Throughout the Covid shutdowns, I felt like Wendy Kroy in The Last Seduction. If you’ve never seen the movie, the only thing you need to know is that a running theme is that the protagonist, hiding out upstate after stealing a lot of money, has got to get back to New York. Even the alias she uses is “New York” spelled backwards (sort of).

For nearly two years, every morning I’d wake up thinking, I’ve got to get back to New York. Well, I’m back, and this isn’t what I meant at all. I wanted to...

Throughout the Covid shutdowns, I felt like Wendy Kroy in The Last Seduction. If you’ve never seen the movie, the only thing you need to know is that a running theme is that the protagonist, hiding out upstate after stealing a lot of money, has got to get back to New York. Even the alias she uses is “New York” spelled backwards (sort of).

For nearly two years, every morning I’d wake up thinking, I’ve got to get back to New York. Well, I’m back, and this isn’t what I meant at all. I wanted to be in the city that never sleeps, where I could walk around carefree, even at night, take the subway, and live within a few blocks of every possible convenience.

Instead, this happened. Two years after the shutdowns began — restaurants closed; then open with social distancing, masking and a 10 p.m. curfew; then closed again, except outside in the middle of winter; then open, with masking and a vaccine card — Covid’s finally gone! Hurray! (It was gone in Florida two years ago. That governor is a miracle-worker!)

But the New York I’ve come back to is Death Wish New York. Thank you, Democrats! In 2019, for the first time since World War Two — except one year, 1964 — Democrats won total control of state government. And the number one item on their “To Do” list was to pass a no-jail law, requiring the immediate release of suspects arrested for basically anything short of intentional murder.

The no-jail law went into effect in January 2020.

For the first six months, the no-jail law worked great! Of course, it’s freezing from January through March and then the entire city was shut down for Covid. Apparently, street crime disappears when there’s no one on the street. But then, on May 25, a fentanyl addict was killed by police in Minneapolis, unleashing a bacchanal of violence in Democratic-controlled towns across the land.

It had taken twenty years for New York mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg to round up the criminals. It took only one year for Democrats to release them.

In a total surprise to the party in power, criminals continued to commit crimes. But this time, they knew that, even if they got arrested, they’d be right back on the street in about an hour.

Despite the city being virtually crime-free for the first half of 2020, by the end of the year murders were up 44 percent, shootings up 97 percent, car thefts up 67 percent and burglaries up 42 percent.

Here are some of the wonderful ways my life has been changed by the Democrats’ decision to release criminals and promise not to lock them up for any new crimes. The subway, heavily subsidized by taxes, is now a no-go zone for taxpayers. Lots of people still take it, but only because they have to. Such as to get to their jobs.

I don’t need to take the subway to a job, because I don’t have one, so my subway use was never more than the occasional foray into the piquant life of the city. But it’s fabulous. You can get from the Upper East Side to Union Square in eight minutes flat — only three stops! — rather than the thirty to sixty minutes it would take in a taxi on clogged city streets. (If you want to enrage your friends who have to take it every day, start talking about the marvel that is the New York City subway system.)

Now, it’s a cab both ways, adding another hour, and another $40, to any casual dinner with friends. So I don’t have as many dinners with people who don’t live in my neighborhood anymore.

Even in the safest area of the city, the Upper East Side — all residential, and bristling with restaurants and doormen — I can’t walk alone after dark. On a lovely spring night this year, I walked a friend to his club, planning to continue a few more blocks up Park Avenue to get home. New York is a walking city! And it was a nice night.

Then I saw a nut in the distance and recalled that at dinner, a crazy homeless man had burst into our restaurant, sat at our table and made a total menace of himself, terrifying the restaurant staff and boring me. (Terrible conversationalist.) I took a cab the five blocks home.

We’ve all gone back to David Dinkins-era rules: girls get walked home after dark; stick to streets lined with doormen and restaurants; no subway after 8 p.m. (or ever, in my case) and no real jewelry. I might get knifed for my watch, but — haha, the joke’s on my mugger when he finds out it’s a fake!

Oh, but here’s something new: almost everything at the drugstore is in a locked case. So that’s fun — and a real time-saver!

The “mostly peaceful protests” in the Year of Our Floyd even made it up to the swank stores on the Upper East Side. You know, where people live. Many have closed, leaving open only their flagship stores on Fifth Avenue — where no one lives. (Sorry — no one lives on Fifth Ave, Midtown, except Donald Trump, who thinks it’s fancy to live in a luxury shopping district.) I guess this is convenient for tourists, but it’s massively inconvenient for New Yorkers.

On the bright side, there are a lot fewer rich people to inconvenience, what with 300,000 of them fleeing New York in 2020 — mostly to Florida — and depriving the city of $21 billion in taxable income. Let’s just hope the criminals are religious about reporting all their income.

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s September 2022 World edition.