Residence in New York shouldn't mean a literal life behind bars, even if the dimensions of some apartment bedrooms do remind us of jail cells. The Times notes today the gradual elimination of metal bars and grates on windows around the city?safety features that were once de rigueur for anyone living below the second floor of a building (or higher if there's scaffolding!). Gentrification, with its concerns for aesthetics over things like home security, along with a lower general crime rate in the city, mean that home owners and renters are feeling more comfortable without a steel cage blocking their views.
Whether or not one installs window guards also has to do with one's own personal attitudes. The Times talked to one 26-year-old window bar enthusiast in the Bronx who also owned a pitbull named Rex for home protection. Over in Williamsburg, the paper profiled an anti-bars resident who felt his Pomeranian's barking was a sufficient burglar deterrent.
If home burglary is on the decline?reducing the need for window bars outside apartments?maybe it's because burglars have discovered that restaurants and retailers are lower hanging fruit in the B&E game.