New York can be an amazing, inspiring place - but on the bad days, it can also be hell on earth. What's the worst experience you ever had there?
To get the memories going, I'll share two of mine:
1. Getting robbed while moving: My ex-boyfriend and I were moving out of our Astoria apartment and half-breaking-up. As if moving isn't stressful enough, in middle of it, our backpacks were stolen out of the front seat of our rental truck while we were unloading the back into a storage unit. The storage attendants swore they didn't see anything (and we suspect they were in on it; the security cameras were conveniently blocked by construction) and the cops basically told us we were screwed. We spent the next hour calling credit card companies to cancel cards. I had to close my bank account and alert the credit agencies because both my checkbook and credit reports (for the new landlord) had been in my backpack. The whole next month was a pain because it's incredibly hard to set up utilities, etc without any form of ID, proof of current address, etc.
Oh, and that night we got a parking ticket for the truck because we parked on the street.
2. Getting "lost" in the ER: I was living alone in Brooklyn. I had had a bad cold for a week. Then one morning I woke up, finally ready to go back to work, and ended up passing out a couple times in a row - had no idea why. Took a cab to the ER, and called my friend & co-worker Jeff and asked him to meet me there (cause I was pretty freaked out). Waited in the ER, losing consciousness a couple more times just sitting in my seat. Finally got called back, where the triage nurse basically blamed me for my condition, asking if I had been eating. Yes, of course! Apparently I was extremely dehydrated. They hooked me up to an I.V. and I sat in a chair in the middle of all of these hospital beds, as vomiting, bleeding patients (and a baby who had stopped breathing) whirred around me - and as I drifted in and out of consciousness. Awful.
Turns out there was no cell reception in that room. Couldn't get in touch with Jeff. When I was finally released a couple hours later, I called him and he was frantic. He said he had been to the hospital but they insisted they had no record of me. So he went to my apartment thinking I was dead on the floor or something, but couldn't get in to find out. He was trying to find out who my landlord was so he could get a key. He had called our office to check if anyone had heard from me, and they were about to call my parents (who were living in WA - and would have undoubtedly gotten on a flight right away!) when I had finally gotten in touch with Jeff. The poor guy had been biking all around Brooklyn, scared out of his mind - all because the hospital's system was crap.
The moral of the story? Stay hydrated! And pray you never have to go to an ER in New York.
Oh man. Okay, let me set the scene for you. First apartment out of college, with two friends who are still in school. At just under $25K a year I am the top earner in the household. By a lot.
Friday of Labor Day weekend, our upstairs neighbor who's getting evicted decides to retaliate by flushing...I dunno...a gallon of condoms down the toilet. (At least, this is the story the crazy super told us--who knows if it was true. All I know is that there were definitely condoms.) The building's sewage system backs up into our first-floor apartment, flooding the bathroom, hall, kitchen, and two of the bedrooms with water, shit and condoms.
Our apartment is uninhabitable. Our piece of shit slumlord landlord tells us we can move upstairs rent-free, into the evicted dude's apartment--a one bedroom; ours was a three bedroom--while they're cleaning our apartment and fixing the wood tile floor, which has to be completely redone. Evicted dude's apartment is DISGUSTING. We didn't even attempt to use the kitchen.
They tell us the repairs will take one month...it ends up being three and a half. Then, on top of that, they try to charge us back rent FOR OUR THREE BEDROOM for the months we weren't living there. We finally get a lawyer friend involved and threaten to sue them, and don't have to pay the rent.
Incredibly, we lived there for 10 more months, during which time there was a rat infestation and someone got shot on the stoop. The moral of the story is never ever sign a two-year lease.
Ooh, good one, Laura! Your story has everything - bad landlords, bad plumbing, bad neighbors, lawyers, rats, shootings... and condoms! I love that you also included a moral... let's keep that theme. Who's next??
Yikes. Your's are both pretty bad, Anna. Sorry you had to experience that. I hope I don't jinx this by writing it, but I've never been mugged or robbed in the 4+ years I've lived here. I think it's because I look like a total bitch when I am walking around the city, trying to keep my rage of getting pushed and shoved under control.
My worst thing would be getting sexually assaulted on the subway. It was bad enough that I pulled out my mace, put it right in the guy's face and told him that if he f***ing touched me again, he was getting sprayed. He stopped, but when I got off the train, other people were very concerned and asked me if I was OK. I was pretty shaken so I went to the police right afterward to file a report, but it felt a little like a waste of time. Another fun aspect of this experience was that they made me look at a giant book of dudes they'd actually caught for similar crimes who fit the physical description of the guy I gave them. The book took me HOURS to go through. Gross. That's how many people--who looked only like my dude!--were out there molesting people. Good times.
Another time, I was in my apartment in Astoria just walking around my room, and I don't know what possessed me, but I went and opened the sheer curtains and there was a guy crouching right there, looking in my window. I screamed so loud that it scared him, too, and he didn't move right away, trying to figure out what to do. My roommate came flying in immediately. We both freaked out and I was shaking and crying and we stupidly went outside to take a look around, but whoever it was had fled. It was just a such a gross feeling. Was he trying to break in? Peeping? Had he been there before tonight? WTF?!
And finally, seeing a man take a dump in public. And let's just say it didn't look healthy.
EW. That molester book you looked through sounds truly disturbing. Your post reminded me that I've seen men masturbating in public twice (once in a subway car, once on the platform). And that I saw a homeless man take a dump into a plastic shopping bag on the train platform. Which, since he was standing up at the time, I think is probably a lot harder than it looks, and must have taken quite a bit of practice.
Keep it classy, New York!