In 2005, I was in my apartment in Astoria on a spring day with my windows open, when I heard a woman screaming somewhere nearby.
I couldn’t hear specifically what she was saying, but it was loud, desperate, and it went on for about 5 minutes.
The screaming came to a climax when I heard a gun fire, and then there was silence. I had no idea what to do because I couldn’t pinpoint where the commotion had come from. In hindsight, I realize that I should have called the cops.
When I saw my super a few days later, I asked him if he had heard the scuffle or knew what happened. He responded, “Eh. Who cares?”.
This was the first lesson I had on the hard truth of NYC. People generally just don’t care. If you fall over, people will just step over you.
There are good people out there, but as a transplant, this lesson of NYC branded apathy is a good lesson to learn early. If you can’t commandeer it, your ship will quickly sink.