Firstly, I’d like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2020. To kickstart this new year I thought I would share some memories of holidays I have spent in New York, with some shocking revelations. Lovers and romantics be warned.
I love the city that never sleeps and adore Times Square with its apparent no-holes-barred attitude to street entertainment. It was hard not to stare at cowgirls wearing virtually nothing but paint, and cowboys with carefully positioned guitars 😉. Bright lights dazzled us, and we were transfixed by cops in uniform carrying guns, something our British policemen don’t do, standing next to NYPD cars, just like in the movies. We were even approached by my all-time superhero Spider-Man. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in any danger and didn’t need saving.
But I was breaking the law.
Apparently in January 1902 flirting in New York was outlawed. As my partner and I wandered around the sites of this wonderful city, we were constantly giving each other knowing looks as we were caught up in the excitement and hoping to have some of our own. To make the situation even graver, I happened to be married at the time. To someone I hadn’t seen for many years. I was in New York with the love of my life, just waiting for a divorce to come through (we are married now, by the way 👰🏼🤵). But after outlawing flirting, it seems the government went on to outlaw adultery in 1907. These laws have never been repealed and I could have been jailed for up to 90 days!
It’s even illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body-hugging clothing”. Perhaps that’s why the cowgirls wear paint instead of Lycra, and there’s always a cop hanging around 👮♂️ ready to pounce on the guilty.
Keeping it legal
One of the many good things about being an author is the freedom to allow your characters to break laws and get away with it. For my research into crime, I use several sources including accessing reports by The Serious Organised Crimes Agency, and speaking to a friend who was a policewoman, or to a lawyer I used to work with. Now it looks as though I need to read up on local laws next time we visit a major city, just in case – you know we Brits are a stickler for the law 😀. It would seem we might not all be as innocent as we think.