“From the Bronx to the Lower East Side to Brooklyn, there had been a systematic ghetto-isation of these areas,” says Lydia Lunch, “because ultimately, the bankers and real estate agents knew that if they broke it down to rubble, they could come back five or six years later with rents that were four or five or six times as high. Mike Davis wrote this incredible book, Dead Cities, about what they did to New York and the Bronx to make it what it was, so it could become what it is now, which is Disneyland.”
In clearing away all the vagrants and selling off all the public spaces, in disinfecting its neighbourhoods of the vibrant artistic communities that gathered in its murky corners, Giuliani was killing the soul of the city, reducing it to lucrative office space.
– Stevie Chick, Psychic Confusion: The Sonic Youth Story
The media generally viewed the fascistic bullying of squeegee men, panhandlers, cabbies, street vendors, and welfare recipients as a small price to pay for the triumphs of having brought Disney (the ultimate imprimature of suburban safery) to Times Square and tourism back to New York.
– Mike Davis, Dead Cities
See also Le Tigre – My My Metrocard (particularly Kathleen Hanna’s lyric at 0:45)