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(The Atlantic)   Think you're having a tough time during the Holidays, let's go for a stroll through New York's Red Light District   ( divider line
    More: Sad, Intimate Portrait, stock traders, esplanades, Rikers Island, prison uniform, whores  
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14988 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Dec 2012 at 6:05 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-20 09:00:32 PM  
5 votes:
Being a lifetime NYer I am far too familiar with stories such as these.
It tears at my soul. When I had a bit more coin and time (before the kid and the divorce) I used to make a point of going to places like this occasionally with some things that I knew would come to good use (clothing, food, vouchers for food from local places with some heart).
It's easy to look at the young girls and think "how awful, and she is pretty", but the ones that really make me heartsick are the ones like the mother who has lost everything in life and wants only to get back on track so she can be in her child's life again.
That makes me weep, honestly. It is perhaps the saddest thing in life to lose ones family, and in particular ones child. I cannot fathom it.
Omahawg is quite on the money "they are still people too, damn it".
Amen. I will try to do a bit this year, the bills didn't get it all, and my kid has more than she deserves for Christmas already.
And I need to know I have done at least a little bit of my part for my fellow man this year. We sure are taking our knocks lately, us humans.
Every person is someones child, most are someones sibling, some once were a spouse to another.
The day I stop feeling horrible about people like this falling through the cracks is the day I hope I drop dead, because I will have already lost my soul and have forfeited my right to carry my "Human Being" membership card.
2012-12-20 06:20:06 PM  
3 votes:
That last guy. That shirtless tough guy saying if you are surviving, you are blessed. Hit a dust pocket in the room.
2012-12-20 10:08:31 PM  
2 votes:
His tumblr is worth a read btw, much more informative than just the captions.

Arnade Tublr

I am a rich white guy who is going to vote for President Obama. Why?

I have recently lived two lives, during the day working on Wall Street and at night documenting New York's poorest neighborhoods, mostly in the Bronx.

I get asked often, "What have you learned from your experience?"

The answer is this: The notion that everyone is given an equal chance, that success is about hard work, no matter your beginning, is simply untrue.

It comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of urban poverty. The poor are no lazier or no less industrious. They do however face huge structural obstacles. This is why statistically the greatest predictor of a child's success is their parent's wealth.

Poor minorities are thrown in jail at a stunning rate (in some neighborhoods 80% of the men have a record), mostly in the name of the absurd war on drugs. By criminalizing the drugs of the poor, heroin and crack, while keeping legal those of the rich, like Xanax, we have created a separate caste that is close to impossible to break from.

It has created a negative feedback loop. Incarcerating and stigmatizing the population decimates the economic prospects of the neighborhood. The gap is filled by more illegal activity. Soon much of the economy is black market with the policy answer being further incarceration.

If you grow up in the Bronx the odds are greater than even that one of your parents is or has been in jail. You are fifty times more likely to be a victim of a crime. You are thirty times more likely to have a criminal record. You are twice as likely to have a serious disease. It means that to get a decent education you have to test out of your neighborhood. To keep your hope and optimism alive you have to ignore the facts of the world around you.

The majority of folks I worked with on Wall Street are hard working, smart, and decent. For that they have been richly rewarded. They have also been overwhelmingly lucky, generally from birth.

The structurally insurmountable income gap is the biggest and most embarrassing issue this country faces. Few politicians want to address it. Most voters don't want to hear it.

It requires a change in the way we treat addiction and drugs as well as an understanding of the structural odds that are stacked against the poor.

That is why I will vote for President Obama. I personally would do much better in the short run with Governor Romney. He would cut my taxes and make it easier for me to work on Wall Street.

The Democrats, however, better understand the imbalances that face the poor. They better understand that the income gap, although partly a function of economic factors beyond their control, is not only a product of a gap in ability, but a gap in opportunity.

I have spent the last three presidential debates in Hunts Point. There was no indication they were on television. Nobody was watching. The cynicism is so high. The problems are seen as too large, too removed from the radar of either party. Nobody is talking about the election.

When you feel trapped in a jail from which you never can escape it's hard to believe in hope.
2012-12-20 06:26:58 PM  
2 votes:
cdn.theatlantic.comView Full Size

Give her a long shower, a bit more food and she'd probably be very pretty. Has that girl next door/old childhood friend look. Sad.
2012-12-20 06:18:30 PM  
2 votes:
You don't have to put on the red light.
2012-12-20 06:45:37 PM  
1 vote:

Baz744: Oh look. 15 pictures of 0bama voters.

I know this is trolling but after reading a bit of his Tumblr, I've come to the conclusion that these people work harder and in worse conditions than you or I will ever know.
2012-12-20 06:26:43 PM  
1 vote:

Baz744: Oh look. 15 pictures of 0bama voters.

Predictable troll. But I will point out anyway that if these people did vote there wouldn't be a Republican left in office, which is why the Republicans strategy has been to keep as many people away from the polls as possible. Hasn't quite worked out so well for you though.
2012-12-20 06:22:50 PM  
1 vote:
Huh, I lived in NYC and didn't know they had a red light district, (aside from the area around 42nd street before it was Disneyfied), but then again I never had a reason to go to the Bronx except to visit the Bronx zoo.

I'm glad someone is documenting how too many people still live nowadays, it's surprising the amount of mythology there is surrounding the lives of the down and out.
2012-12-20 06:21:33 PM  
1 vote:
Fun fact: in Roman times, they pointed the way to brothels with penii graffiti.
2012-12-20 05:56:01 PM  
1 vote:
I just spent quite a bit of time getting pulled deeper and deeper into that site. Really fascinating stuff. Disturbing, and sad, but compelling as well. Nice link, subby.
2012-12-20 05:49:03 PM  
1 vote:
Hunt's Point is a very, very poor neighborhood. But its cool to walk around for the wonderfu grafitti and art "galleries" (I hesitate to use the term) in the abandoned ware houses.
I bet you in 50+ years it will be a very hip area.
These stories in the article are so sad. It reminds you that everyone has a story.
CSS: One time about 3 years ago, I wasn't paying attention and I accidentally took the R train instead of the N/Q to Queens. I got out at Queens Plaza, and I knew the N/Q was right across the street but was disorientated. I asked a young girl if she knew where the train was and she replied "I don't know nothing about no trains 'round here, but I know a lot about the alleys". And then it hit me that she was a prostitute. She was barely 14 I'd guess.
Really, since the Times Square clean up seeing prostitution out in the open is a rarity. I remember taking cabs with my dad through the Times Square area (there was no reason to walk it back in the 1980's) and thinking all the "sexy" women were really pretty, lol.
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