We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's not in as bad shape as Detroit, but Blue State and Blue (corrupt) local governance have driven most of the jobs away - along with vast numbers of middle- and working-class people. (The prosperous fled in the 50s and 60s.) Therefore, there is no "housing shortage." Housing is cheap, but they will kill you with the property taxes. Thus the old city has no vitality or appeal whatsoever except to urban explorers like us. Death spiral.
What does a pilot do in a death spiral?
The solution is not to bulldoze the city. It's to bulldoze the government. However, at this point the government is basically in the control of government unions and welfare recipients, all feeding on the dry bones of the cadaver. Thus, despite its amenities and opportunities, basically politically hopeless. It's sad.
If they appointed me Dictator of Bridgeport for a few years, I could begin to fix it. Change is good! The first thing I would do is to create a citywide enterprise zone with no corporate or business taxes. Second, I would cut property taxes in half. Might be tough going for a couple of years until markets react, and bankruptcy might have to happen because sometimes you need a fresh start. Third, I would eliminate all government housing. Rents are so low there, anybody can pay them on a welfare or disability check. Fourth, I would make government unions illegal. Fifth, I would prosecute the local Mob with vengeance, no mercy. Everybody knows who they are, and people claim they are in bed with the unions. Sixth, I would eliminate all zoning regulations. Seventh, I would make all schools charter schools - no government-controlled schools. Eighth, a cop or guard on every block, with stop-and-frisk. Well, I could go on and on, but the general idea would be to return such a city to the policies which existed when it became a thriving city, before the socialists, planners, and taxers took over when they realized they could tax and plan the place to death.
It would be an interesting experiment. If it failed (but how could it be worse?), I'd take the fall.
This row of old buildings appeared fully-occupied by Hispanic immigrants, neat, clean, and pleasant but nowhere to go except the abundant old churches, and no street life.
Actually, NYC is far more complicated than you imply. It is currently re-inventing itself as a tech center, and quite successfully too. The financial industry keeps laying off, but my son, for example, is working for E-Bay in NYC. All the major softward companies have big offices here, becuase it is where the bright people are.
NYC also has some amazingly conservative policies. We had a Republican and a pseudo-Republican as Mayors for the last 20 (20!) years.
We have Stop and Frisk, which is squarely aimed at keeping minority youth from street crime (something like 80% of the stops are minorities--every so often the ACLU complains, but nothing changes).
We build new buildings all the time. They are mostly ugly highrise apartment buildings, but they fill right up, and people build more. For all the protests, the Barclays Center got built, and is transforming downtown Brooklyn.
As an out of the closet conservative who lives here, I am constantly amazed. All these liberals vote for Obama, Schumer, etc. But when it comes to their own backyard, they support surprisingly conservative policies, and they are more pro-business (i.e. the new tech industry) than you would ever expect.