Some classic New York traditions are best left in the past. Any Gothamite of a certain age well remembers the bad old days of aggressive squeegee men demanding payment for unwanted services, or aggrieved panhandlers following and threatening subway commuters. As Bill de Blasio wraps up the final year of his malfeasant mayoralty, he is leaving a parting gift. Street harassers are back, and every New Yorker is a potential target.
In February a panhandler punched a 2-year-old in the head on the C train. A bystander, not an MTA cop, rushed in to save the child. In January, a beggar punched a woman on an E train platform for refusing his demand for money.
These are not isolated incidents. Just this past week, squeegee men were hanging out by the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and one panhandler was pounding on the windows of drivers heading for the Lincoln Tunnel….