Under Bill de Blasio, Times Square is Getting Nasty Again

“I see Spider-Man mugging people all the time.”


Ironically some of this is really spillover from the Disneyfication of Times Square, but it also signifies a larger breakdown in the city. Like the shootings, this kind of thing is a symptom.

“I see Spider-Man mugging people all the time,” he continued. “I just saw a bus guy get in a fight like five minutes ago. I’ve been punched. I’ve been spit at. There are so many things that shouldn’t be going on out here.”

The chaos isn’t relegated to just one street corner or block — it’s everywhere, from 42nd Street all the way up to 48th.

And it’s so bad that Broadway officials blame the chaos for slumping ticket sales, prompting the Times Square Alliance to push for a law that would require costumed characters to register with the city to ply their trade.

A tatted-up, 5-foot-tall version of Bane, the Batman villain, grabbed a young boy’s arm, walked him away from his mother with no warning and posed with him. Bane, decked out with 4-inch platform boots and a fake hand grenade, flexed his biceps as the confused mother tried to pull her curious son away.

On Broadway between 47th and 48th streets, 11 men were trying to sell their demo CDs.

“Free hip-hop. Free hip-hop,” they bellowed.

A man walked by with one hand up in futile, silent protest.

“What, you don’t like black people?” said one hawker.

Bloomberg's anti-car crusade made things worse by blocking off roads to create a lot of open spaces. On paper these vast spaces were supposed to be pleasant. In real life, traffic is part of a city. Creating vast open spaces that aren't parkland is asking for trouble. Too many people gather and that creates opportunities for all sorts of mischief.

Then the costumed creeps that usually hang out on Hollywood Boulevard decided that they might as well do the same thing here. And to no one's surprise, adults who dress up in unlicensed costumes that disguise their appearances so that they can hit up people for money aren't the most stable bunch.

Now tie in Bill de Blasio's open door for crime and lack of enforcement and the whole situation begins spinning out of control.

A year ago it was a few guys in costumes. Now it's a few dozen guys. The CD guys and ticket guys were around before, but they seem to have gotten more aggressive and competitive. Times Square is reverting to what it was. A hunting ground for tourists.