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New York City Blues

April 30, 1988

Charles Champlin's astute commentary on the rotting of New York City ("Severe Signs of Rot at the Big Apple Core," April 21) only scratches the surface (macabre pun intended).

Frightened observers have warned for years that the entire infrastructure of New York is crumbling away. Water pipes, grossly antiquated and neglected, burst on regular occasion and cause massive tie-ups. Fires break out in subway tunnels. A cable of the Brooklyn Bridge dives into the East River, while chunks of masonry drop off buildings at frequent intervals.

We here in Los Angeles are constantly preparing for the "Big One" with the hope of mitigating the effects of that disaster; New Yorkers are known to respond only in the face of immediate crises. I fear that New York's "Big One" will arrive first.

VINCENT ALFIERI

Los Angeles

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