July 10, 2006
Hookers in Hell's Kitchen
The New York Post has never been our city's most sensitive newspaper, but we can usually count on them to make the rich and entitled of New York look like jerks and take them down a few notches. But in today's "Hooker Hell" piece, it seems that it's perfectly OK to take a self-important attitude, as long as you're condemning prostitutes.
The stroller-pushing yuppies that have been moving to Hell's Kitchen in droves are shocked to find some hookers walking around early in the morning: "I walk out of my building in the morning to see these girls with their asses hanging out," said Kimberly Solop, 34, who shares a $3,000-a-month two-bedroom on West 48th with her husband and their 2-year-old son. "I don't want him growing up looking at that. It's a lot of money to be paying to have this activity going on."
So, Kimberly, your rent is too high, so you don't want any nasty whores on your sidewalks? Or maybe, like a resident of the fancy Clinton West condos on W. 47th St, you're frightened that these savage prostitutes are threatening your personal safety: "I'm scared," said a resident too afraid to provide his name. "I have two kids, and I live on the first floor, and I don't want anything coming through the window."
Like what, a stiletto heel? People, I understand that hookers hanging out outside your apartment at night can be noisy, but they're certainly no worse than the entire population of Jersey City that gets drunk in the bars on 9th Avenue every weekend, and they're less likely to puke on your stoop.
While they're complaining about prostitution in the neighborhood, residents might consider that many of our city's prostitutes are victims of human trafficking, homeless, live in extreme poverty, get harassed and assaulted by police and their clients, and have only minimum-wage jobs to consider as an alternative to working on the street. Prostitutes may have been part of Giuliani's "quality of life" problems, but I wish the residents of Hell's Kitchen remembered what these women's lives are like before deciding that their expensive rent should mean that they don't have to look at poor, vulnerable people.
Read more on the realities of prostitution in NYC on the Urban Justice Center's website.
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