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New Yorkers for Vampires
One of the things I miss about the New York I grew up in is that New York was more than just the buildings.
New York was definitely more than the hundred thousand asshats who are supposedly our representatives to the rest of the country.
Yes, back then, I thought the hipsters, the Village people, and the "Manhattan is an island off the coast of Europe" crowd may have topped only 100,000 in a city of 8,000,000.
Okay, a gross exaggeration. They may come to a million total. But voter apathy in New York being what it is, it creates a strange government.
While everyone wants to say that New York is Bloomberg or Al Sharpton, or Tony Danza, every New Yorker I knew would rather have had Rudy Giuliani back.
My point is that New York was the people.
Granted, half of the pedestrians want a Darwin award (some of whom will practically dare you to hit them), and the other half will time the traffic so they don't have to wait for the light (that's me).
As I’ve noted before, the motto of New York is somewhere between cherchez le buck (follow the money) or "Leave me alone and I won't hurt you." Libertarian? Maybe more moderate than anything else.
So, what happens when the monsters come to town?
The first people who'll notice are doctors. The victims rolled into the ER. Once the victims start to pile in, the ER will notice that something's off. Then the local high-risk population will start to notice (hookers, runaway, gypsies, tramps and thieves) because they'll be the ones targeted first. This will in include local street gangs. Then the cops will notice after a while, because that's what criminal informants are for.
When it stops being the high risk population, and starts going into "respectable" homes and neighborhoods, and victims, that's when everyone else starts to notice.
Except that the high-risk population is used to violence.
Criminals have been known to have grown up with police officers on the same block.
Everyone knows everybody else, or can at least find somebody who does.
So when a street cop has to put three into the face of a vampire and the vamp turns to dust when his head comes off, they form a band of brothers who are in the know, and try to stay very, very quiet about it before they end up in the booby hatch.
When the cops and the street gangs start to open carry crucifixes, they notice each other and understand.
When the street gangs gain the attention of a smart mobster, whose own men are starting to buy it, he's going to muscle in.
And then somebody will have to make them all play nice. Probably at gunpoint.
And this doesn't even begin to include what happens when the local Vampire Association starts to notice and decide that this new threat to humans is a threat to their existence — that's book 2.
That's one of the things about the “big city” — once upon a time, I would have argued that New York isn’t one. It is a collection of towns and areas and shires. Bayside is not Flushing. Howard Beach looks nothing like Breezy Point. Jamaica Estates looks nothing like Jamaica Avenue. The Bronx is not Staten Island. One side of Northern Parkway, Crown Heights looks nothing like the other. Greenwich Village isn't Williamsburg … though I suppose there is some crossover.
My section of Queens, in less than a square mile, has a Buddhist temple, the Sikhs, two Catholic churches, two black churches (hats and gloves for the women, ties for the men, period). The synagogue is maybe two miles from the Buddhist temple ... and the Greek Orthodox church.
New York is many, many things. Hipsters, elitists, snobs, Hasids and gangstas, the Irish of Breezy point, the Italians of Howard Beach. and most of us are just regular people who merely want to get through the day.
But if you f*** with us, we will bring some holy hell down on you.
Welcome to New York. Where the vampires will play nice, or the vampires will burn.
… Anyway, that was the theory 10 years ago.
But then, this is Urban Fantasy.
Don’t worry, I’m writing some follow-up novels that address some of the current nonsense. Part of it involves issuing hunting licenses to vampires.
But that’s another story