Here’s how it all started. We park our car on the street – usually in Boerum Hill but this week on Hubert near the corner of Washington. When we got to the car this afternoon, the two curbside tires were slashed. A one-inch knife slit in the sidewall on both. On Hubert Street.
So since we are clearly not driving anywhere any time soon, I get on the 2/3 to pick up a kid at school, and while I’m hammering out an email with my thumbs, a guy grabs my phone as we pull into 34th Street and sprints out the doors. The whole car is stunned into silence for a few beats — save for one passenger who yells and tries to grab the guy — and then in what turns out to be one of the only bright spots of the afternoon, we commiserate the way only New Yorkers can.
The whole series of events got me thinking about the city in the ‘80s, when my car was stolen at gunpoint, where I used to pull my stereo out with prongs every day, where the lock was broken so many times on our trunk, we finally just tossed the cylinder and opened it by tripping the latch with an index finger. When I never walked down the quiet side streets of Chelsea at night; I would go around the long way to stay on 23rd with its lit storefronts and traffic. Those days are long gone, and today’s incidents didn’t convince me that they are coming back.
So after my heart rate slowed, I was able to figure out the answers to those questions: No, and never for a minute should we take for granted the fact that we live in one of the safest zip code in New York City, and not everyone is as lucky as we are. Of course it is, but it’s still a big city and being aware of your surroundings instead of buried deep in your phone is a smart practice. And hell no. This place can really suck sometimes, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be.