105 Queens Week – My First Lesson on NYC


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.


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