December 7, 2019

90,000 packages are stolen every day in New York City. 15% of deliveries in NYC don't reach their addressee.

The NYT looks at the various solutions NYC people are using to grasp at a chance of living in the modern America enjoyed by nonNYers.

You could luck out and have some saintly older lady in your building who accepts packages for all the residents.

You could pay for the services of businesses that will receive your stuff. Then you go there to pick up it (which could be more trouble than going to retail stores and buying what you need). The going rate seems to be $5 per package!

In a combination of those 2 ideas, there's a startup, sort of like Uber, where residents who are home all the time are matched up with people who need someone to receive your packages. The going rate still seems to be $5 per package, and that opens the way to a worse crime problem as vulnerable stay-at-homes open their door to strangers.

You could have your personal stuff delivered to your work place, mooching off your employer (such a problem companies are banning it).

You could get a much larger (locking) mailbox at your residence. And Amazon has its "Hub Lockers" where you could go pick up your stuff in their big locking boxes (but then you've got to travel to one of their places).

You could get one of those video doorbells and watch the theft. This is a good option if you're wondering what kind of people commit this crime. It can't be that the police will investigate. Maybe someday face identification software will make it easy to catch the thieves based on the doorbell video, but, no, they'll cover their faces, won't they?

Maybe it's sort of like the way it's not worth it to have a car in New York City. There's this modern convenience that people outside of the city love and won't do without, but you can get by without. Walk or take a bus or train or cab. People who don't live in NYC can't live like that. Ordering everything on line? Don't do it. Use the stores. Part of living in NYC is loving the things you can do that the nonNYers can't. Don't taint that good feeling with awkward efforts to do the things people easily do outside of NYC. The NYC tradition is to sneer at people who want to live in that nonNYC way.

(My basis for opining on NYC tradition: I lived in NYC from 1973 to 1984 and 2007 to 2008.)

106 comments:

tim maguire said...

I used to have packages delivered to my work address. Unless your employer has a mailroom that processes deliveries (and how many do?), I don’t see how it’s mooching. The downside in NYC (1996–2012) is you then have to take it home on the train. $5.00 per package is outrageous for an Uber-type service unless they do the final to-your-door-when-you’re-home delivery.

Oso Negro said...

It's NYC! If you don't like having your packages stolen you are probably a racist and homophobic.

AllenS said...

You could stop this quite fast, if you gave out 100,000 permits for people to be armed, and then let them shoot the motherfuckers who are doing the stealing.

Oso Negro said...

If your package can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

madAsHell said...

Isn't this Kitty Genovese re-visited??

madAsHell said...

"I'm sure it wouldn't interested anybody outside a small circle of friends"
--Phil Ochs

exhelodrvr1 said...

Broken windows theory

rehajm said...

It’s wealth redistribution NY lefties. It’s not a problem it’s a solution. That you vote for.

samanthasmom said...

It's part of the cost of living in a big city. Put too many animals in the same cage, and they act like animals do when they're afraid there aren't enough resources to go around. Charging $5 to be at home to accept a package and take responsibility for it, because you know if you happen to go out, and the package is stolen, you'd be held liable, seems like a bargain to me.

whitney said...

In my city they're predicting a third of all the packages will be stolen this season. People regularly post from their ring doorbells just random people running up and grabbing their stuff. It is kind of bizarre that you could just leave packages on the front porch all day and nobody would steal them. I'm going to miss that. Remember what they've taken from you

rhhardin said...

Good luck finding a store that stocks what you wanted.

Lurker21 said...

Given the taxes and rents and general cost of living in NYC, buying on line and having stuff delivered may be a better deal economically.

stlcdr said...

Nice package you’ve been got done delivered, there. Shame if somethin’ were to happen to it...

Aunty Trump said...

Same thing happens in suburban South Florida, but not as bad, but you don’t have the amenities either. We are becoming like England when it comes to petty street crime.

stlcdr said...

Also, this seems like a wood/trees moment.

This is a horrible way to live. To simply accept that your stuff is going to get stolen?! This goes well beyond the thing in the box. It’s not about the thing in the box. It’s the invasion of ones ability to live a free and prosperous life.

Leland said...

AllenS; earlier this year, a couple was travelling through my neighborhood in Texas checking car doors and stealing stuff they could find. A neighbor saw them and confronted them. They tried to pull out a gun they had stolen, but the neighbor was armed and ended up holding them at gunpoint until police arrived.

Happy to be a non-NYer.

MayBee said...

My nephew's package got stolen from his front porch. The theif must have been woefully surprised to discover it was kitty litter.

rehajm said...

Wasn’t there some nerd what put a camera and a swirling disk of glitter in an box a few years ago? That was fun...

Paul said...

Here in Texas I live in a city with over 100,000 population. Never had a package stolen. Cops do investigate car break ins to (NYC will not even send an officer to check such crimes.)

Lots of luck living in liberal paradises. NYC, D.C, LA, Detroit, San Fran, etc... I wouldn't touch such places with a 10 ft pole as for living there (but as a tourist I would like to see NYC and D.C.)

samanthasmom said...

In my neighborhood if you get a package delivery when you aren't at home, and it starts raining, a neighbor will come over and put your package in a plastic bag for you. I wonder if there's ever been a study about whether living in the country makes people nicer, or if nicer people choose to live in the country?

JML said...

It happens even in rural communities.

https://youtu.be/CuFlWqC9KLY

AllenS said...

OMG! JML, is that a black bear?

Heartless Aztec said...
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Heartless Aztec said...

It's an urban thing, with New York just being an apex urban setting. I live in a south eastern dense urban setting. A very lovely place especially in wintertime. My home is about 1 mile from the city center and nobody in my neighborhood has their Amazon packages stolen. Never once has that happened to me or any of my surrounding neighbors. Let me ask this Professor - you live in an urban setting of Madison not to terribly far from the city center. I'm guessing you don't have this package stealing problem either. What fact then is left to ascribe the thievery to?

Shouting Thomas said...

Owning a car and living in Manhattan is wonderful, so long as you don't have to pay for it.

One of my perks working for a posh Manhattan corporate law firm was a free parking space in Midtown.

Even back in the 90s, that was a $600/month expense.

Aunty Trump said...

In South Florida you also have pickpockets, which is an art form in parts of South America, but not something North Americans are used to dealing with.

AllenS said...

$600/month expense

Damn, a man could buy a lot of beer with that kinda money.

Fernandistein said...

Isn't this Kitty Genovese re-visited??

You mean that this article is Fake News from NYeT, like their coverage of Kitty Genovese was also Fake News?

Why, yes, you are correct!

AA: 15% of deliveries in NYC don't reach their addressee.

No, the article doesn't make that claim; the NYeT article has a different false claim:

"About 15 percent of all deliveries in urban areas fail to reach customers on the first attempt because of package theft and other issues, like deliveries to the wrong house, according to transportation experts."

Their source is about one apartment building, NOT "urbvan areas" and zero packages were stolen. None. They were late because of wrong address" (a grand total of 5 incidents) or "tenant not available" (an eye-popping 2 incidents!).

thieves often follow delivery trucks

"Without evidence", so to speak: one anecdote about one person.

No source at all for the 90,000 per day statement.

Fernandistein said...

Total crimes reported ("complaints") per day in New York City: (11/25/2019 Through 12/1/2019)
29: Burglary
105: Grand Larceny
222: Petit Larceny

Hmmm. Those numbers don't seem very similar to 90,000.

Michael McNeil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JML said...

AllesS. Yes, I believe so.

Michael McNeil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McNeil said...

Maybe it's sort of like the way it's not worth it to have a car in New York City. There's this modern convenience that people outside of the city love and won't do without, but you can get by without. Walk or take a bus or train or cab. People who don't live in NYC can't live like that.

They can in San Francisco — famously a public-transportation friendly city (BART subway, MUNI subway & trolly, electric buses, and unattached buses).

An anecdote from a few years ago, when I was driving Uber for a time — and I'd typically go where the most money (business) was — even though I live 70 miles away: San Francisco, from Thursday through Saturday — nap in the car at times during that span, then take the rest of the week off.

Anyway, while doing this I picked up a guy in S.F. — who announced to me that he had passed a transition point in his life: he was now paying more for Uber each month than food — while noting that he ate a lot!

Thus, even in public-transportation-friendly cities like San Francisco, residents find it much more convenient to simply push a button on their phone, then have a friendly Uber driver glide up in front of them in only a few minutes, then drop them off a few more minutes later right at their destination — than walk to a bus-stop, wait for a bus, ride to a transfer point, wait for another bus, ride to the closest stop to your destination, then walk more blocks — all taking probably hours.

I wonder if bus-type public transportation will survive?

Original Mike said...

15%!!!! I've never had a package stolen (knock on wood).

Yeah, I really want to live there. And, the privilege of NOT owning a car! Boy, am I missing out!

Bob Boyd said...

Stealing packages is a gamble. Like Mrs. Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
Which explains that pile of penis pumps in the lot behind your building.

Temujin said...

#221 on why I don't live in NYC.

I know it's the center of the universe and all, but when you live in the center of the universe, all the shit spirals toward you and there's no stopping it. You attract it all.

sinz52 said...

Bob Boyd said: "Stealing packages is a gamble. Like Mrs. Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."

Yes, in October 2018, I saw a couple of kids running off with the package that the delivery guy had left on my doorstep.

The package contained plain Robitussin, Breathe-Right nasal strips, and saline nasal rinse that I had ordered discounted from Drugstore.com in preparation for the cold and flu season.

Unless those two kids had a cold, I doubt they were happy once they opened the package and saw what's inside.

Freeman Hunt said...

People around here tell me they've had packages stolen, but despite living in the middle of town in an economically mixed area, I've never had a package stolen. Maybe that's the key--maybe people go to the all-fancy areas to steal.

Ray - SoCal said...

Thanks for doing the analysts!

15% would put any business out of business.

12/7/19, 7:06 AM
Blogger Fernandistein said...

Michael K said...

It is a mystery to me why anyone would live in NYC. I was an expert witness for a lawyer in NYC one time. The case was tried in Bronx Supreme Court, the courthouse in "Bonfire of the Vanities." It was exactly the same as in the novel. No benches in the hallways. I asked a cop and he said they would be filled with bums, so I waited in the law library. During jury deliberations, the jurors (only 7) sent a message to the judge asking him to order one juror to bathe as they could not stand the smell in the jury room. The lawyer was a legal aid guy representing one of his criminal clients who was shot by his parole officer. He ended up with a $500,000 judgement and was so grateful he wanted me to come back so he could take me out to dinner.

I never went back.

Shouting Thomas said...

It is a mystery to me why anyone would live in NYC.

NYC is a lot of fun and you can make big money, even considering the inflated cost of living.

I grew up in a village of 5,500 in rural Illinois. Employers were scarce. You had to know somebody and you could be blacklisted.

My tech skills gave me the upper hand in NYC. Thousands of employers. If one didn't like me, or I didn't like them, it was on to the next one.

I'm not saying you can't make a good living elsewhere, but being in demand in NYC is a rush. And, I made a great living, even with the cost of living in NYC factored in. Freedom, money, respect.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, yeah, NYC is crazy.

The theater of absurdity is part of the draw.

And, it's all played out in anonymity. You can do whatever you want and nobody back home knows about it.

wild chicken said...

"rhhardin said...
Good luck finding a store that stocks what you wanted."

Stores drop popular items because it's such a pain to restock them. Or so I've surmised.

Hellooo Amazon!

n.n said...

Telepresence.

Never miss a package.

Mitigate global anthropogenic menopausal progress (GAMP).
#ExtinctionRebellion #KeepMotherGaiaGreenDiverseBaking

Live united in virtual bliss.

mockturtle said...

Do they think that packages aren't stolen off people's porches in the rest of America? Video cams show otherwise. Being retired means I can be home when packages are supposed to be delivered but there are thieves who follow UPS or FedEx trucks around.

bagoh20 said...

I suspect it's a conspiracy between Amazon and UPS. They charge you for the stuff and delivery, and then they come back and steal it, so you have to buy it all over again. It's the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren no doubt.

mockturtle said...

Good luck finding a store that stocks what you wanted.

Exactly, rhhardin. And when you ask about an item they don't have on the shelf, the clerk will say, "We can order it for you", whereupon you reply, "I can order it myself and have it sent to my house". Not blaming stores--they can't stock everything--but your chances are far better online. And you can shop in your bathrobe or your underwear if you feel like it.

Mark said...

It is a mystery to me why anyone would live in NYC

It is a mystery to me why anyone would want to turn their own town into NYC, like Arlington has been doing for the last 15 years or so.

And they call it smart growth. Which of course explains their pathological obsession for their hyper-density urban village -- (progressive) ideology trumps reason and even lived experience.

mccullough said...

What’s the theft rate ordering through the Althouse Portal?

Perhaps we can form an Althouse Posse.

Ann Althouse said...

"It is a mystery to me why anyone would live in NYC."

I loved living in New York. I lived on E. 91 Street, E. 85 Street, Jane Street (in the Village), Washington Square Village, 3d Street in Park Slope, and Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights.

All of these places were great (though 91st Street was a tenement), because you had what I call "walk-out interestingness." (I have this where I live in Madison too.)

You walk out the door and go anywhere and there are all kinds of things to see and enjoy. You don't even need a plan or any money. Just walk around -- in any direction. There's a density that could be bad -- too crowded, too crazy -- in NYC, but for the people who like it, that's the idea. It's a rich visual and social experience. There's lots of culture. It's great for music and art and food and shopping, if you like some of those things. All you need is a secure little apartment for your few things, a place to keep your stuff and to sleep, and the whole city is yours.

Sebastian said...

"if you're wondering what kind of people commit this crime:

Yeah, I do "wonder."

"Ordering everything on line? Don't do it."

Stay in the twentieth century.

Anyway, when lefties complain about the US being too tough on crime, maybe this will serve as a useful data point. Not that it will make any difference.

bagoh20 said...

We use Amazon a lot, and we have the packages delivered to work. It can be a burden for your employer. Someone has to accept and sort through the stuff to separate out company stuff out.F

I've said it before. Think about how much of your time, money, and effort are expended everyday just because some people are dishonest: Locks, passwords, fences, walls, gates, security systems, insurance, contracts, cameras, keys, guns, cops at multiple levels, courts clogged with the assholes, and bad politics. I think dishonesty is the key problem of human life, which causes most of the others, but I could be lying.

Mark said...

for the people who like it, that's the idea

For the people who like it, they can move to those places. They don't need to fundamentally transform the more quiet and open places that other people like into their high-density hell-holes.

Of course, the one-percenters among the progressive set are sure to keep their neighborhoods all quiet and open.

Greg Hlatky said...

Do not steal packages marked "Front Toward Enemy".

Mark said...

I think dishonesty is the key problem of human life

No. The hubris that you are a god unto yourself, that you can create what is right and wrong, choosing your own truth -- that is the key problem of the human condition.

Mark said...

Of course, I suppose it could be said that all of that also falls within "dishonesty." The lies that we tell ourselves in contradiction to our human nature, including the lie that we are gods.

Gunner said...

The only way I would want to see NY is 2 weeks at a time from a luxury hotel.

daskol said...

That's precisely why I like living here, it's terrific for people who don't like to travel or plan but still like to see interesting things. Sometimes the interesting things sparking very interesting conversations with my kids: they are very worldly in some respects, with my oldest still a preteen but probably quite good at distinguishing between a junkie and a drunk, a genuinely down on their luck beggar vs. career panhandler, among other demimonde denizens.

Two reasons why this rampant package stealing persists is that the USPS is the most negligent of package delivery services: they don't even ring your damn doorbell to check if you're home, they just toss the package by the garden level entrance, despite signage you may leave saying not to do that. Despite, sometimes, even requiring a signature for delivery, which the postal workers in my neighborhood routinely fake: Rep. Nydia Velazquez has initiated inquiries as we have had, some years, the most complained about post office in the nation. Some very significant percentage of "stolen" packages are packages that get delivered to the wrong address: 285 Court St, say, goes to 285 Smith just parallel. Once a week I get such a package, more often this season. I have gotten to know my number neighbor because she kindly brings those to me, and we do the same. That is probably not too common. I wouldn't be surprised if that accounted for something like half of all "stolen" packages.

Perhaps the main reason this state of affairs persists is because of the way Amazon in particular handles it when your package don't arrive. One phone call, nowadays even an email, with a specific complaint and your account is credited and/or a new item sent. They don't bother even asking for a police report, except perhaps for high value items. I once had a high value item stolen that was purchased through eBay. Very different experience. I know it was stolen, because my kid found the denuded packaging a block away, with our name on it. eBay said file a police report, which I did. I got the Lebowski treatment: the local precinct was not interested, even when I explained that I need a report to file for shipping insurance. I had to go in person to the precinct house, and they assured me they'd work it in shifts. Still took many weeks to get credited by eBay, so, well, fuck eBay. And the USPS. I've never had a package stolen or misdelivered from Fedex Ground or UPS, and we know personally the delivery guys for both services. I know our postal delivery guy, and he's an unfriendly guy who sits on our and other's stoops and reads newspapers, but doesn't even acknowledge a greeting.

bagoh20 said...

We have the Ring doorbell camera, and we've had packages stolen. You get to watch the crime, but that's about it. One cool thing about the system is that people in your neighborhood can post their videos and it can be entertaining content on your phone. There are lots of package thief videos. The system does help catch people though. One the other day was two guys pull their truck into the driveway and load up two huge packages and drive off. The licence plate was clearly visible. You can hear the owner yelling at them over the speaker from inside, but they moved very fast. Other people saw the video and found the found the truck later. The cops got them. The truck had stolen plates. You also get to see a lot of people creeping around other people's yards and checking car doors in the driveway, or trying door scams that the camera does prevent. The social media video portion is like your own local crime show.

daskol said...

I think a lot of people in my neighborhood and other non-apartment building dominated ones give a gift to the Fedex or UPS guy. I think people used to also consider the USPS delivery and sanitation guys this time of year, but not anymore. Too much aggressive indifference, from the garbage/recycling trucks and crews utterly indifferent to the obstructing traffic to even damaging cars on the narrow streets and just driving on. The contrast between the USPS and the other delivery services has, I suspect, more or less killed the tradition of Xmas consideration of postal delivery folks.

daskol said...

NYC is a lot safer than it used to be, but petty crime is still there. You don't often see broken into cars anymore but woe unto you if you leave it unlocked. I used to sit on my stoop and watch kids walk down the block and, pretty suavely, check every single car door on the way.

Matt said...

Sounds like London's foreigner mayor's quote about big cities and 'part and parcel' is appropriate here.

It is interesting to watch a society collapse, actively supported and promoted by half of the collapsing society itself. I don't think it can be seriously argued that this is not a natural progression of the last 50+ years of social policy.

Shouting Thomas said...

By the bye, the solution to this "problem" in NYC is to live in a doorman building.

New Yorkers figure if you don't live in a doorman building, whatever happens to you is your own damned fault.

Bruce Hayden said...

High trust versus low trust areas. NYC is low trust, and has this problem. Most of us here chose not to live in low trust areas, so rarely face this problem. At our house in MT, I receive almost daily packages, because it is 80 miles to the nearest Walmart. Never lost anything, of course. Right now it is in a neighborhood with 10 houses, 9 of them with retired residents. You know who belongs, and who doesn’t. Here in the PHX suburbs, Walmart is a couple blocks away, Home Depot about a half mile, Cabelas 2 miles, Costco and SamsClub about 4 miles. My partner calls it airing out. But I go out shopping most days. Still, I have cameras all over the place, including by the front door. Last summer, garage door was open for half a day, until next door neighbor called us and the cops. Have a camera there too, of course, and the first person into the garage after we left was the cop who responded. Surprisingly high trust area, despite being almost brand new. Heavily Hispanic and an active Neighborhood Watch. Seems to work. Never a problem, or a stolen package.

Funny thing to me is that there seems to be a high correlation between strict gun control and low trust areas. The places you would logically need to be armed the most are the ones least likely to allow you to be. In western MT, the only place I would expect there to be problems with missing packages, is around campus in Missoula, the city that tried to exempt itself from from statewide gun laws (sorry Missoula, but my concealed carry permit, issued in a county where most everyone in the court house has one, means that I can carry concealed almost everywhere there).

daskol said...

That's a Manhattan thing, Thomas, and you and your $600 (probably now more like $1600) parking spots and doorman buildings sound like a provincial Manhattanite--I kinda miss those, now that it's all out of towners living there. There are a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn with big apartment buildings, but mostly people live in 1-4 family buildings and, gasp, park on the street or in their yard via an illegal curb cut.

Michael K said...

All you need is a secure little apartment for your few things, a place to keep your stuff and to sleep, and the whole city is yours.

This is significant. You are young and don't have much. Life is simple and fun. I remember early years in Los Angeles when it was paradise. We would date UCLA girls and drive across town on Saturday to pick them up. Now, that would take two or three hours.

When I was in NYC the last time it was 1995. The lawyer whose witness I was had a little office down the street from the court house, He had a window air conditioner and a steel cage to keep his clients from stealing it. He was the lawyer Richard Dreyfuss played in the movie, "Nuts," the best that Barbra Streisand ever did.

Tom T. said...

"Unless those two kids had a cold, I doubt they were happy once they opened the package..."

I once saw an episode of Intervention where the woman was getting high off of Robitussin. They called it Robo-tripping.

crescentcityconnection said...

I live in the capitol of South Dakota Piere,and if I had to guess I'd say at least 90% of residents here have guns. Lots of Amazon packages sent here as shopping opportunities in town are very limited. No problem with package thefts and home burglary is virtually unheard of, probably because any would be burglars would go home in a body bag.

daskol said...

Low trust indeed, which is why any example of human kindness and familiarity that one expects in a high trust area stands out here in a very moving way. I have, for example, a local hero--the crossing guard--who takes down license plates and tells us on the block who smashed up our cars, even though there's nothing in it for her and in fact it's quite a hassle to take insurance interviews. Or the folks who have similarly numbered homes and bring over our misdelivered packages, or even the people on the subway who in familiar and sometimes strident terms tell the rest of the herd to get their asses to the middle of the car because there are people trying to get in. These things stand out and can provide very moving moments.

Michael K said...

Right now it is in a neighborhood with 10 houses, 9 of them with retired residents.

Our place in Tucson, fortunately just outside the city, is on a street with 7 houses, each on an acre. No sidewalks or curbs, which my wife is finally getting used to. No streetlights except at major intersections. Tucson is a "dark city:" because of Kitt Peak and U of A Astronomy.

I look at crime statistics in the paper every week. All crime of south of the river, an area with heavily Hispanic population. We get packages , especially this time of year. No concern.

William said...

In Manhattan, wealthy and upper middle class people live in doorman buildings. The package thieves are not stealing from the wealthy.....Also, as Fernandstein at 7:06 points out, that 15% figure is wildly inflated. What with all the surveillance cameras, NYC is now a neighborhood with eyes. I have the feeling that porch piracy--in Manhattan anyway--is probably less than in other parts of the country.....Is porch piracy such a lucrative crime? It seems very hit or miss with all the risks and only sporadic rewards. I like to think that NYC criminals are more sophisticated and evolved than the meth heads in the rest of the country.

daskol said...

Nobody gives up their seats for ladies anymore, even pregnant ladies have to ask. But somehow every single mom or nanny pushing a gigantic stroller gets an immediate hand from a passing stranger dragging the monstrosity up or down multiple flights of stairs to or from the subway. Unlike London, though, we have one way streets, so drivers don't need to cooperate as they do there and share a two-way street barely wide enough for a single car to pass. That amazes me.

daskol said...

I would not be so certain the numbers are inflated. Nobody bothers reporting this stuff to the police, but if you did a proper survey that ratio doesn't feel far off. Probably a majority are just delivered to the wrong address. I bet the USPS ratio is over 15% misdelivered, and the "redelivery" rate under 5.

chuck said...

>> Part of living in NYC is loving the things you can do that the nonNYers can't. <<

Like stealing packages?

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

All you need is a secure little RV for your few things, a place to keep your stuff and to sleep, and the whole city is yours. Or any city or no city. Or any place at all.

readering said...

What I gave up moving to LA from NYC? Getting mugged going home from store or elsewhere.

daskol said...

If you want to get mugged reliably, you're better off walking around newly gentrified/gentrifying neighborhoods in DC.

Jupiter said...

"I wonder if bus-type public transportation will survive?"

Don't you worry. As long as Democrats are running things, there will be buses cruising the streets, paid for by people who don't ride them.

CWJ said...

If Seinfeld was still being written, instead of donations in their names to the "Human League," George would tell everyone about the expensive presents he had delivered to them.

CWJ said...

Jupiter,

Kansas City is seriously considering doing away with bus fares altogether. We have a light rail system that shuttles back and forth about 2 miles between the river market neighborhood and Union Station. In it's present configuration, it's essentially a civic uplift gimmick, and it's free to ride. The argument goes that if the "trolley" is free, so should the buses be free.

Roughcoat said...

Suggest New Yorkers contract the mafia to provide a deliveries protection service.

Roughcoat said...

"because you had walk-out interestingness.

I hate "walk-out interestingness." I don't want things to be interesting where I live. I want peace and quiet. I want predictably and calm. Being a writer, I have all the "interestingness" I can handle, and then some, going on inside my head. When I want ""walk-out interestingness" I travel. That's what travel is for.

"Walk-out interestingness" where you live is for people with stunted imaginations.

In this I follow Flaubert's advice to writers: “Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Yancey Ward said...

I think George made up the "Human Fund", else I never made the connection to "Doncha Want Me, Baby".

Char Char Binks said...

The death penalty is the only solution.

mockturtle said...

In this I follow Flaubert's advice to writers: “Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Nice quote, roughcoat, but how would Flaubert have explained Hemingway?

Roughcoat said...

I live in a near ("collar) suburb on the southwest side of Chicago. Majority of my neighbors are Irish Catholic refugees from the South Side. There is virtually no crime here of any kind; violent crime is nonexistent, property crimes and theft and burglary are rarities. No home break-ins. Never had anything stolen from porch or property. The crime report in the weekly village email circular is sparse and boring. I often leave my front door unlocked; and, mind you, on a clear day I can see the Willys Tower in Chicago from my second floor windows. I'm fairly certain that the majority of my neighbors are gun owners but we don't talk about this (except, sometimes, at our annual Mayberry-like block parties, and then only with great circumspection). The neighborhood is very pretty and boring and I love it. Too bad Illinois/Cook County taxes are so high otherwise I'd be content to live here until I go toes up. As it is, we'll be soon moving across the border to Indiana where the towns are even more boring and peaceful and wonderful.

CWJ said...

Yancey Ward,

"Human Fund." Exactly. Thanks for the correction.

Roughcoat said...

mockturtle:

There is no explaining Hemingway, LOL! He was a brilliant writer and I greatly admire him as a writer, but -- what an unhappy son-of-bitch he was. Anyway, I like Flaubert's advice. I think it's good advice for writers who don't require external stimulation to kick-start and fuel their creativity. I'm one of those. Hemingway was, obviously, quite the opposite in this regard.

Christy said...

My last delivery of rather pricey meds included a card describing my delivery options. This suggests to me that porch pirates are becoming an issue. And I hate the term "porch pirate." It perfectly describes the phenomenon, but is a very attractive, sexy, appealing term. What suck wouldn't want to be a porch pirate?

Christy said...

Scum! Scum! What scum wouldn't want to be a porch pirate?

Yancey Ward said...

In the age of Trump, shouldn't we expect that thieves in NY City would run amok?

wholelottasplainin' said...

My solution to porch theft would be to install one of those wifi doorbells with a camera, sync it up to my home network, then remote-access it from work or iphone.

Some tweaker shows up on my porch to steal my packages, and BLAM! I blow his ass up with the Claymore mine I've hidden in a flower pot on the porch stoop.

Coupla loud BLAMS! here and there, TV news videos showing hair, teeth and eyeballs splattered all over some porches, and word would soon get out to the meth heads.

Rough justice.

Bruce Hayden said...

“There are a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn with big apartment buildings, but mostly people live in 1-4 family buildings and, gasp, park on the street or in their yard via an illegal curb cut.”

Don’t know how they live that way. Have a 3 car garage in PHX, and 2 car in MT. That is obviously not big enough, so my project next summer is to build a 1200 square foot garage and shop on the lot I bought next door. Actually probably half again that, because the HOA asked why I wasn’t making it high enough for an RV. Doing that on one side, and I effectively have a second floor possible on the other side and in the back, and it should still be under the 25’ height limit. Going to be great fun. Guy across the street plans on moving, because he now has a bigger boat, that won’t fit in his garage where he is now.

Here is what I expect to put in the two garages in MT:
In the attached garage (my partner drives them into town when I am gone)
- Audi A4Q in the garage
- Polaris side by side ATV.
New garage:
- my beater Chevy Silverado (full sized) Z71 pickup
- an off-road Jeep or similar
- a nice pickup (friend has had his brother’s V10 F250 in his garage for years and wants it out)
- Chevy Tahoe (currently in PHX as my second vehicle here, but SIL is going to use it to tow the Polaris back up to MT this summer).

No RV. Yet. The beater pickup lives outdoors already (right now it has a tank of ethanol free gasoline, the battery disconnected, and on a trickle charger - should start up immediately next spring after reconnecting the battery). Maybe the Tahoe outside too - it survived one winter outside there, but was hard to start in the spring because I hadn’t installed the battery disconnect yet.

How do you survive parking on the street?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

My solution would be roving vigilantes-- think Charles Bronson in Death Wish-- tracking and shooting package thieves. It's a very NYC solution, and the problem would resolve itself.

Jim at said...

Shoot, shovel and shut up.

mockturtle said...

And I hate the term "porch pirate." It perfectly describes the phenomenon, but is a very attractive, sexy, appealing term.

Christy, I totally agree. Too cute and acceptable. 'Package plunderers' would do, if they must alliterate.

mockturtle said...

Tyrone suggests: My solution would be roving vigilantes-- think Charles Bronson in Death Wish-- tracking and shooting package thieves. It's a very NYC solution, and the problem would resolve itself.

Maybe plant a few random explosive packages here and there as bait and wait for the fun.

Biff said...

My neighbors and I are convinced that our USPS letter carrier is dyslexic because of how often we receive each other's mail. It's bad enough that I started renting a PO box at the UPS Store years ago for receiving important mail and packages. I've never regretted it.

daskol said...

Ha Bruce, that sounds nice. I drive the best kind of car to drive in NYC: later model that attracts neither cops nor robbers (nor women, but I'm sorted out), and is rugged in appearance such that additional scratches just give it more character. I also have a very friendly relationship with the guy who runs the local bodyshop, because despite the fact that scratches or even gouges don't bug me, I do need to be able to open all the doors. Luxury would be a corner lot with a garage: I can live like a NYer when I want, and like a Montanan when I feel like it.

Milwaukie guy said...

When one of my brothers was homeless in Tucson [winters only], he and his running partners called themselves the ?? Park Pirates. Sleeping where they wanted, stealing what they wanted, drugging and drinking like they wanted. I like the term Asshole Porch Criminals.

daskol said...

I like cuddlebums for the huddled sleeping drunks.

ken in tx said...

"I think a lot of people in my neighborhood and other non-apartment building dominated ones give a gift to the Fedex or UPS guy. I think people used to also consider the USPS delivery and sanitation guys this time of year, but not anymore."

It is illegal for USPS employees and contract carriers to accept gifts or tips. They can be fired for it. Of course that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The quality and reliability of the USPS varies a great deal from location to location. The best service I have experienced was in rural North Carolina. The worst was in DC. There, I would sometimes find my mail blowing down the street near my driveway.

mockturtle said...

It is illegal for USPS employees and contract carriers to accept gifts or tips. They can be fired for it. Of course that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

I've always given cards with 'gifts' to the mail carrier. The amount of the 'gift' would depend on the carrier. Some are better than others.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Those damn white men ruin everything, don't they.

Caligula said...

New York City: where the future used to happen. Yet lately it sometimes seems more like a museum. "See this marvelous 20th Century transportation system? Yes, they called those 'subways'. And they used to actually work (most of the time).

Perhaps they'll implement home delivery via pneumatic tube (but then some ace will insert a canister of poison gas, or at least a stinkbomb, in one or more of them).