Brothels operate openly on New York City’s streets, causing residents frustration. Around twelve brothels are working in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, targeting customers on Roosevelt Avenue. These establishments attract customers on weekends and offer various services, including happy-ending massages for $40 and full-body massages for $80. Intoxicated men seeking sexual favors from sex workers are also frequently seen loitering.
The presence of an illegal sex trade has raised concerns among mothers in the neighborhood, who claim that prostitutes involve local children in distributing explicit business cards featuring women in revealing clothing. A group of approximately 20 moms has established the Community of Young Values and Principles in Corona to address the issue of the sex trade’s exploitation of their children.
The NYPD has shifted its focus from arresting prostitutes to targeting “johns,” individuals who purchase sex. In 2020, the number of arrests for prostitution in New York City was significantly lower compared to previous years. Advocates express concern about the heightened vulnerability of Central American and Asian women to sex trafficking.
Some brothels advertise on YouTube in Spanish, featuring videos of women soliciting men on Roosevelt Avenue and stating their prices for sexual services. The Queens district attorney has closed at least six alleged brothels since June using nuisance laws, allowing them to impose significant fines and shut down the establishments for a year.
Residents claim that numerous brothels continue to operate in the borough, while the police prioritize hassling street vendors selling food rather than addressing the issue of prostitutes openly engaging in sex work. The NYPD has proactively changed its approach to vice enforcement, targeting individuals who engage in the purchase or promotion of sex.
New York is experiencing increased homelessness and certain types of violent crime, such as car thefts and felony assaults. Murder, rape, and robbery have decreased this year.
Still, decadence on display in the street is not a good look for society. It’s dystopian.