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The Harlem Welcome Wagon

There are many things I love about my new neighborhood: it's really cool, lots of PoCs, and there really seems to be a community here. Unfortunately, there are a LOT of dudes with too little sense and too much time on their hands around here. The shortest walk from home to the train is packed with them. I've dealt with street harassment before- I've been grabbed, accosted, followed, had people block my way or trap me alone in a closed space etc.- but the sheer numbers of people on this street ups my chances of someone saying something.

Yesterday, for example, a tall, thin dude stuck his umbrella out into my path to get me to notice him. When I walked around him his friend said "See, no skinny nigga is gonna be able to pick you up." Today some guy asked me if he could help me with my groceries. When I said "no thank you" he replied "See I was gonna carry you and your bags." WTF is it with dudes tryna physically pick me up? Makes nan' sense!


I also work late sometimes. I went 20 minutes out of my way last night just so I could take the shortest walk home, yet when I get out of the train station and stop in for a quick slice of pizza the pizza guy tries to hit me up in Spanish! I'm exhausted at this point, so my brain is too tired to a) process Spanish and b)come up with an excuse so I stupidly say: "Lo siento, no habla Espanol...." I get my pizza and walk out, only to have him follow me for three blocks trying to pick me up. This is on an empty street at 3am. DOES THIS DUDE NOT REALIZE HOW CREEPY HE IS?! I can see my building a few blocks away and I'm trying to decide whether to circle around the block so he doesn't know where I live or run to my building and call for the night guard when he wishes me a good night and walks back to work.

Ugh. I'm not even that scared anymore- most times, including this one, it's more of an annoyance. But it's so fucking depressing to think that someone leaving their job to follow you home late at night no longer inspires pulse-pounding fear.

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