GOVERNMENT: Rescuing New York, and Other Tales

Down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue one morning last week, a group of young choirboys marched on their way to a picnic, hopping gaily and singing Nearer, My God, to Thee. The rest of the city was not so blithe. In the third day of a wildcat sanitation workers' strike, mounds of garbage were rising on the sidewalks, rotting in the July heat. At night, especially in the slums of the South Bronx and Harlem, trash fires flickered and fumed in the streets like smudge pots—and, of course, there were not enough firemen to cope. "Fun City? Fear City?" the head of...

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