"You’ve gone far away to a place with no horses and very little grass, and you’re studying how to write a story with a happy ending in New York. If you can write that ending for yourself, maybe you can come back."
- Jennifer Echols, Love Story
We all know when we think of New York the first thought is definitely not the word "safe", in fact New York can be a very dark place if you are not careful, and I wasn't. Here is the time I almost got killed in New York.
First picture - Times Square at Broadway; Second picture - Memorial of World Trade Center
Beautiful New York, the city everybody wants to live in.
You know the saying, if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere.
No place better than New York.
Right? Well, not really.
Don't get me wrong, I love New York, I have tons of friends living in New York.
Walking down on Brooklyn Bridge every night would be amazing, casually spending time at Times Square on the weekends with the girls shopping? Sign me up.
But don't forget how freaking expensive it is to live in a place like this, the city is always so dirty because it's always full of people in every corner. New York City never sleeps! It can be any hour of the day, of the night, in this city time never stops. There will be always rushed people everywhere and overall I feel like the people are more stressed living in this town.
And I didn't even mention about the people on Broadway are trying to sell you drugs in the most natural and casual way possible! Not to talk about how honest some homeless people are! All day they sit on the streets with a cardboard written "I need money for drugs". Well takes mate for being so transparent! Do I even have to mention that everybody is armed? Literally every store is asking politely please don't enter with guns.
It happened in October 2014, it was my first time visiting New York City, I did know from the very start that I need to keep away from dangerous places but even so, I ended up exploring New York during the nights.
I would sleep during the day, wake up at 4 PM, and then be out until like 6 AM or more, mostly just walking around Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, Central Park but most of the time walking around Times Square. I loved the lights, the crowded streets, the atmosphere, people dressed in superhero costumes, and the overall vibe. I loved going in every shop and just living my NYC moment.
Everything was great, nothing bad happened, until one night.
I stayed in Brooklyn, but I spent my time in Manhattan, my only transportation was with the metros.
Every night I would take the Times Square 42 St Station, and on this typical night, it was around 3-4 AM.
You don't even notice when time flies because the endless people on the streets never disappear, but I guess around this hour the not-so-nice people are out there.
I go down the stairs, literally every corner on the walls says "Do not buy tickets from others, it's against the law". I head over to the ticket machine to purchase mine. For the very first time, I noticed there were not so many people around the station at that time.
As I walk towards to the machine, there is this man that I think it was either a homeless person or just a gangster (I didn't get to analyze him too much because I tried avoiding eye contact) comes up to me and tries selling me tickets in a very insisting way.
I was just a clueless foreigner trying not to break a law and just stay out of trouble. So I kindly refused and tried to get away as soon as possible because I could just sense trouble coming towards me.
I inserted the money into the machine and took my ticket out, ready to get away really fast. That infuriated him and I could see from the back of my eyes that he had a gang behind him.
And then it happened.
He yield "Why? Is it because I'm black?"
That was the moment I felt I was about to get killed. Nothing good comes out after hearing those words.
I never even looked at his skin color, to this day I don't remember his face, it was just a situation where I just didn't want to cause any trouble.
After yelling those words out his gang started slowly walking towards us and I was damn sure, those people had guns.
I just ended up being surrounded by a dangerous group of people down stairs of a station, where nobody could save me.
I was sure that if they would've killed me on that spot, my family would have never known what have happened to me and my body would've probably never been found.
It was the first time I was afraid to lose my life.
Somehow I got away, I ran to the station entrance, I opened it with the ticket I had in my hands and they didn't follow me.
I guess if they wanted to really do something horrible to me they could've done it, but they must have realized it that it was not the place to do it considering that upstairs were a lot of police officers.
Or maybe I was just not worth the shooting.
I was lucky. But something really bad could've happened.
And not everybody gets lucky. Everyday, somebody gets killed.
So moral of the story is,
Don't go out after midnight! Especially not at 3 AM.
New York is just as beautiful during the day and it applies for every city! Don't go out exploring random cities, keep in mind that you have friends and family that love you and are waiting for you to get home. You can never know what could happen.