I Witnessed a Crime

I’ll tell you what, I cannot get out of NYC fast enough.

I have lived in this city for almost 12 years, and I have never seen anything like this.

Last weekend, my mom and I were in a cab on our way to meet up with my fiance at this beautiful rooftop lounge that is on the 101st floor of the Hudson Yards building overlooking the city. (And again, if you want me to make a NYC Must-See/Do/Eat list, I would be happy to, just let me know in the comments.)

NYC is not what it used to be. It is crime ridden, dirty and with an edge that can cut like a knife. Last weekend I witnessed a crime and called 9-1-1. #NYC, our time together is up. #crime #newyork #manhattan #safety #neighborhoodsafety #911 #travel #citylife #election

But it was around 10pm and we were in a cab on our way uptown, stopped at a stop light, when all of a sudden I look out my window, and on the sidewalk next to us, this man throws a brick through the window of an ice cream shop.

NYC is not what it used to be. It is crime ridden, dirty and with an edge that can cut like a knife. Last weekend I witnessed a crime and called 9-1-1. #NYC, I love you but our time together is up. #crime #newyork #manhattan #safety #neighborhoodsafety #911 #travel #citylife #election

It was this loud *pop* sound – almost like when you step on an unopened bag of chips, but amplified by a factor of ten.

I clearly saw the man. He angrily power-walked ahead, so that we could now see him through the cab windshield, and he picked up another paving brick from the little flower bed at the intersection ahead of us, and he carried it with him as he was storming north, past outdoor patio dining shelters that were full of unsuspecting people. I was holding my breath, praying that he wouldn’t throw it at a person, and thanking God that he didn’t throw it at our car.

After about 10 seconds, he threw it at another closed business, and I heard another *pop* like before. And then our cab turned and we were on our way out of there, and to safer ground.

I was relieved to be out of harms way, and I did something that I had never done before: I called 9-1-1.

And I reported the crime to the dispatcher, and what the man was wearing — which was very distinguishable: a tutu ballet skirt over hot pink sweat pants.

Do I think the man was ever caught? No. I mean we’re talking about the New York City police here: once the best in the country, but now they allow criminals to run the streets and subways and won’t do anything about it. (Just one of the many reasons why Steven and I are getting the HECK out of this crime-ridden, overpriced city.)

NYC is not what it used to be. It is crime ridden, dirty and with an edge that can cut like a knife. Last weekend I witnessed a crime and called 9-1-1. #NYC, I love you but our time together is up. #crime #newyork #manhattan #safety #neighborhoodsafety #911 #travel #citylife #election

But at least I could say I tried. This was my neighborhood, and I was going to do my part to keep it safe.

Honestly, I couldn’t help but think about those poor shop owners. Waking up the next day and walking into work only to find a brick through their window and a several thousand dollar repair bill to boot.

It made me really sad. But then I thought, Boy, haven’t we all had that “brick-through-the-window” kind of situation in our lives. I know I have. I woke up a few days after Christmas, everything is wonderful, and then *BAM* out of nowhere my mom had a stroke that night while we were out to dinner. A brick through my window.

Or how many other examples can we all name: with different diagnoses, job loss, Hurricane Ian or other natural disasters, loss of a loved one, infidelity. There are so many things that come at us out of the blue, like a brick through the window. Totally unexpected and undeserved.

And the thing is, you can’t just say, “everything happens for a reason,” or “God’s ways are mysterious,” etc. No. That doesn’t cut it. It’s insulting, even. There’s a brick you didn’t ask for, that shattered your window absolutely out of the blue.

There’s no softening of words that can alleviate that pain when you’re in it.

Having lived through several bricks myself: between my mom’s stroke, my own ulcerative colitis, and then that horrific season of anorexia…what I’ve come away from those experiences learning is that, sometimes, faith looks like just putting your head down and getting through it.

It’s just accepting: I didn’t ask for this brick, but I’m going to do what I have to do to get through this season. I’m going to cling to God’s grace by whatever thread I can muster and trust that He will carry me when I can’t.

Because you know what? By just putting your head down and getting through it, it turns out that He is the one sustaining you through it all. “Just doing the next right thing” — translates to Jesus meeting you where you’re at — at even just the slightest baby step you can muster — and carrying you the rest of the way.

That’s nitty-gritty faith. Faith in the battlefield.

As far as the crime I witnessed — I’m just grateful to be getting out of this city safe, and in one piece. New York is not what it used to be. It really isn’t. I wish I could sit here and absolutely glow and be giddy about how much I love NYC, and am so enamored with its zest and pulse, but I can’t. I used to be able to — and I have post after post that were love letters to my city. But not anymore. New York has become hardened and dangerous, dirty and with a sharp edge. Which is a devastating shame.

But if we let criminals off scott-free without consequences for lawless behavior, we truly cannot expect anything different.

Which is why, we are bidding New York adieu.

Until Monday…


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34 responses to “I Witnessed a Crime”

  1. I am sorry that you witnessed this, how sad and angering! Honestly, I am glad that you and Steven are leaving the city. Be safe, Caralyn. 🙏🏻

  2. That was just crazy. That is what you get with liberal prosecutors and those afraid of offending the mob group think. Same in LA and SF. Best wishes as you leave for greener pastures and no more urban jungles

  3. Ugh!! Sooo sorry to hear this. My daughter and I briefly considered coming to NYC for a mother-daughter trip (we’ve done this before, with happy memories…especially of high tea at the St Regis and the Metropolitan Opera) but decided against it because of increased crime. You are so on target about the bricks in the window. I’ve heard that the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” can also be interpreted as “I can ENDURE all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He is our only safe refuge when we are under attack. Blessings to you as you go to Cincinnati! Wow, neat stuff happening downtown there…my daughter and I took a trip there last fall. Loved the art museum! 🙂

  4. “Just doing the next right thing”. . . is all most of us can do, but as you note, if we invite Jesus to participate with us, HE does all the heavy lifting!
    “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
    All Father’s best to you as you relocate, but do not be surprised if troubles begin to add up even in Cincinnati. The Lord is returning soon, and it’s going to be a rough ride unless we are fully grounded in God’s word.
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing that. I’m sorry that your last memories of NYC are of that sort, but grateful that you have other, wonderful ones. I have to say that this post really struck me hard. Having just gone through Hurricane Ian here in Fort Myers, and as someone who has experienced a multitude of bricks in my life, I was moved both in grief for me and others, but also in praising and worshiping God. We find joy even in sorrow for He is the redeemer of all things and evil doesn’t stand a chance in his presence. All glory goes to Jesus who has overcome every brick ever thrown!

  6. I’d never been to NYC until 2000 when my then fiancée (now my wife) took me with her on a weekend trip she’d won on a Dallas radio station to see the fantastic Tina Turner perform at Madison Square Gardens. (Tina didn’t disappoint.) It was thrilling to be in your city at that time. I booked a dinner boat excursion through the harbor that took us out by the statue of liberty and under the Brooklyn Bridge. We were blessed to get to see the magnificent twin towers dominating the skyline, too. We shopped and strolled up and down 5th Avenue, marveled at the beauty of St. Peters and the coolness of Grand Central Station. I’m so glad we got to go there before things started going downhill into chaos. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back now. Too dangerous. It makes me very happy to know you’re escaping Babylon in time. God bless.

  7. Hi C! So glad you and your Mom are OK and were able to be in the cab when that happened. And kudos to you for reporting it.
    “…what I’ve come away from those experiences learning is that, sometimes, faith looks like just putting your head down and getting through it.”
    I understand what you’re saying. And I totally agree with you, that there are no words to soften or alleviate the pain we sometimes go through. In those times, we just need to remember that God is still God. He loves us, and He hurts with us. We may feel isolated, but we are definitely not alone. And if we have to just stop and cry or back out of life for a time, that’s OK too. We know He completely understands. He designed grief to take as long as it takes.
    But I want to offer an alternative thought to just putting your head down and getting through it. While God may not have initiated what happened, He still allowed it. Nothing catches Him by surprise. And we know He loves us so much, He wouldn’t allow anything to get to us if He couldn’t use it to give us the very best.
    C. S. Lewis said “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, and shouts to us in our pain.” In allowing things to get to us, perhaps God is simply trying to get our attention. So instead of putting your head down, I suggest looking up, to Him. Admit how you’re feeling. “God, I know You know I am hurting beyond belief and beyond my ability to handle without You. But I also know You love me and want only the best for me. So Father please open my eyes to what You are showing me or teaching me. And give me the strength to walk through this, or crawl when I have to. And remind me You’re always with me, I never walk alone.”
    I remember you saying something else that your Mom told you. “Be transformed in the waiting.” That is exactly what God is after. I also remember something you said, just last week. “…when we trust in our Father, who protects us, and wants only the best for His children, we truly have nothing in the world to fear.”
    Have a wonderful weekend, Caralyn!

  8. I wonder how much more New Yorkers will allow their city to become overrun with lawlessness and criminals? And if they continue removing police protection and justice for victims…a breeding ground for more evil evolves.

  9. Hey Caralyn 🙂

    Just a little while ago I mentioned on someone else’s blog how odd it is the way we feel about things we (choose to) have (as “our own”) versus *OTHER* things. I referred to Aesop’s tale about “sour grapes” … and I feel like it also applies 100% here. What do you think?

    In any case, by thankful nothing happened to YOU (at least this time 😉 ). I feel you are also 100% spot on with your empathic feelings for those harmed — I wonder: how can such people be helped and supported(?)

    Is such “communal” spirit American? UnAmerican?? It reminds me a little of one of my own recent posts — see:


    🙂 Norbert

  10. How sad to see what has become of such a beautiful city. I would love to see your guide to NYC. I actually saved the one you did a few years ago and refer to it whenever I’m in the city. An updated one would be wonderful!

  11. I’ve said it before: something goes wrong and ask God why He did something bad. The answer is that He didn’t. As several others hear have said, God allowed it. Why? Because we collectively chose Satan over God, starting with Adam and Eve. God allows that choice to be made. Why do bad things happen? Because Satan rules this world. However, God is so infinitely wise that he can outmaneuver every evil Satan throws. All things are possible through Him. All we need do is choose God continually through faith.

  12. That’s crazy, Caralyn! You turned that situation into a beautiful analogy. I’ve had several “bricks through my window”…cancer being the latest. You’re absolutely 💯 on the “nitty gritty” of putting the head down and going through it with the power that only comes from Christ! I’ve never visited NYC…I’ve dreamt of it. I’m so sad to hear how your beloved city is now a place you must leave. But go! Both of you go and all I will say is “Welcome to the rest of your life!” You’re a blessing sweet lady! Love in Christ, Karla 💛💕🙏🏻

  13. I feel sad for the shop owners as well. Glad you and your family were alright and thank you for sharing! Regardless of peoples differences we need to spread love in the world especially America.

  14. My family and I visited NYC last December and loved the city so much. We were truly star struck. I hope the city gets better. On our two-day trip a young person, a jogger, was assaulted on the other side of Central Park. We had spent the day there and were headed back to the hotel when we saw a report my husband found on his phone about the assault. That was scary.

  15. In the eighties New York sounded like a dreadfully scary place.
    In the eighties New York sounded like a dreadfully scary place. I was told of British people being warned to stay off the streets. I believe Guiliani was credited with cleaning it up. I thought I had better check my facts. The video I watched seems to be claiming Guiliani took on the mob. All I know is we considered New York really dangerous in the eighties. I don’t know that it is considered anything like as bad now.

    • Watch “Colin Quinn on Why Post Lockdown NYC is Not Like NYC in the 80’s” on YouTube
      Joe Rogan is having an interesting chat with Colin Quinn. It seems balanced and fair. He seems to agree that Guiliani cleaned up New York.

    • You’re right about that, Michael. The city has taken a nosedive, and it really is so sad. Heartbreaking, truly. it’s just not what it used to be. i appreciate you stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  16. Good for you for doing the right thing. Calling 911 with the hope of justice being done was an important step toward helping to curb crime. If everyone reported wrong-doings immediately, maybe a concerned citizenry could turn things around. I hate the thought of just giving up on The Big Apple!

    • Thank you Jan, it was certainly a sad situation to witness. i sure hope so. the Big Apple needs all the prayers it can get when it comes to crime! Hugs and love xox

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