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New Yorkers steeled to the reality of a more dangerous world

Amtrak police special operations unit stands by outside

Amtrak police special operations unit stands by outside of Penn Station. (Getty) Credit: Amtrak police special operations unit stands by outside of Penn Station. (Getty)

New Yorkers - many of whom have grown up having their bags rifled, water bottles confiscated and pants examined before getting on planes - are already inured to the hassles they expect to be subjected to in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. They plan to use their "spidey sense" and be extra vigilant of the things and people around them, but they wouldn't dream of avoiding crowded sporting events, performances or concerts.

"My whole adult life I've heard about security threats. I'm used to it," said Alex Garcia, 29, a human resources administrator from Astoria. "I just don't worry about it," he said.

But Andrew Ross, 28, a musician and musical instrument repairman from Bushwick, complained that many security precautions - such as staffers confiscating water and food brought into concerts - are "commercially driven," and designed more to reap profits than to protect people. Ross doesn't resent the delays and security procedures, but wishes there was an honest and transparent accounting of exactly how much safer the various precautions are making us. "For all this inconvenience, how many lives are we saving?" he asked.

Her bottle of water is unlikely to be a threat to anyone, chorused Leola Brown, 23, a hair dresser from St. Alban's, Queens, "I do resent it: It's to help them make money," and such confications are “ridiculous” Brown said. But no way will she avoid her beloved Jets, Giants and jazz concerts, even though she increasingly has the sense citizens are increasingly treated as if “we’re in jail."

Reyna Franco, 50, a dietician and personal trainer from the Upper West Side, ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing before the bombs imploded. Franco’s next goal is to participate in the New York Triathlon in July. "I can't let this frighten me," she said. People who do "unfathomable things" are now a fact of life throughout the country - not just in New York - but we all must figure out a way to navigate the new surreal reality, she said. "Everything will be more of a hassle, but I have to do the things I do every day and learn to be more patient," with lines, pat downs and checkpoints, she said.

Nicole Minott, a mother of a seven-year-old and nine-month old girl from Concourse Village, the Bronx, said life with her girls will go on as before. "I don't like taking them to events with crowds anyway because there are a lot of germs," said Minott.
 

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