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JLM
March 9th, 2004, 08:13 PM
Hi,

I will be visiting NYC for 5 days but I'll be alone on my last night. Is it dangerous to walk around at night alone? Can anyone suggest something that I can do alone at night?

I noticed that the Angelika theatre is playing "Dogville" while I'm there. That's an option, I suppose, but I can always watch a movie in my home town.

Thanks

TLOZ Link5
March 9th, 2004, 09:23 PM
Most of New York is very safe to walk around at night, but you should always be wary of your surroundings because even the nicest of neighborhoods have some crime. I've never been mugged, even in notorios neighborhoods like Harlem, but always be on your guard.

Here are a few tips:

Walk assertively, confidently, briskly and close to the curb, like a native New Yorker. Like in any city, pickpockets and the like prey on anyone who looks like a tourist; easy marks. If you must look around or above you to take in the sights, try and be nonchalant about it.

Always have a MetroCard, enough money for cab fare, and loose change to use a payphone if you don't have a cell phone on you. This isn't necessarily due to staying safe, but if you're stuck in TriBeCa when your hotel is on 57th Street you'll want to be able to get back without having to walk.

At night, walk on the avenues or major streets (examples would by 59th, 57th, 42nd, and 14th) where there are more people and lights; random crime more often occurs on sidestreets that don't have as many nightspots or streetlights. If you think you're being followed, several options are available to you: pretend to call someone up on your cell phone (if you have it) and have a pretend conversation that would make passersby believe you're just about to meet someone. You could also duck into a restaurant, shop, hotel, "doorman" apartment building, or other place along these lines and wait until the person you suspect passes. If they wait outside or go inside with you, ask to speak to a hostess or manager and have them call the police (be sure to do this in a nondescript way if you're followed in). Often this will turn out to be a false alarm, but safety should come first. If the option of going into a place of business is not available, draw attention to yourself while you still have the option of doing so—going into a psychotic/schizophrenic fit has actually worked for a lot of my friends when they're in a sticky situation.

Even when you have the light or there don't seem to be any cars around, look in the direction traffic is coming from, (or both if it's a two-way street) as well as where it's turning onto. For example, if you're on the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Broadway and crossing to the southeast corner when you have the light, make sure that there is no crosstown traffic turning from Ninth onto Broadway. And always give taxi drivers the right of way.

The subways are safe, but stay away from the edge of the platform if you're worried about being shoved in (probably won't happen, of course, but be on the safe side if you have doubts). Late at night, ride in the more-occupied cars, namely the middle one where the conductor is or the front car where the driver is.

The parks are also safe, even at night, but it's not a good idea to go in them after dark. Joggers and people walking on their way home will do this with no problem, but there's always a chance of being mugged (though that chance is increasingly slimmer, thank God); or if you get into some other kind of trouble like get lost or hurt yourself, there probably won't be any people around to help you.

It's generally advised to visitors lodging in hotels, no matter the destination, to flip their deadbolts in addition to the automatic locks on their doors. I'd do this here, as well.

Use your common sense, above all things.

Have fun!

JLM
March 10th, 2004, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely be keeping it in mind. You're right about having common sense, though.

The night in question is the first Sunday in April. I did a search on the night life and it was very interesting to say the least.

Apparently, there was a rude reply to my post. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to read it but I thank the moderator for warning me about it.

normaldude
March 10th, 2004, 01:25 PM
The night in question is the first Sunday in April. I did a search on the night life and it was very interesting to say the least.

Sunday nights are usually gay parties at various clubs. If you're looking for a more mainstream party on Sunday night, you could try Show, Cheetah, or APT.

You can read more about the clubs here:

http://newyork.sheckys.com/
http://clubplanet.com/clubsearch/
http://newyork.citysearch.com/section/bars_nightlife/

Hof
March 16th, 2004, 11:40 AM
TLOZ--your suggestion to "go psycho" when fearing a stranger was spot-on advice.It disarms an assailant and at the same time attracts attention.
Yelling "FIRE" at any time has the same effect.Just don't do it in crowded theatres.

Some years ago,I was walking in a "respectible" area of 5Th Ave.The streets were busy,it was early morning.I noticed a large,well-dressed woman give me the Evil Eye as I approached and passed her on the sidewalk.
Moments later,her heavy purse crashed into the back of my head.It felt like a bowling ball.As I staggered,she struck,grabbing my shirt and practically lifting me off the ground,not an easy task,as I weighed around 210.
She shook me like a puppy.She was powerful AND angry.
"I've HAD it with you,Henry--I know you did it" she screamed as she tossed me around.
I didn't know her,I'm not Henry,and I had no idea what "it"was,but I thought fast and bellowed "YES,I DID IT,AND I'll DO IT AGAIN" and began acting psycho.She let me go with a look of surprise,then turned and wandered off down the Avenue,distraught.At least 20 people watched it happen.
Moments later,we all continued walking down 5Th,enjoying the morning.
Just another psychotic New York moment.

JLM
March 16th, 2004, 12:44 PM
That's is a funny story, Hof. I live in Vancouver, Canada, which is A LOT smaller than NYC but so many insane things have happened to me here. I was punched in the head while walking off of a crowded bus. A knife was pulled out on me (and others) by some drunk at another bus stop. An ugly as sin woman approached me in the middle of a crowded downtown sidewalk and asked me if she could perform some "oral pleasure" on me... that was embarrassing.

Is going to a bar on your own a common thing in NY or is it out of place? I was also wondering if there exists some sort of film archive where rare films can be seen. I'm interested in the early days of film, in particular "Le Manoir du Diable".

Schadenfrau
March 17th, 2004, 02:51 PM
You'd do well to check out Film Forum and Anthology Film Archives, though you're certainly not going to find anything that specific:

http://www.filmforum.com/

http://www.anthologyfilmarchives.org/

Going to a bar on your own is fine in New York, especially on weekdays/weeknights. Real New Yorkers don't go to bars on weekends, anyhow.

Jack Ryan
March 27th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Take a subway to Bowling Green or South Ferry and walk around. Bear north but wander around and you will find yourself among 1930's skyscrapers and 19th Century warehouses. There are also some bars down there but if you go north (uptown) you will surely, eventually find what you need.

JLM
April 7th, 2004, 06:38 PM
Thanks, Schadenfrau. I went to the Angelika and watched "Dogville", which I can recommend... great movie, IMO. SoHo is cool but I didn't see enough of it. The same applies to TriBeCa and the Village. I'll spend more time there on my next visit.

Schadenfrau
April 8th, 2004, 06:18 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.

RedFerrari360f1
April 9th, 2004, 10:34 PM
My advice to you is to pick up a "hot" "piece". If you know where to look you can do well for under $20 dollars. I sugest Mac 10s for user friendlyness.

Trap
February 2nd, 2008, 03:43 PM
There are some good tips here. I would only add that you can reduce your odds if you stay out of rough neighborhoods like Harlem late at night and if you use the buddy system. Since the question is about walking alone at night, my response would be to avoid doing this in the rough and marginal neighborhoods whenever you can avoid it. When you can't, be very aware of your surroundings and have your cellphone handy for calling 911 (assuming you are outside of the subway system).


Most of New York is very safe to walk around at night, but you should always be wary of your surroundings because even the nicest of neighborhoods have some crime. I've never been mugged, even in notorious neighborhoods like Harlem, but always be on your guard.

Yet you can reduce your odds quite a bit if you stay out of places like Harlem or Bed-Stuy at night, particularly if you are white. The brothers in these neighborhoods are increasingly racist and increasingly aware of white people walking among them in this era of gentrification.

Some parts of Harlem are okay, but I would stay away from the vast majority of it at night unless absolutely necessary. And even then, I'd use the buddy system. For instance, if you go there to meet a black friend, I'd have the black friend meet me at the subway. Not just in Harlem, but even if I'm walking down a dimly lit street in Alphabet City.


Even when you have the light or there don't seem to be any cars around, look in the direction traffic is coming from, (or both if it's a two-way street) as well as where it's turning onto. For example, if you're on the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Broadway and crossing to the southeast corner when you have the light, make sure that there is no crosstown traffic turning from Ninth onto Broadway. And always give taxi drivers the right of way.

This is an excellent point. People are sometimes so aware and cautious about being mugged in New York, they forget that there are hundreds of traffic fatalities each year. All too often I used to walk out in front of traffic without giving it a second thought. Bad idea because those taxis will mow you down without thinking twice.


The subways are safe, but stay away from the edge of the platform if you're worried about being shoved in (probably won't happen, of course, but be on the safe side if you have doubts). Late at night, ride in the more-occupied cars, namely the middle one where the conductor is or the front car where the driver is.

You know, this never occurred to me! It does seem safer to ride the cars with the conductor or driver. I always chose the car with no one on it to bother me... in retrospect I might have been setting myself up for when someone gets on from another stop.

----
All in all, New York City is safer than it has ever been these days. But if you play it smart, you can decrease your odds to far below the "averages". And be mindful that if you really are going to walk around in places like Harlem, alone, at night, you are really spiking your odds of being mugged.

Radiohead
February 2nd, 2008, 05:11 PM
Yet you can reduce your odds quite a bit if you stay out of places like Harlem or Bed-Stuy at night, particularly if you are white. The brothers in these neighborhoods are increasingly racist and increasingly aware of white people walking among them in this era of gentrification.

Some parts of Harlem are okay, but I would stay away from the vast majority of it at night unless absolutely necessary. And even then, I'd use the buddy system. For instance, if you go there to meet a black friend, I'd have the black friend meet me at the subway. Not just in Harlem, but even if I'm walking down a dimly lit street in Alphabet City.



Is this from personal experience? Or from stereotypes of what Harlem was believed to be, or used to be? I thought much of Harlem has been cleaned up, and the racial tensions are more the result of media pumping it up. HAS gentrification heightened the tensions in Harlem? I don't know, I don't live there. Not that I would recommend walking in Harlem alone at night (or most parts of NYC) no matter what your race is. This is especially true for low lit side streets.

FYI Trap, welcome aboard. But on only your 3rd post, I don't know if you're endearing yourself to some in the group with your racially-charged generalizations. Even if your analysis is generally correct, you may wish to preface your comments with "in my opinion". Or risk getting flamed.

Trap
February 2nd, 2008, 07:46 PM
Hi, thank you for the welcome. I didn't mean to sound racist about not going to Harlem at night... I've been there at night, but always had my friend meet me at the subway. Also, I felt like I was safer with him than if I had been with a white or asian friend. Didn't get the "evil eye" as much.

I do believe that the risks of crime in Harlem and Bed-Stuy are increasing for non-black people there now that the locales are getting pretty mad about the high real estate prices that come with gentrification. In another forum about NYC, there is a white guy living in Bed-Stuy who gets harassed the moment he leaves his stoop for the subway... being "chased out of Bed-Stuy".

There is definitely a growing feeling among the black community (from what I can tell) that whites are "ruining" Harlem and Bed-Stuy... making it so that the next generation can't afford to live there anymore. Some people are taking matters into their own hands, unfortunately.

lofter1
February 2nd, 2008, 07:46 PM
Trap: I live downtown and have not had trouble in the ABC area since 1971 -- and then it was just some scared kid with a knife (who gave up the thought of mugging me after about 30 seconds of my non-stop talk).

Also: Not sure if you know much about the poster you quoted, TLOZ Link5 ...

You can learn more about him at these threads:

TLOZ Link5 Project (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=42)

Rest in Peace J.B. Hehman (TLOZ Link5) (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8889)

Trap
February 2nd, 2008, 09:27 PM
Trap: I live downtown and have not had trouble in the ABC area since 1971 -- and then it was just some scared kid with a knife (who gave up the thought of mugging me after about 30 seconds of my non-stop talk).

Also: Not sure if you know much about the poster you quoted, TLOZ Link5 ...

You can learn more about him at these threads:

TLOZ Link5 Project (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=42)

Rest in Peace J.B. Hehman (TLOZ Link5) (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8889)


Gah! What are the odds that someone posting about keeping safe while alone "even in Harlem" at night would eventually be killed under those exact circumstances? You sort of put me in the twilight zone for a bit there, but then I realize that I brought this thread back from the dead after almost 4 years. It is hard to believe that this young man died within 2 years of giving tips on how to be street smart (and they are useful tips).

I'd say the odds of actually being killed in Harlem are drastically lower than they once were... though I stand by what I was saying about being alone in Harlem at night spiking the odds, he was still extremely unlikely to actually die on those streets. That is an incredibly horrible story! :(

About Alphabet City, looking at my post I worded that all wrong. For one, it looks like it seems like I was saying I'd need a "black friend" in Alphabet City... which doesn't make sense. I just think your odds are better in Harlem or Bed-Stuy if you look like you're with someone who looks like they could have been living there for more than 3-4 years. In the dimly-lit sections of Alphabet City (or any part of NYC that isn't a main thoroughfare) I'd still rather use the buddy system, with race not being as much a factor anywhere but in a majority-black neighborhood undergoing rapid gentrification (the locals call gentrification "negro removal").

The only part of Alphabet City I would feel really unsafe walking down is the edge, Avenue D. And I wouldn't feel very safe for the 20 blocks south of that either, through all the projects of the Lower East Side. That pretty much does it for the areas of Lower Manhattan that are anywhere near what Harlem is like (all these areas are not as bad as they used to be I'm sure, but still not absolutely safe).

I'm a little freaked out about reviving the thread of someone who has passed away... and it being his thoughts about the type of thing he was dealing with in his last moments! Absolutely horrible..

Thank you for pointing me towards his memorial, I will read more about it and hopefully visit it one day.

Radiohead
February 3rd, 2008, 12:44 AM
I was so busy responding to the post that I forgot that it was the late TLOZ who was being quoted by Trap. How ironic and sad, especially given his age and the circumstances. Such perpetrators should never walk the streets again.

BrooklynRider
February 3rd, 2008, 02:13 AM
TLOZ pops up in lots of threads. He was one of the most prolific posters here and he still ranks high on the veteran form member list. It is like a ghost coming back.

He's a good spirit here at WNY. We've celebrated him and I think he continues to touch many of us.