And Now He's Dead

Story Sent in by Amparo:

I moved to New York City after college in the Midwest. I had a couple of friends already there, and they suggested I try online dating. Charles was one of the first guys I messaged and he was really excited to speak with me. He became even more so when he found out that I was new to the city. He said that if I gave him the opportunity, he'd take me to all of the places that the locals frequented that were off the beaten path. So I gave him the opportunity.

He asked me to meet him a block away from Times Square. After he arrived, he hailed a cab and gave the driver an address on 130th Street. I thought I misheard him and I even said, "130th Street?" Charles confirmed it. 130th Street isn't the best neighborhood, and that's putting it lightly. For the little I knew about the city, even I knew that.

He said, "There's a great restaurant up there that nobody knows about because everyone's too scared. We're not scared, though."

Uh... speak for yourself. But I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The taxi let us off on the scariest street corner I've ever seen before or since. There was a derelict bus stop, seriously ramshackle tenements, and at least three people pushing grocery carts around, filled with anything and everything. Charles hastily paid and the taxi was off. There wasn't any sort of restaurant to be seen. He looked up and down the road for just a second and said, "That's weird. They must have closed. Oh, well. Let's take a walk."

"No way. We're getting in a taxi and heading back downtown."

He said, "There's nothing to be afraid of. This is a safe, wealthy neighborhood."

At that very moment, a guy shuffled out of an alley across the street, leaned against a stoop, and stared at us. I said, "I'm heading to a main road and getting a taxi. Come with me or don't."

I hurried off and didn't look back. By the time I made it to a main avenue, where there was a bit more light and a few more people, I turned around. Charles wasn't there. I thought about going to look for him, but realized that if he wanted to follow me, he could have. Maybe he stayed behind to look for that restaurant. In any event I jumped into the first cab that would take me and I went back downtown, never to hear from Charles again.


  1. My guess is Charles lived in this neighborhood, and they would go on a walk and happen by his place. Surely his twin brother would be waiting there, on a bed full of trash.

  2. Hey, that's an up-and-coming neighborhood, I'll have you know! Just last month they got a new crack house on the corner. Before that, residents had to walk five blocks for a decent rock. It also has great amenities like being right in the middle of two gang turfs and an excellent drive-by kill rating. You really can't put a price on that kind of thing.

  3. Though OP didn't provide the cross-street, there is actually a really good restaurant there on 126th street named Sylvia's. Great soul food, and it has been there for quite awhile. http://sylviasrestaurant.com/

  4. I'd really like to know when this happened & exactly where the poster was on 130th. There are areas of 130th that are great & areas that are sketchy, but saying "130th Street isn't the best neighborhood, and that's putting it lightly. For the little I knew about the city, even I knew that." like 130th itself *is* a neighborhood means that the OP doen't know NYC like she claims to. I've lived in the 140s for over 5 years now & while it is middle to lower-middle class, and not the same vibe as the trendier areas, it's safe, fairly clean, and definitely NOT sketchy across entire streets.

  5. I was wondering if author meant East or West. Also, I think she is exaggerating. I had a boyfriend live by the GW bridge and it wasn't nice or well-populated, but it also wasn't cracky. She makes it sound like "Night of the Living Dead".

    As far as I can tell, neither of the two people in this story were actually New Yorkers (who takes a cab from Times Square to 130th? Expensive and a long-ass trip). There are far cheaper and less embarrassing ways to impress a lady.


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