Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vive la Bronx! Locals say French pols are wrong, boro is safer than ever


  French pols compare Paris to Bronx to highlight surge in crime in the City of Lights. Bronxites offended by Parisian mayoral candidates using old stereotypes of borough.
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Viorel Florescu/for New York Daily News

 Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said it was offensive that French pols were comparing Paris to the Bronx to highlight a crime surge in the French capital.

The Bronx is burning...with indignation.
Paris made a grand faux pas when mayoral candidates there debated the sources of a spike in crime in the City of Light.
Now, Bronxites are all fired up.
“Paris resembles the Bronx,” said former National Police chief Frederic Pechenard, who’s running for mayor of Paris’ 17th arrondissement, according to the website Quartz Daily.
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has led the terse rejoinder, aiming an appropriately tart Bronx jeer in the direction of Gay Paree.
“Enough already,” the beep said on Monday. “While we may not be home to the Eiffel Tower, we are the home to 1.4 million hardworking people who are proud of their hometown, and how far the Bronx has come.”
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Yankee Stadium is a huge tourist attraction in the Bronx, a borough of some 1.4 million people.

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Yankee Stadium is a huge tourist attraction in the Bronx, a borough of some 1.4 million people.

Pechenard, whom the site called a “right-wing vote-bundler,” made his gauche claim by way of arguing that Paris is in the midst of a downward spiral.
His opponents waded into the cesspool, with Rachida Dati, a member of the European Parliament, noting that “The Bronx is lawless.”
“Paris is not the Bronx,” Dati added, her nose presumably turned upward.
Well, ain’t that a kick in the old Pinstripes.
We’ve come a long way since the Summer of Sam, officials and residents said Monday.
Crime rates last year were among the lowest the borough has ever recorded, Diaz noted, and the borough boasted the strongest private-sector job growth in the five boroughs, according to a report from the city Economic Development Corp.
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 French mayoral candidates are under fire for comparing Paris to the Bronx to highlight a surge in crime in the French capital.

JACQUES BRINON/AP

 French mayoral candidates are under fire for comparing Paris to the Bronx to highlight a surge in crime in the French capital.

Just last week, the City Council approved plans to turn the long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice-skating center.
“Yet here we are, once again, forced to defend our hometown from the slanders and libels of politicians thousands of miles away,” Diaz railed.
Bronxites Monday said it was jejune — and wrong — for French pols to politicize the borough and advance ugly stereotypes in a ploy to sway voters.
“No one anywhere in the state or the country or internationally should classify us in the Bronx as having the highest crime statistics,” said Sarah Caliman, 71, who has lived in the borough for more than 50 years and said the comment made her skin crawl.
“It absolutely offends me,” she added. “Read the right information and statistics if you are able to be in a glass house and throw stones. It’s discouraging.”
Another resident, Kevin Williams, concurred.
The 38-year-old has lived in the Bronx all his life, and he wanted to know if the French candidates had ever even visited uptown.
“I don’t see much crime here,” he said. “I hope people eventually stop seeing the Bronx as a dangerous place. It has gotten safer.”
jcunningham@nydailynews.com
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