I’ve noticed more and more that New Yorkers have become rather cavalier about their possessions. Parents leave $500 strollers unattended on sidewalks. Girls leave bicycles unlocked on the street. Now here’s a guy with total confidence that his iBook will never get swiped.
At the weird "MePa Plaza"—that popular little patch of exhaust-choked potted plants on the 9th Avenue median strip—I watched a guy walk away from his laptop. He disappeared for a couple of minutes. Where did he go? Then I spotted him yards away flirting and bumming a smoke from a girl on the other side of the plaza. He never once turned to check and make sure his laptop was still there.
So what is this about? A sign of low crime, a new freedom in the city? No. It's a sign of people who are clueless, who can afford not to care if their stuff gets stolen. I mean, hey, this was right in front of the Apple store--if your iBook gets swiped there, you can just buy another one. It's a chance to upgrade. No biggie, right?
P.S. The NYPD agrees this is a stupid idea, as they post flyers stating the obvious: "Never leave your pocketbooks, wallets, laptop computers unattended, even for a brief period."