Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Three Safe Cities

In New York, people don't like to make eye contact with strangers.  There are supposedly, and perhaps not without justification, lots of "weirdos" around.  One can hear police sirens all over, and at all times of the day.  Marked police cars are never out of sight.  All this has some effect: violent crime is almost non-existent in the Big Apple.  There is plenty of graffiti and trash, though, and people regard each other with suspicion.

In Irvine CA, considered one of the safest cities in the US, criminal activity is limited to illegally being in the carpool lane.  There is no graffiti or trash anywhere in sight.  This is a posh, white-collar suburb of Orange County.  But janitors, construction workers and restaurant staff come to this city from less posh cities.  One wouldn't find anyone napping on a street or park bench though, and homeless people are quickly transported out of this town.  Despite the environment of safety, people are quite careful to not take unnecessary risks.  Conversing with someone not at one's own level of affluence is quite rare.

In Baker NV, near the Great Basin National Park, I once gave a ride to two kids in the back-seat of my car.  I was on a solitary road-trip.  I was as strange as they come in that little town, what with my with long hair and my obviously non-Caucasian looks.  The kids were not more than ten years old.  After the ride, they muttered politely, "Much obliged, Sir."  There wasn't a cop for miles and miles.  The road was mostly empty too.  But there was safety in the air, somehow.


Joti said...

Good perspective and comparison. Now write about three unsafe cities as well, that would be interesting!!

Anonymous said...