We're living in the city's golden age: Stop complaining about gentrification. New York is a victim of its own low crime and strong economy.

The chain stores mushrooming across New York are indeed symptoms of the twin terrible diseases that have the city in their throes: safety and prosperity.

Success stories span each of the five boroughs, and overall, the vast majority of the city is much safer and also more attractive than it was in the past. Enforcement of "broken windows" policing has resulted in major improvements in many formerly marginal neighborhoods, especially across Upper Manhattan and much of Brooklyn and the Bronx. Citywide, murders are down a stunning 85% from the record of 2,245 in 1990, and in February, the city recorded a 12-day stretch of no murders whatsoever, the longest in its history.

Waxing nostalgic for the sleaze that consumed so much of the city is much easier if one ignores the body count that accompanied it. Whether it be Williamsburg, Long Island City or Times Square, quality of life has improved significantly. Parks are maintained, bike lanes are sprouting increasingly lengthy tendrils across much of the street grid, and instead of dealing with pimps and prostitutes, the most controversial happening in Times Square is the periodic appearance of anti-Semitic Elmo.

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