Every time you go down into the New York subway, you take a chance that you won’t come out again. That’s just the way it is. Usually, the only thing to fear is your fellow passengers. But there are other things waiting down there in the dark below the City, and sometimes the only way to stay alive is to look the other way.
The story of the Things that live in the dark beneath New York City, and the price of survival, is available on Amazon completely free from today through Saturday! Go pick up a copy! And while you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the library!
Still here? Interested in learning more? Just a few words then.
As you might guess, Looking The Other Way is, to a certain degree, based on my own experiences. No, I never faced unspeakable Things from the darkness beneath the rivers – not that I would be at all surprised to learn that they were down there, waiting for us to delve too greedily and too deep – but there were indeed a few times, there in the belly of the Recession, that I stood on that platform at 3 AM, looked down into the tunnel, and wondered.
More importantly, and more sadly, there’s the lesson that every soft-hearted country kid has to learn if they’re going to survive in the City: sometimes, you can only save yourself.
For a quick glimpse of Looking The Other Way, check below the fold.
2008 was a bad year. Even in New York City, where the Great Recession never got quite as deep as it did in the rest of the country, that fall and winter were deep, dark, tell-your-grandkids-how-you-lived-through-the-hard-times bad. Hundred-year-old investment firms closed down like Broadway shows, and Broadway shows shut down like a community theatre production in Ogdensburg. Even the strip clubs were hurting.
I was one of the lucky ones. Well, not one of the really lucky ones. They kept their jobs. But I had a good severance package, a couple of 401(k)’s I could cash out for a couple thousand apiece (hurt me at tax time, but you do what you have to do), and an ex who insisted on rooming with me as long as I needed help with the rent. Between all that, Unemployment, and the fact that I was able to find temp work almost immediately, I was able to hold on and get through.
That last part was really key. When 2008 happened, I was a paralegal at a big Wall Street law firm. That made me a very useful fellow, but in 2008, even I was taking whatever work I could, wherever I could, whenever I could, and was grateful to get it.
Even so, I quickly discovered that I didn’t like night shifts. It puts you out of sync with the rest of the world. Sure, it’s nice to be able to go to the gym at noon when there are maybe three people in the whole place, but it’s just not New York if you can’t take a date to dinner and a play. Not that I could have afforded to do that anyway, but still…