The 1980s was not the best decade to be lost, late at night, in the Bronx.
The neighborhood around Yankee stadium is brightly lit these days, and friendly enough. On my first trip to New York as a tourist, back in 1989, it was dark and uninviting once the stadium emptied. It had been a night game, and it finished after 11:00 p.m. I'd arrived by taxi and assumed I'd catch a cab back to Manhattan, but by the end of the ninth inning, everyone else in the crowd had jumped in their cars, and the streets were deserted.
I'd never taken the subway before and reasoned that there'd be plenty of cabs just around the corner. But which corner? I drifted into the night, and was soon lost. I had that unmistakeable feeling of being watched.
South Bronx Tenement
(Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)
Suddenly, a yellow cab screamed to the curb, door flying open. "Are you crazy? Get in," the driver yelled. At every red light, the cab's windscreen was furiously scrubbed by squeegee men, who sprang out of the gloom. "They keep coming to kill us," the driver informed me.
As we pulled up at my hotel, I realized he hadn't turned the meter on. The amount he asked me to pay was outrageous, but I knew no better. One way or another, I was going to be mugged.
Kim Davis, New York City
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