One likely reason: The virus was but the last straw; New Yorkers are fed up with the shootings and lootings, homelessness on the streets, sub-par online schools, sky-high taxes and the sheer obliviousness of pols like Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
On Sunday, The NY Post highlighted families who’ve given up on the Upper West Side — now teeming with junkies, the homeless, convicts and others — and are headed for greener pastures outside Gotham.
Meanwhile, Fox Business reports that moving companies are seeing a continuing surge in citywide business that began soon after the COVID outbreak. And while many of those fleeing may come from Manhattan, the trend is surely not confined to the Upper West Side.
It’s been “insanely busy,” Roadway Moving President Ross Sapir told Fox. Indeed, he says this has been the busiest summer ever for the company. “For the last three months, we couldn’t keep up with demand.”
Oz Moving says the number of relocations continues to rise at a “substantial rate.” It was booked to capacity earlier in the year than in any of the previous 27 years.
United Van Lines, too, cites a whopping 95 percent spike, year over year, in interest in moving out of Manhattan between May and July, versus just 19 percent nationally.
Sure, many of those who’ve headed out were merely trying to escape COVID, which socked the city in the spring. Some may even return; a reported spike in storage-space business is a sign they will.
Yet the fact that the rush for the exits continues to grow, even as new coronavirus cases have plummeted, suggests other reasons. Like the crime wave: The number of shootings per day, for instance, has doubled since last year. Other crimes are up, too.
City and state officials have fueled crime, setting inmates at jails and prisons free and handcuffing cops, and they refuse to do anything meaningful to roll it back. Prosecutors, too, are declining to prosecute. Judges are letting suspects walk.
Last month, Bronx Criminal Court Judge Jeanine Johnson released an illegal-immigrant rape suspect, on no bail. Last year, she let a convicted killer and reputed gangbanger walk bail-free after a gun bust.
Quality of life has plunged, as well. Even the owner of an Upper West Side hotel the city’s now using to house homeless derelicts has put his nearby mansion up for sale. Lousy schools and even worse online classes provide yet another reason for folks to skedaddle. Ditto for high taxes, which de Blasio — and fellow Democrats in the Legislature — are itching to raise even more.
And remember, the Escape From New York actually began long before the pandemic: Data last year, based on the 2018 Census, showed that the metro area was tops in the nation in net population loss, with 277 people leaving, on average, every day — twice the rate in 2017.
Take it all as a sad comment on the state of the city. And pray for a turnaround. ✪