Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another unsettling NY experience

My last post reminded me of something else that happened a month ago or so.

I had been at a friend's apartment in Brooklyn for poker night, and as I was walking down Smith street to the subway afterwards, probably around midnight, I witnessed a violent fight outside one of the bars on that street. A vagrant-type person was yelling, threw a guy down on the sidewalk, while two or three woman protested and yelled at him to stop. The man hit the guy on the ground in the head with something--it looked like maybe he was holding a plastic grocery bag, but something else, too. Something harder and bulky. I was on the same side of the street, and so stopped and backed away a bit. The violent man got up and was coming towards me and I saw what looked to be a drill?!?! in his hand. I stepped to the side onto the street and let him pass me, and then I walked around the group to continue on my way to the subway. The guy on the ground was up and looking dazed, holding the side of his head with his hand. He seemed to be okay, just in shock, and I heard a woman ask if she should call the cops. Then they all went into the bar.

Isn't that crazy? It was definitely an unsettling experience at the time, but once again, I completely put it behind me that night. It's startling and scary to witness violence in person, but at the same time, I think New York and the media has desensitized me to it all. Nothing surprises me in this city anymore. It's like that commercial where all of these crazy and horrible things are happening on the streets of Manhattan, and none of the pedestrians even bat an eye. It's so true.

3 comments:

Jenny Han said...

That is so scary. Now I'm scared to walk on Smith Street, for fear of running into this Texas Chainsaw Massacre dude!

Steph said...

Reading this made me think of my friend, Bernard, who is a police officer in Santa Maria, CA (a fairly gang riddled area). He has told me on numerous occasions about some of the things he sees on a week to week basis- horrible things that people do to each other and to their children. I'm not so surprised about the things he tells me about, I am surprised that after having a diet of these awful things for so many years that Bernard remains one of the most positive, kind people I have ever met...I don't know how he does it...

charlie said...

I remember when this happened to you and how it seemed to not affect you. Interesting to see that a month after the fact you remembered and it disturbed you more than at the time. (I hope this is what you were saying)