Home Featured Urban Life: Immune to the City. Nothing Can Phase Me.

Urban Life: Immune to the City. Nothing Can Phase Me.


“You haven’t grown accustomed to New York until you can see the illest sh*t ever and it doesn’t phase you.”

I forgot who gave me this advice when I first moved to New York eleven months ago, but I surely didn’t believe it. There was no way a person could see some of the things I saw while riding the train and not look in awe. There were too many inconceivable occurrences. The panhandlers, the banjo-playing Mexican cowboy, and the preachers who told the whole car we were going to burn in hell. I even went on to start a tumblr page documenting my experiences while commuting around the city.

Then a funny thing happened. I started to find things normal that to a person who didn’t live here would be downright shocking. The pushing and the being in a hurry to go nowhere became a part of my everyday routine. I learned to bring headphones and a good selection of music where I went. And while commuting to work, I brought a book to distract myself from whatever was going on around me.

It all came to a head this past Saturday as I was leaving my lab and going to my basketball game in Brooklyn. My game was at Rodney Park off Marcy Ave, so to get there I had to take the J train. As I stepped off one train and walked down some steps so I could transfer to the J, I noticed a young white woman leaning against the wall. She was dressed in a black tank top and black shorts. One of the first things I noticed about her was that she was holding half a six-pack of Rolling Rock. Before I got within 20 yards of her, I could tell and smell that she had drank the the three missing beers and some hard liquor.

See Also:  Slim's Thoughts: Real Housewives of Atlanta

As I moved closer and took in more of her appearance, I noticed that she didn’t have any shoes on. Knowing how dirty the subway system is here, I shuddered at the thought of her walking around barefoot and what type of germs were now making her feet their home. As I passed her, I glanced at her face and her eyes were closed, but she had a look of relief and joy. It’s a look I know too well. It’s the look on your face when you finally make it to a bathroom after holding your bladder for a long time. As I looked down, I saw a steady stream of urine flowing down her leg and leaving a puddle on the floor.

This chick was really leaning against a wall and peeing on herself. Maybe she was drunk but she couldn’t have been that intoxicated to still be holding onto her Rolling Rock with a death grip. The only conclusion I could muster was that she just didn’t care. As I passed her and looked back, she abruptly opened her eyes and looked at me with a smirk on her face. She knew exactly what she was doing. This whole interaction took place in no less than 20 seconds.

As I engrossed myself in the lyrics of Meek Mill and MMG, I kept walking and thought to myself, “damn I really am getting accustomed to New York. That sh*t didn’t even phase me.”

See Also:  Happy Labor Day

SBM Fam, are you in a city? If so, have you grown desensitized to the things that come with it? Do you have any stories of things you’ve seen that in the past would’ve phased, but today you just shrug it off?



  1. Lol that's a pretty crazy story. Yes, I'm an urbanite born and raised so it seems like things that are actually supposed to be normal sh** is actually what fazes me sometimes. Like seeing families, or animals (other than cats/dogs). Smh. But nut-jobs? Costumes and wild attire? Ratchetness? Nothin. I just keep it movin.

  2. NYC subway never has a dull moment. I think the craziest thing I've seen is the homeless guy who brought a mattress into the subway, snuggled up nice a cozy with the mattress placed on the benches (so no one could sit), had sheets, conforter, everything, and had then proceeded to sleep in past 11:30am.

    I co-sign with Yas that I think people get so de-sensitized and annoyed they dont really stop and care.

  3. True story As a kid when I went to go visit my family in CT I could not sleep because it was TOO QUIET. I can sleep through suavemente on repeat, up on full blast until 5 am.

      1. I've lived in NY my entire life, its a typical day in the neighborhood when i see the crazies out doing their thing..lol

        1. Don't get it twisted Mr.SD…I'm born and reared in Brooklyn. It still behooves me the amount of phuckery I see in a New York minute! From the angry and loud mouthed black females [like shut up we see you, and your still not important] to the ignorant and trashy black males [please find some class and show a lil decorum]. Im not bashing my race, it just bothers me that some of us think this behavior is acceptable. I know we are talking about a different subject overall but the aforementioned is what hurt my heart about my fellow new yorkers of color. I been over (as you put it) "typical" NY non-sense.

  4. First off, Gross.

    I was born and raised in the city of Boston and over time i’ve become numb to

    Police Sirens



    Ignant ass drivers

    High school fights at the train station

    Ratchet heauxs

        1. Why thank you 🙂

          Getchu some – I won't tell 😉
          I got mine on clearance, looks like the blue are back up to regular price (still less than $40) but the pink or yellow are $21.90

          Hint: Sign up for their mailings and you'll get at least 10% off and most likely 20%, 30% and 40% the following days (aka be patient)


        2. Yeah Star….Daaaaaaaamn that show is HOTT! U Go Girl!
          Putting that link in my favorites right now….*smile*

  5. I have witnessed a few crazies myself, but I'm also sure ive done a few things to make myself look like one of them.

    When I first moved out this way, I made the mistake of arguing with the Black Isrealites (?) in front of the Forever 21 on Columbus Ave. Two white ladies cheered me on, "You go girl!" and then some other young black lady came and took over yelling at them. So I left.

    Earlier this year while in Brooklyn, some dude was tryna holla, but another dude with a double sign around his front and back (store advertising dude handing out fliers), says out loud "That's a man!" Da FU&K!?! I proceed to curse him out and some dude in a suit approached him to tell him how disrespectful he was. Cursing him out wasn't enough, so I get closer to the guy and dude in the suit says, "Don't hit him, dont hit him." And just like that I slapped him. Nobody said anything. And I just walked off. A paramedic at the corner witnessed the whole thing and asked me for my number. I got scared because I thought he was going to report me to the police. The dude wanted my number for HIMSELF! Da FU&K! I just made an ass out of myself and look like a crazy woman and you want my number?!

    That wasn't my proudest moment, I felt bad/embarrassed about it and lucky that I didn't get shot.

    But yeah…I'm sure I've looked crazy to some people…

    1. For the record, I see NOTHING WRONG with your 3rd paragraph. That was a slap dude worked hard to earn.

      *whistles and walks away*

  6. I'm not from New York and I've only been there like 3 times. Every. Time. Was. Memorable. I don't know what that says about me or New York but it definitely says something about somebody. Anyway, I think most all cities have some degree of craziness that you have to adapt to. Take for example, the new story of the kid who got his arm bit off by an alligator I was watching yesterday. They interviewed this guy and he told that story like he was talking about a walk through the park. Someone later informed me that alligators and people in Florida go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly, so it's really not that big of a deal.

    LOOK-A-HERE, a creature of the day or night bites WIM's arm off and I assure you it's going to be a BIG F***KING DEAL to ME.

    1. "Leah Prudhomme of Minnesota sustained 25 bites from an otter during her 1.5-mile training swim in Island Lake. Luckily, the swimmer was wearing a wet suit which protected her from more extensive injuries. After the incident, Prudhomme was given rabies, tetanus and antibiotic shots and still plans on competing in a triathlon later this month on the same lake. Otter attacks on humans are rare with only 40 reported attacks in 20 years in the U.S., most occurring in Florida" taken from an article on yahoo.

      1. I read that story too. Let WIM get so much as mosquito bite and you might not catch me outside til winter. I wish I would get attacked by an otter. MAN…WHAT?!?

        It's funny because when I moved to CO my dad told me straight up: "Son, I better not hear about you dying in some urban-like fashion via a pit bull or something. You better go out like a man, like a cougar or bear attack or somethin."

        That's why he's my role model.

  7. I live close enough and do enough in the city to see some wild stuff.

    Yet, I was still completely disturbed by your story, lol. NYC def has Bmore beat for crazies, lol…y'all can have that…

  8. This post is hilarious…the ish that happens on the train is just incredible. Sometimes I feel bad for tourists because they dont even be knowing what the hell they signed up for visiting or trying to live here.
    I'm born and raised so I've become immune so long ago…sadly though all the stories on the train aren't fun and games. The violence has picked up a little more, but luckily so has the heroism.
    I know I became immune to the subway stories when I was younger. My older brother and his friends were playing around and my brother fell through the cars. My rides on the train have always been a bit different since then. So as much as some of the stuff is quite funny or worthy of a solid head shake and a smirk, I've been over it.

  9. I'm from Austin, TX, and moved to NYC right after college graduation (2007). When I first moved here, the noise and smells were something to get used to. Like, helicopters and gunshots every night (I lived in Inwood that first year), and a new and TERRIBLE smell wafting out of every alley. I also hated the complete lack of public bathrooms (now I know where to find them), and I was confused by people walking around with little dogs INSIDE the Blockbuster (RIP).

    Now, when I visit, I can't sleep because it's TOO QUIET. Like seriously, even the wildlife noises aren't enough and I have to be EXHAUSTED to sleep those first few days. Also, the lack of a subway for someone with a license but no real driving experience is NOT what's hot in TX. And even if I could drive, it's not like NYC where everywhere every DAY there's something awesome to do. That kinda gets old now after about a week, unless I'm there for a specific event with guaranteed activities (like SXSW).

    Crazy subway stuff is mainly funny/fun, unless it happens during my morning commute, like the 40-something couple who were making out HEAVILY while leaning AGAINST ME in a crowded subway car, or the 5' Latino male who hit on me before AND AFTER another guy hit on me and apparently was trying to move in THAT NIGHT that I had to lose on the train by pretending to get off and then hopping back on at the last second. If I thought about it, those moment might be terrifying, so I just try to roll with it.

  10. I'm from Philly and much like New Yorkers oddly very used to seeing crazy azz sh**.
    On the L goin to North Philly I've seen a man in a cowboy hat, cowboy boots with spurs on them and dirty jeans and a t-shirt and a plaid shirt, and sun-glasses in the wintertime, and just grungy looking get on the train with a big long army bag.
    I had a feeling something wasn't right about him. I told her we are getting of at the next stop and we can take the G bus and walk. Sure enough my girlfriend and I heard on the news later that nite he held up the train at the next stop after we got off with a sawed off shotgun and robbed people.

  11. I've been to NY around New Years Eve when my girlfriend was at NYU. We always talked about goin to NY to try to see the ball drop and just experiencing New Years NY style and we finally had a chance to do it. That was truly an unforgettable experience.
    From the man walking down the street with a big azz box of twinkies giving them away to the blue people in the subway trying to immitate the blue man group I guess, to the drug dealers in the park trying to sell us drugs and when we didn't want to buy tryin to put us on to push for them and offering us free samples.

  12. Not to mention the tail-gating in the street on New Years Eve waiting for the ball to drop. I've never seen more tail-gating at a football game than that nite. And this was 1998 going into 1999. You would think that and all those people would generate some heat, but they didn't. That was "The coldest winter ever."
    Also been to Harlem in the summer around this time and saw folks trying to cook raw chicken on top of a car.

  13. BORN and raised in Philadelphia, I am familiar with this sort of behavior, although it is unfortunately the darker hue of people who act this way. On my way to work, adorned in fresh crispy clothing that fits too tight from the Banana Republic, I had to walk past a drunk and homeless man who was laying on the platform.

    Knowing that that wasn't enough, he whipped his thing out and started peeing on the platform floor. So quiet was the platform that we could literally hear the stream of urine dripping on the floor. I was nauseated. But not surprised. This is life in the big (smaller) city to the south of NYC.

    Just off of that, your story is totally believable. TOTALLY.

    1. nj thank God I only saw a man pee once when I was a kid. The stench in the subway was more than enough. The last thing I wanted was to see it.
      Those homeless people were a trip. When I was in hair school at Empire on 1522 Chesnut St. I gave a homeless guy my Mcdonalds fries since I hardly ever eat more than a few of them. That ungrateful sob looked at them and "fondled" them and then threw them on the street right in my face. He wanted money, (for drugs no doubt, no no damn french fries, even though he was begging for food). I wanted to go back across the street where he was and slap the damn taste out his mouth. Wasting my fries…….

    2. njwilson I've seen someone get into the Love Park fountain in Center City when it was dyed all the colors and splash around in there like they were a kid in a candy store…..lol too funny. Seen folks pee and bathe in the fountains…..like bathe with soap…..lol.
      And what about the grown azz people that still run up the "Rocky Steps" all excited and giddy humming the Rocky theme song…….lmbao. My friends and I fall out laughin at that. Like we did that when we were like around 7 or 8 yrs old, and grown azz folks still doin it like it's whats up….lol…..too funny.

  14. Wow!!! Lol!!! That is just crazy! I don’t live in a “city” but it’s still a city where things like that don’t happen or that I’ve witnessed. I don’t think I’ve even been to a place where anything like that has happened, other than Mexico, but I grew up with that.

    This is hilarious though!

  15. If you think NYC is bad. DC is competition. We used to have this hospital called, St. Elizabeth's that housed all the crazy people. They closed it one day and let a good deal of those patients go onto the streets of DC.

    There's a dude outside Union Station right now that has made up his mind and refuses to be moved. He insists that the Jews stole his money, took it inside the US Capitol and refuse to let him in to get it. He tells this, roughly 2-3 hour story, over and over all day long, everyday.

    No really, everyday.

    Now that's weird as hell.

    There's at least 50 of them, just like him standing around Union Station.

    1. Wow Doc J……that is crazy….thank goodness I never saw him when I was there.
      I have seen a crazy azz DC or MD driver on their laptop typing while they were driving and straight slammed into the back of somebody. I sat there and watched it all unravel and just smdh.
      Damn DC/MD non driving azz folks.

  16. So much foolish ish happens in NY it gets hard to be fazed anymore. My boy was in town this weekend, and he was telling me how another friend of his had some dude flash her and she freaked out – I was like "yeah, it happens." He was disturbed by how nonchalant I was about it . You really just have to grow up in a big city to understand that there are a bunch of crazies that just run rampant. Especially in NYC subway system , where some of them essentially take up residence.

  17. Aaaaw Tunde, poor fella…this is how it goes down or the J, M, and Z line

    WeLcoMe to NeW yOrK CiTy…welcome to New York City!

      1. Well then you know we experience a minimal amount of New York phuckery on the green line (shorter cars) I cant really say I see too much craziness going down on our line. The blue and orange line is where it really goes down! I have to tell you: Im quite dissapointed that you led me astray (post pic). I thought we were about to go HAM about these subway performances; which seems to be the new fad in employment here during NYC economic hardship(s)..I wont exaggerate and say crisis. While young boys are doing acrobatic moves over my head (I sit thinking) I wish someone would put a bug in these kids ear that what they are doing is counterproductive. They should take their hustle to the streets of Rockafella and Def Jam headquarters so they can be discovered…what's the likelihood that a talent scout is going to be riding the train at the hours they are performing. I'm sorry I know that every dollar counts, but they' re killing me sofly with these backward hustles. Lastly, Im also disgusted with your "About Me" *ctfu*

  18. Hahaha! That’s sick. I’m in NOLA- pretty smack dab in the middle of the city!!! New Orleans has to be one of the world’s most “fun-est” cities!!! (yes- I know fun-nest isn’t a real word!!) and it’s as strange as it is weird! I got used to it after about the 5th-6th month. Where I used to stare and gawk at the oddities…. I find myself floating right on by now… Lol

  19. I was born and raised in the South Bronx, back when you could still see smoke rising from the buildings. I'm just glad the stories are "funny" crazy and not "I'm never leaving the house again" crazy like they used to be. Although I am rarely phased by anything anymore, I have begun to raise an eyebrow at the ..er…lighter hue's capacety for ratchetness.
    For example, I have a similar pee pee story…except it happened at 10am…on a weekday…IN FRONT OF MY JOB. I work on 34th. Whyte Dude just walks up to the door, whips it out…and sighs in relief.

    1. Gentrification has taken overrrrrrr my area and some of "their" stories are "Im never leaving the house again"…

  20. "Then a funny thing happened. I started to find things normal that to a person who didn’t live here would be downright shocking. The pushing and the being in a hurry to go nowhere became a part of my everyday routine. I learned to bring headphones and a good selection of music where I went. And while commuting to work, I brought a book to distract myself from whatever was going on around me."

    MY LIFE. i swear i thought i would never get used to the hurry up and go nowhere attitude or the not being entertained by the candy sellers or dancers or preferring my music over the spanish trio and their ukuleles but, i totally am that NY person now. i am still compassionate but i'm a bit desensitized and i have to stop myself from rolling my eyes when i the train doors close and i hear "excuse me ladies and gentleman, i don't mean to disturb your ride but.." coming from the latest train act.

    i love your "about me." lmao
    My recent post Beautiful, and Other Thoughts.

  21. Hmmm….how about all the junkies nodding every which way on the train? The dude doing lines of coke off his hand on the uptown 6 train? Or the drunk dude who straight up pissed while standing up? How about the dude with the open container who was trying to sell erybody some of his liquor? How about the hobo who was feeling the music so much at the lorimer stop that he did a flip off the platform and onto the train tracks? Think that's wild? Nah son. How about when I was living in Berkeley waiting on the 51 bus and there was a homeless woman sleeping on the bench. she stands up, bends herself over letting her head hang, pulls her pants down and proceeds to take a piss. I didn't know pee could be that brown. Without skipping a beat she pulls her pants back up, lays back on the bench and continues on with her nap. Homegirl didn't even open her eyes.

  22. Welcome to the big city Tunde! LOL some stuff still appals me but Im desensitized. Makes me desensitized to ish that happens in other places too


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get SBM Delivered

Get SBM Delivered

Single Black Male provides dating and relationship
advice for today's single looking for love

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This