New York City Hall, 1974
If you were to get off a plane in New York City in 1975, you would be handed a pamphlet entitled: “Welcome to Fear City.” Although slightly hyperbolic, the pamphlet’s nine guidelines - including never riding the subway, holding possession with both hands at all times, and avoiding buildings that were not completely fireproof - reflect the frightening reality of New York City in the 1970s. Following a tumultuous decade of social turmoil, New York City began the 70s in an economic recession, accompanied by high unemployment, the flight of the middle class to the suburbs, a rapid increase crime and arson, and dilapidated public infrastructure. In this committee, you will represent the government of the greatest city in the world is the worst decade in its history. You will be faced with the daunting task of bringing the Big Apple back to life, with barely enough city funds to keep the lights on. “Welcome to Fear City” ends with the warning: “Until things change, stay away from New York City if you possibly can.” So, come join this committee if you’re ready to break the rules.