East Side Graffiti

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I’m pleased with how the rental turned out. I’ve ordered from Rent the Runway before but last time I had to go to their store to pick another dress because I wasn’t happy with the original. The little black dress is from Cynthia Rowley. I am usually a size 4, but I asked for a complimentary second dress in a size 6 just in case. The 6 was a better fit.

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Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez is an on-air style and beauty expert, spokesperson, and the founder of BeChicMag.com — a lifestyle blog covering fashion, beauty, and travel. She's offered style and beauty tips on NBC, CBS, BET, HuffPo, Telemundo and Univision. Contact: mercedes[at]bechicmag[dot]com.

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