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If you live in New York City, eventually you or someone you know will witness the following…

A transvestite hooker still trolling for customers while you are on your way to work at 7:30 am.

A couple doing the wild thing in some shadowy alley. Used condoms on the sidewalk the next day.

Someone going to the bathroom on the subway platform. Or on a truly fortunate day, on the subway itself.

Subway commuters trying to avoid the aftermath of someone going to the bathroom as the train jerks back and forth.

This city can be a dark, gritty place. We all know that going in. But I certainly thought the shock value had worn off. Until I sat down with my friend Abby for dinner on Saturday night.

Abby proceeds to tell me that a few years ago, she was sitting in a Manhattan movie theater and heard a scratching sound on her left, in a seat she knew was empty.  She looked over and saw a rat sitting on the arm rest, one chair over.

Yes, a RAT. Just enjoying the previews like anybody else.

Abby leaped up and bolted out of the theater screaming, just hoping to keep her flip flops on. She abandoned her purse, popcorn and drink.

So when she complained at the ticket window, the woman said, way too casually, something like this….

“I’m so sorry. There is a Petco next door and the rats tunnel their way in. We’ll refund your ticket and snacks and get your purse for you.”

Tunnel their way in? Damn, how much do those crazy rats want them some popcorn?! The dogfood at Petco must just totally suck.

Honestly, I don’t know how anyone recovers from an experience like that. I really don’t. 

But Abby did. She not only went back to the movies, she has actually returned to that theater. It took her a few years but now she’ll go there again.

She really could kick Whitney’s arse when it comes to survival in “The City.”

That Abby is one true New Yorker.

35 Responses to the city

  • calikim says:

    Whitney is about the only person I COULD tolerate on the “Hills”. As affected as she may seem, she also seems to be the most real and down to earth. Go figure!!! Why do I watch that junk!!

    A Rat?? Eiwwww!! I have a SF “City” story for you. I was walking into my workplace early once Sunday morning about 5AM. I was quite happy there was not a bum in the doorway I had to step over to get in the door. However, i started hearing strange noises. Oh yes, It was a couple of bums “bumping uglies’ only a few feet from me in another doorway. Thank Gawd they were covered. And this happened NOT once, but TWICE!! I am still traumatized by the experience.

  • Gabrielita's mom says:

    Ratonsito, pobristo. He was probably trolling for dates in the cinema after the tranny stole his corner down the tunnel.   The Hills wish they had such action babee 🙂

  • Portia says:

    LOL…I love the grit of the city…that’s what makes it interesting….mind you I haven’texperienced any of the above yet..even while living in Manhattan.  However, I lived on the UES on 80th between 1st and York.  Not too much action in that neck of the woods.

  • kristen says:

    i have the NY gross out story to end all gross out stories but i’ll spare you here. seriously, my husband and i were talking about it and after 22 years of city living and working, my story still beats everyone.  email me if you want to hear…you know you do.

  • Terra says:

    Never been to the city, would not be as strong as Abby…could never go back and probably would have peed my way out of the theater (not by choice)

  • Valerie says:

    Hilarious description of a hilarious story.  Kristen, please post your story or at least a link to where we can see it!

  • Milena says:

    New York is one of those places you either love or hate. Personally, I could never live there for all the obvious reasons, it smells, so much noise, it’s claustrophobic, unless you walk it takes for ever to get anywhere and finally, there is a rush rush mentality to NY that totally frazzles me. I love visiting over a weekend for all the wonderful things it has to offer however and anybody worth their salt would say that really there is no place on earth like NY. I bet the rats would agree.

  • Oz says:

    Yikes!  We have a composter in the backyard.  I haven’t gone back there since my husband told me it had become a home for mice.  Then the cat got out and decided to yank out mouse intestines and leave them on our porch.  And that was just a cute (well, before it was mutilated) mouse, not a big ole rat. 

  • MN Mama says:

    Call me crazy but I would rather deal with the occasional 15 below zero than a rat next to me at a movie.  Yikes and more yikes!  All the other things are kind of icky too.  I thought NYC had gotten a lot cleaner and nicer.  Am I right?

  • Karen Bland says:

    I’ll take the 30 below wind chills of Minneapolis ANY DAY over a rat enjoying a flick. However, my cousin in Atlanta swears that Rats are a huge problem for Hot-lanta – whoda thunk it? (I want to hear Kristen’s gross story!)

  • magpie says:

    Hey – I live in the suburbs and a couple of months ago, a mouse ran over my foot in the cellar.  But then my husband swacked it with a newspaper and dispatched it.

  • Pearl says:

    Rat, Shmat! I totally had a creepy freak guy grab my leg from under a seat in the movie theater.  Yes! He was laying down in the row in front of where I sat down (obviously I didn’t see him before I took my seat…)  and about 15 minutes into the movie, I feel something touching my leg!  Long story short, I jumped up and dumped my drink on him.  HA!  Still, I think I need therapy.

  • Allison T. says:

    You watched! The City became a glittering metropolis completely unknown to you. Everyone was beautiful, wore 3 inch skirts, 6 inch heels, and had their long hair pinned back casually (maybe braided, maybe not).  And then a rat invaded their fab DVF party and jumped into Olivia’s lap…

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    You left out other NYC experiences.  Like riding the subways and having some guy jerking off on you.  Yes, it was a nightly experience returning home after work.  I’d get on the subway with my friend Lynda; we’d look around and try and guess which guy was going to ‘whip it out’.  We were sometimes wrong, but never disappointed.  There was always one in the subway car.   One night it was a double-header…

  • pajamadeen says:

    I have a surprise for you city slickers.  (I’m a metro D.C. refugee.)  Here in Tiny Town (pop. 250), you get a cat so that it will hunt down mice and other critters from nearby farms and huge gardens. 

    Then you sit back and watch the carnage – in the spring, the cat drags in helpless, mutilated baby birds as trophies for you to admire.  They are always still alive and…bleeding.  And baby bunnies.  It’s horrible. 

    In the fall, the cat brings in mice and releases them, so that they run frantically around the office.  One ran across the top of my feet as I was blogging one night. 

    Belling the cat doesn’t work – it can’t hunt mice and, besides, the cat is stupid and gets its legs caught up in collars somehow. 

    Rodents.  I hate them all.  Bunnies – run!

  • Ah yes, rats where you wouldn’t expect them and urine (and urine only if your lucky) in the subway cars, now you’ve made me all nostalgic for my city days. I’m gonna go to the Olive Garden now and hang out in my walk-in closet.

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kelcey kintner