The good news: despite fears of a Great Recession spike in crime, NYC crime rates are down across the board this year. The bad news: the East Village is one of only two precincts reporting an increase, according to neighborhood chronicler EV Grieve. -
This is troubling news for a neighborhood that is ground zero for New York's post-collegiate twentysomethings, in terms of both place of residence and getting blitzed on the weekend (and often both). It's no secret that the East Village is one of the most bar-saturated areas in the city, to the dismay of locals and delight of yokels from all corners of the city and beyond. In fact, one vaguely scientific survey says that the East Village's 10003 zip code has the second most bars per capita in the entire country (behind some place in the rogue state of Texas, so really, we win).
But are weekend warrior louts to blame for the spate of rapes (up to 12 from 8 last year) and burglaries (267 vs. 192) or is the surge in crime a reminder of the bad old days when the neighborhood's edge drove them away? It's important to remember that despite a 5% rise in overall crime from 2008, the number is down 75% from 1990, mirroring citywide statistics.
East Villagers and visitors to the 'hood can also take (very) small comfort in the fact that several of the crimes were tied to a few bad eggs (like this "Spidey thief" and a handful of idiots who went on a BB Gun rampage) who police nabbed.
Still, any jump in the crime rate that results in people being beaten to death in Tompkins Square Park should make weary residents stop complaining about the weekend hordes and consider the possible alternative.