Friday, June 15
Which New York City Borough Would Win an All-Out Civil War?
"New York City is a miracle. Somehow, 8.5 million people of every possible race, religion, political affiliation, economic class, and temperament live practically stacked on top of each other in relative peace. The murder rate is at its lowest ebb in decades. The ugly riots in Crown Heights in 1991 seem like a thing of a distant past; apocalyptic visions of the city a la The Warriors or Escape from New York are wildly outdated. So it seems safe to let your mind wander and imagine a scenario where the city turns on itself in an all-out civil war—not divided along class or racial lines, but something simpler: If the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island squared off in an epic fight to the death, which borough would come out alive? I put this entirely 100 percent hypothetical question to dozens of grizzled New Yorkers, reporters, conflict strategists, and historians, and they all had extremely strident opinions on it. But before we begin, let’s go over the ground rules. ..."