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A couple was robbed at about 76th Street and the Bow Bridge in Central Park yesterday afternoon. Carlos and Maria Valvin, described as Peruvian immigrants who live in NJ, were confronted by a man "twirling a silver semi-automatic pistol" who demanded their money. Carlos Valvin threw $200 from his wallet; then the robber told the couple to turn around, and ran into the Ramble. The NY Post got some of the human interest quotes:

"People we've talked to and books we've read said that the city is very safe now and a lot of crime doesn't happen," Carlos said.
"But it had to happen [sic] to us," Maria said. "I heard about this happening at night, but I didn't think it would happen in the middle of the day."

That's the paradox of the new, safer New York: You think it's safe and jolly, and you let your guard down. First rule of New York City: Don't let your guard down. Second rule of New York City: DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. Carlos also said, "What this guy did isn't going to stop us from building a life here. But maybe we'll just do it in another state."

The NY Times points out that it's the second robbery in two months (a mom and baby were robbed at gunpoint last month), but Gothamist remembers the iPod robbery at the end of April, so that's actually three. While Gothamist is proud that the crime rate has gone down, we wonder if, in a city of this size, it's impossible to keep the crime rate down. That's why when, after years of declining crime stats, crimes do seem exotic once again.

Photo of the Bow Bridge by Tien Mao