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Yesterday, the NY Times had a City section feature wondering if the concept of NYC as a scary place was lost, as the city gets more cleaned up and gentrified every moment. Gothamist liked how the author called it from Son of Sam to Sex and the City and were amused that one person felt his mugging was like a "badge of honor" - we like badges, but that's one we rather not have. Many people admit to being myopic about crime (wallets in their open pockets, for instance), and change their tune only when they are mugged, while some pundits think that many NYers think terrorism before crime. Gothamist is actually paranoid about both NYC crime and terrorism, but since we tend to make sure we have our wallet 20 times a day, clamp our arm over our bag, and like to walk in packs of people (but not more than two people across on a sidewalk), versus preparing that Go Bag, we'd say we're more concerned with crime.

How do you stay safe? We think that McGruff the Crime Dog's tips for safety for women actually have great application to mean. The "scary NY" (think dirtier, grittier) is the New York seen in Midnight Cowboy, Panic in Needle Park, Serpico or Crocodile Dundee. And those who think that Sex and the City is NYC: In one episode, Carrie was mugged for her purse and shoes. For more "scary" city stories, check the archives of Scary NY. People - just because you have a cellphone doesn't mean you're safe. And our own Laren teaches a self defense class at Prepare and reminds us that there's an open house/graduation on Tuesday, 8:00 pm at 147 W. 25th St. (between 6th & 7th Avenues). Another new resource for getting home safe is Right Rides.