Safety in the City

Before coming to Baruch, I never really came to the city. I’m not sure why, it’s close to where I live. My family and I just seldom come. I probably only visited twice before coming to the city for anything college related. Now that I think about it, that is a very ridiculously small number. Anyway, my first visit to Manhattan was an eye-opener.

Walking the city blocks for the first time next to my dad was an experience I’ll never forget. As we were traversing our way to our destination (which was to go visit the Empire State Building) I saw something that changed the way I viewed the city.

Someone got pickpocketed. I remember it like it was yesterday.

A man with red hair and a red beard was walking down 34th street. He was wearing a pea coat, jeans, and black leather shoes. With white earbuds in, he seemed like he was enjoying his music. Then, a man with a scruffy beard and a thick moustache followed him. He was wearing a black hoodie, light jeans, and a baseball cap. The bearded man pulled out a cell phone and began talking into it. Although he did not look at the caller ID or press any buttons. He just began talking into it, using so many words to say absolutely nothing. Right as the red-headed man was turning the corner onto 6th Avenue, the bearded man walked straight into him. The black pea coat and the black hoodie seemed to fight with each other as the garments rubbed against each other. There was a mixture of black between the two men. Then suddenly, the chaos stopped, the bearded man turned and briskly walked away. About five seconds later, the red-headed man ran after him.

It happens often in the city but it changed my perspective. From now on, I am much more aware. I always check to make sure my wallet is in my pocket, I have much more street savoir-faire. I always had it, but it has been much better since I saw that attempted robbery.

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5 Responses to Safety in the City

  1. Nancy Zhu says:

    It’s interesting that you wrote about this experience. I have been living in the city for all my life and I have never encountered such here. However, I have seen this in China. It was a crazy experience, something I would have thought only happened in shows. I saw this man follow another man with an extended chopsticks reaching into his pants pocket in a busy street. But the man fortunately felt it, turned around, and snapped at him. I wonder to what extent and what some people do in other countries…

  2. chriswoo says:

    Normally pick pocketers are better then that and don’t get caught so I guess in a way it’s lucky that he was able to run after him? I wonder if he ever caught him. But regardless, that’s a pretty scary experience, to know that even stuff in your own pockets so close to you isn’t safe. It may be less traumatic than a full out robbing or mugging, but it still affects your mental state in a negative way. I just hope the guy got his stuff back after chasing him down.

  3. Gen Hua Tan says:

    I’m actually not surprised by this; I know from experience and my friend who was in a similar situation that being pick pocketed might have been a safe experience. I remembered a time back in 6th grade when I was surrounded by a group of teenagers (much older than me) and one of them held a knife towards me, urging me to give him all my money. I was in front of a supermarket in Chinatown, but that didn’t stop them. A lot of people passed by but none seemed to care (perhaps they thought that we might friends, even though they were covering their faces). Luckily for me, in a way, they searched my pockets and found nothing so they left. I was a block from my apartment building too.

    As for my friend, someone pointed a knife at him near a store very close to his apartment building when he was walking home at night. And likewise, luckily for him, because he was in front of a store, that person left after my friend told him lightly to not doing something stupid when they’re in front of a store with video cameras.

    In essence, the city is not as safe as people think. More so in my case because I live in Harlem now. Nothing has happened yet, and hopefully nothing will happen.

  4. John Scanlon says:

    I’m surprised that you encountered a man attempting to pick pocket someone else. Although its always on the news and people are always warning of the dangers of pick-pocketers, I’ve still yet to see it in action. Also like Chris said, I’m surprised he wasn’t more sneaky about it. The majority of the time, people do not realize until after the matter is said and done. I wonder how many people are pick pocketed in NYC each year?

  5. Luke O'Dowd says:

    I too have never seen someone actually pick pocketed, although I have been warned it happens quite frequently in New York. My friend actually saw a tourist have his wallet stolen just a few weeks ago in the subway. The thief, in the overcrowded subway, managed to grab the man’s wallet from his back pocket and quickly disembark the train as the doors were closing. The man quickly shouted his wallet had been taken, but there was really nothing he could do. The thief was long gone. His wife scolded him for not having put his wallet in his front pocket as she suggested.

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