The NY Times looks at the "sensational crimes" of late and wonders if it's a part of a crime wave or simply a result of the combination of the media and the fact that there is such little crime (especially when the Mayor crows about it at any opportunity) that anything that happens is news. The Times says the crime numbers don't suggests a crime wave, but there has been a rise in "nightmare crimes," aka crimes that "lodge themselves viscerally" in people's minds. John Jay College sociologist hypothesis Adrew Karmen suggests, "[The public becomes] fearful from actual events that touch their lives. I can say, and the police can say, and the mayor can say that the violence underground is way, way down compared to what it used to be, but if somebody was on that subway car when the gunfire began or knew somebody who was shot at, that makes more difference than abstract statistical graphs. That's what influences fear level." Gothamist certainly relates to that, because riding the subway is something we do, just like running a park.
One lifelong New Yorker, Brian Townsend, tells the Times, "I remember in the 80's, I remember people fighting and getting cut up on the subway all the time. You might be hearing about it more, but now things are more like isolated incidents." That's just the kind of perspective we all need. But since Gothamist spends all our time looking for NYC crime, we hace noticed a lot of subway incident. And as it turns out, police believe that the subway shooting of a man Tuesday night was revenge-related. The Daily News had a great quote from a woman who said she didn't pay much attention to crime statistics, "If it happens to you, who cares if the numbers are up or down?" a nd saying she generally avoided the last train car and cars filled with young men.