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SI safe haven? Arthur Anderson Art artnscience-(at) Sipoet,

I guess I never thought about risk when I was a kid on StatNisland. My parents let me go almost anywhere on the Island once I was old enough to use the bus. (That would have been around middle school age between 12 and 20 years of age. LOL) I know she had no major problems for me to travel to visit with my pen pal girlfriend in Frederick Maryland when I was 16 years old. I was taken to the Train station and then traveled to and from Frederick by myself. I also regularly traveled by myself on the bus to the SI Ferry and subway to the 42nd street library, the American Museum of Natural History and the Metrapolitan Museum of Art from the time I was in 7th grade. The only admonitions my parents gave me were to follow the routes we planned and to not go east of Avenue of the Americas or West of 8th avenue. And not to go North of 86th street (I had to walk to the Guggenheim at 92nd street from 81st and Lexington).

I thought all kids were allowed this kind of freedom. I suppose my folks died as early as they did because all that primal fear was cooped up inside....they never told me.

However, that admonition about walking east of 6th avenue or west of 8th avenue at night....triggered a panic attack the first time I tried it during a visit 5 years ago. See what those messages do.

I am terribly sorry that your car was broken into and your purse stolen. You should always park your car at home and take public transportation or if you have to drive into manhattan, park in one of those multilevel lots that have razor wire all around.....only kiddin.

I did have one serious scare on StatNisland when I was 8 years old. I was walking up Jewett avenue towards Myers Corners from my house on Goodwin avenue when I saw some men beating up another man in the driveway of a torn-down house near some woods between the Firehouse and Myers corners. I can remember to this day what happened. I turned to the men who had the guy down and scolded them. One of them pulled a gun and pointed it right at my face and said I had better get outta dere or.... I ran like the wind and never told anyone about it. I still have nightmares about it. It was a one time only event yet it still affects me. I wouldn't malign the whole island because of it and it never happened to me again until I was in San Antonio Texas.

I was walking along the street when a car pulled out of a lot too close to me and almost knocked me down. I was with three guys as I grabbed for the car to prevent me from falling into a culvert. When the driver heard the sound of my hand, he stopped, got out and pointed a big pistol right at my face (something about guys and guns?). Obviously, he didn't shoot me. What I did was to read out his license number slowly and clearly to my buddies. Sometime after I started he remembered where he was and got back into his car and drove away.

I think these two instances made me feel extra proud to stand along side of all those Moms in Washington D.C. at the Million Moms March for safe and sane gun laws.

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