Criminals and Culture Makers
by L.E. Neal
Detroit’s story of bankruptcy and rust is a quintessential Great Recession tragedy, but it is not the first major American city to grapple with bankruptcy amid structural economic change, class tensions, and pervasive urban desolation. At the dawn of the Reagan Revolution, the country’s biggest city was also instructed by the federal government to fix its own financial problems.
Like most cities on a financial tilt, New York was full of fear and cultural rebirth.
Graffiti networks could have emulated youth gangs, which raised their leg on each block and rooted themselves within their neighborhood’s confines. Instead, graffiti writers jumped on the deteriorating subway.