New York: The Good News
The New York of today is not your father's New York. We spent 10 days walking and crawling all over the city, day and night, on buses and the subway, and never experienced any crime, harassment or other big city unpleasantness. In fact, quite the opposite. Despite everything you've heard, every single person we ran into ranged from pretty nice to really helpful. We didn't believe it either, but that's what happened.
On a similar note, crime is way, way down in New York. Believe it or not, New York is one of America's safest cities. According to an article in the New Yorker, “On a list of two hundred and forty cities in the United States with a population of a hundred thousand or more, New York City now ranks two hundred-and-twenty-second in crime, down near the bottom with Fontana, California, and Port St. Lucie, Florida.” It's good to know that the grannies of Port St. Lucie are no more dangerous than the thugs of New York City.
Also, please note that no one calls it “The Big Apple,” even tourists. The Sopranos jokes are way old but if you see guys who look like they are from the show they are not but just keep walking. Those sausage-like things on a bun are known as “franks” or “frankfurters,” never “hot dogs.”