You would think staying safe in NYC would just take a bit of common sense, but apparently it’s not all that obvious to everyone. Now that it’s still dark when I walk to the gym in the morning, I’m more aware of people just asking to be mugged. And no, they ain’t all Mid Western hipsters either (They are not out that early).
Of course this calls for a list.
1. TAKE OFF THE F*CKIN HEADPHONES! WTF? Do I even have to explain why? Also, may I go off topic a little? I don’t care if it’s broad daylight and there are a thousand people on the street. I’ve seen so many people nearly get hit by cars because they aren’t paying attention. I don’t even wear headphones on the subway. I like to be part of the world I live in.
2. The Friggin iPhones and Blackberries. Walking down the street texting. That’s a good way to get your phone stolen. It’s also a good way to get your ass kicked and don’t be surprised if I’m the one doing it.
3. Ladies: Mind your purses! The best bag is something that closes completely and can be slung over your neck and shoulder diagonally. Never carry it on your back and always hang on to it. Oh, and do you know how many times I’ve seen women leave their purses in their shopping carts at the supermarket while picking vegetable? Are you f*ckin insane? You deserve to be ripped off!
4. Guys. The wallets and phones. Back pockets are a no-no. Back packs? No good. Listen, I’ve been guilty of carrying my phone in my back pocket, but only when I’m going around the corner. Never in a busy area.
5. Have your keys ready. It’s late at night. You’re getting off the train and there is (seemingly) no one else around. You’re not wearing headphones, right??? Good. Have your keys in hand ready to put in the door. People get mugged right in front of their own homes while fumbling for keys. I like to carry mine between my fingers so I can jab someone in the eye if need be. Won’t do anything against a gun, but it makes me feel safer.
6. Pay attention. You have to have eyes in the back of your head. Seriously, listen for footsteps and look for shadows. Walk on the bright side of the street or even in the middle if you have to. Of course I’m talking about you being the only one on the street at 4am, not lunchtime in midtown.
7. Trains and buses. Back in the old days when I actually DID stay out until 4am and the city was rough, I had to take the train back to Coney Island. It was second to last stop and by the time I got home, there was usually me and one other drunk in the car. One night, after a guy came over and started jerking off in my face, I decided I had had enough. After that incident, I always got off at Kings Highway where the train was still crowded and took the bus to Coney. It let me off in front of my building and the bus driver was there to protect me. These days I just take a cab home if I’m out late. It’s more out of convenience than safety. Point is: Mass transit is safer than walking and if you’re the only one on a train, at least stay in the conductor’s car.
8. They smell fear. I dunno. I just made that up. I try to look tough, which is pretty funny since I’m 4’11”. Maybe it works. Never been mugged. (Knock wood!!)
Added bonus for your car…
Hel-lo! Do not leave anything of value in there! Yeah, people do that, believe it or not.