ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: As They Break Ground On Building The World’s Tallest Jail In Chinatown, The Fabled City Is Fast Becoming A Dystopian Hellhole


by Geoffrey Grinder, Now The End Begins:

New York City was once known for building monuments to trade and commerce, now it’s building the world’s tallest jail as it slides into a dystopian future

I went to college in New York City, my older brother Bob lived on Riverside Drive, and back in those days it was called ‘the Big Apple’ and the ‘city that never sleeps’. It built the world’s tallest building, twice, and was globally recognized as being the city of trade and commerce was conducted. New York, New York, the envy of the world. If you can ‘make it there’, you can make it anywhere. And now? Hoo-boy, not so good. Now as residents flee, it’s escape from New York.


Now, New York City has gone in the opposite direct, becoming a sanctuary city that has created homeless encampments along once-prosperous avenues, meth addicts stumbling around in a daze, with needles literally sticking out of their arms. New York City is a dark, scary place and now it will have a monument to its new dystopian status, a jail skyscraper that’s just as chilling as it sounds.  In 1997, the movie ‘Escape From New York’ presented the city as a giant maximum security prison, and when the president’s plane crashed on the island, Kurt Russell’s character was sent in to rescue him, hence the snazzy title of the film. But joke’s on you, Big Apple, that is exactly what you are becoming. I wonder if skyscraper jails will become a trend, you know, just like 15-minute cities?.

New York is building the world’s tallest jail in Chinatown. Can anyone stop it?

FROM THE GUARDIAN US: For nearly two centuries, New York City’s Chinatown has been home to a quintessentially American story: immigrant workers and their families living shoulder-to-shoulder in low-slung tenements. Workers like Dennis Chung, the owner of Pasteur Grill and Noodles, a Vietnamese pho joint he’s run at the neighborhood’s western edge for 27 years – weathering disasters like 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and Covid.

Now another symbol of the American condition is taking shape, directly across from Chung’s shop: a vast new jail. At about 300ft, the new structure is expected to be the tallest correctional facility in the world. And Chung says it could be the thing that finally sinks his business. “With the jail on top of the pandemic, it might be over,” he tells me in Cantonese.

City officials and justice reform advocates say the new jail is a necessary project if they’re going to close Rikers Island, the notoriously grim jail that New York’s city council voted to shut down in 2019. That vote ordered the facility replaced by 2027 with four smaller jails throughout the city, including the one in Chinatown – which planners say will be a more humane institution conveniently located steps from downtown courthouses.

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