RIP in NYC – Counting the ways

indexNew York City is a very safe place to live until it isn’t. And then it so very isn’t. There must be about 1,000 ways to end up taking a long dirt nap in the City that Never Sleeps.

It’s certainly possible to be almost beaten to death by a gang of bikers on West Side Highway in Manhattan or nearly crushed to death by an SUV during such an altercation, as reported recently. But you could also be randomly stabbed by a homeless man with scissors in a city park in the Upper West Side, eaten by a Siberian tiger in the Bronx, beheaded in a party bus near the George Washington Bridge, die on subway tracks for a religion not your own in Queens or be the victim of a random butt stabber, also in Queens.

Since we moved here a year ago from North Carolina, I’ve been trying to learn all I can about the art of survival in New York City. I believe every experience that isn’t fatal can be a learning experience.

Lesson 1. Never run with scissors in a park. (9/25/2013) In less than 10 minutes, a man slashed or stabbed five people, including a two-year-old boy in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side. Bystanders eventually tackled the man and held him there until police arrived. The man had Texas identification on him, but had been living in a homeless shelter in the Bronx. Victims suffered varying degrees of injury, though none were fatal.(

Lesson 2. Don’t pet wild animals while on a monorail ride. (September 14, 2012.)  A man riding the Wild Asia monorail at the Bronx Zoo jumped out of the open air car and dropped down 17 feet into the enclosure housing an 11-year-old 400-pound Siberian tiger. Though he was not killed, zoo officials say he easily could have been. Tigers typically grab an animal by the back of the neck, killing them quickly. Zoo officials were able to distract the tiger using fire extinguishers until he could be lured back into his den and secured there. The monorail leaper suffered various bite wounds to his arms, legs, shoulder and back and was listed in stable condition at a hospital later. The tiger was not put down as zoo officials said he “did nothing wrong.” Asked by a first responder why he jumped into the tiger’s den, the man responded, “Everybody in life makes choices.”(

Lesson 3. A Party bus can be a grim place if you’re not careful. (8/31/2012) A 16 year old Queens boy was on his way to a birthday party in New Jersey in a double decker party bus carrying 65 kids when he stuck his head out of an emergency hatch on the top of the bus. The bus passed under an overpass a moment after the teen stuck his head up near the George Washington Bridge. A security guard on the bus had warned the kids not to mess with the emergency hatch several times. The party-goer had been drinking heavily and had a blood alcohol level of .209 percent, a subsequent investigation showed. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.(

Lesson 4. No pushing on the subway. A woman pushed a man to his death on a Queens subway platform on December 29, 2012. She told police she did it because she hates Muslims and thought he was Muslim, according to court documents. He was Hindu.(

Lesson 5. Watch your butt. (September 9, 2012) Caught on video, a man standing in a line at a deli in the Forest Hills section of Queens was repeatedly stabbed in the butt by another man for no apparent reason. The man who was stabbed was later reported to be recovering. The random butt stabber –  still at large. (

RIP in NYC – Counting the ways

One thought on “RIP in NYC – Counting the ways

  1. Richard Cress says:

    A great collection of profound vagaries, there. Wonderful observations. It seems there might be a great parody novel to be written that simply strings together these kinds of thoughts into one long story. Or, maybe just pair each up with a cute picture of a cat in a blanket or an engraving of a fat man in suspenders so people can post them on Facebook.
    “Push through the wall.”

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