We Talked to New Yorkers on the Block That Was Bombed About Who Will Make America Safe Again

“He’s like a child.”


New Yorkers are practical. “It would have been awesome to see a dumpster go flying across the street. I would have paid to see that,” Chelsea office worker Matthew Swope told me, deadpan, as we stood near to where a bomb detonated on Saturday night, injuring 29 people and triggering a manhunt across two states. “What else are you going to do?”

Residents and workers along 23rd Street near 7th Avenue were getting on with life Monday afternoon, as police oversaw a complicated crime scene nearby. Meanwhile, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump engaged in a war of words over terrorism, and over who would make Americans feel safer. “They are looking to make this into a war against Islam, rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists,” Clinton said about potential terrorists attacking America. “The kinds of rhetoric and language Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.”

Trump, on the other hand, blamed immigration: “These attacks, and many others, were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system.”

Residents and workers in Chelsea, however, completely rejected Trump’s hardline immigration policy as a solution to future terrorist attacks. “Of course, Clinton—I feel that she can do a better job of protecting us,” Swope said. “She has a much more level-headed personality.”

Jane Nelson, who was visiting a friend in Chelsea, was even blunter: “He knows nothing.”*

Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified the person who said “He knows nothing.”

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