My first night out in lovely Harlem from a great vacation was the first time I have ever been threatened in my life. A man purporting to carry a gun and saying he just got out of a ten-year jail sentence asked me for train money. The first time, I gave him more money than I’ve ever given anyone in 6 years of living in New York. He then followed me again telling me what a “monkey ass” I was and how I should give him more. He needed $4, not $2.
I proceeded to give him more even as he continued to point to his “gun” and ask for only quarters. Thank god I had some dollar coins in there. I am so blessed to have exited this situation unharmed and only down 4 dollars. I hope I’m the last person he ever threatens like that if he did in fact just get out of jail. I hope he tries to straighten out his life. Most of all I hope he has a nice Christmas. I didn’t think to tell him that because I was too busy getting myself away from him.
After getting off at my stop on the train and almost ready to publish, I saw NYPD help a woman get her stroller up the stairs. Then I helped. Then someone else helped. Just goes to show what a city of contradictions this can be. I still love Harlem and I still love New York. I do not love how sweaty I am in December. Merry Christmas!