The media has not done any favors to NYC, Los Angeles, New Orleans or Chicago over the past several years and some of the criticism is warranted, but the reality on the ground in these destinations is that it is about the same as before the pandemic.
My Own Experience
Over the past few months, I have visited NYC myself for both business and personal reasons. In all cases, with the exception of the more pronounced aroma of legalized marijuana, nothing has changed since before the pandemic.
In fact, I just returned from NYC where I had a large group stay in Manhattan who used the subway for all their local transportation around the island. Times Square was lit up, the streets bustling and restaurants full of student groups from across the nation. Battery Park had street vendors and lines for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Central Park was abuzz with pedestrians, bicycles, and carriage rides. Chinatown had a fair amount of street vendors selling souvenirs, knock-off designer handbags and fake Rolexes. The 9/11 Museum was busier than normal and the elevator to the Top of the Rock sped along as usual.
So, to answer the original question ‘Is NYC safe?’… It is about as safe as any major city in the US and about the same as it was before the pandemic when we brought thousands of high school students to the area every year.