Monday, June 30, 2008

My Quintessential New York Experience

It's been a while, sorry. I must update from my day yesterday... It's a very long story, so enjoy...

Yesterday, Shira had tickets for the matinee, closing showing of Sunday in the Park with George. Simply stunning show - the scene design was out of this world, and I think I can officially say I'm a big fan of Steven Sondheim. When we were leaving, it was pouring, and of course, my umbrella broke. So Shira and I parted ways and I went looking for a Duane Reade or a vendor or something. A vendor was my first find, so I stopped to buy a $5 umbrella. I'm pretty sure that in the 1 - 2 minutes I had my purse open, to get the cash out and put my change back in, the vendor (or someone else?) stole my phone.

Right before I stopped for the umbrella, I had just talked to someone on Craigslist who had a ticket for the Eddie Izzard show at Radio City Music Hall. I had only heard he was playing in New York on Friday, and of course, all three nights were totally sold out. Everything I had checked out on Craigslist had fallen through, so I had no plans on actually going. Thusly, no one (Shira, my mom, etc) knew I was going. But this woman, Sarah, her other CL buyer fell through, so I decided to go. Since I was already near Times Square, after I heard from Sarah and bought my umbrella, I just decided to walk around Times Square. Around 6:30ish, I went to check something on my phone, and guess what? It's not there!

I ran into a close McDonald's and spread all the contents of my purse on a table. Nothing. At this point, it was about 15-20 min before I was supposed to meet Sarah for Eddie Izzard. I tried calling my phone on a pay phone, tried calling Sarah, left a message. I headed to Radio City, with the intention of telling her "Sorry, I can't really see the show, big emergency." But when we finally met up (it was almost 8pm by the time I found her), she had talked to the guy that "found" my phone. He was coming to Radio City to bring me my phone. So at this point, I decided to see the show and paid her for my ticket. She left me her phone, saying that he said he would call when he got there. She went ahead and got in line and went inside, and I waited outside for this guy. He showed up and basically, in nice terms, forced me to pay him $70 for my phone. He claimed a guy showed up in his pizzeria, selling the phone. He bought it, feeling pretty sketch about it, and realized it was stolen and he should return it. And he told me he took a taxi here and blah blah blah, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Basically, I gave him the cash I had on me. Because, to some degree, I didn't have much choice... I realized to some degree that he was full of shit and conning me, but I was in a vulnerable situation.

My phone was to the point of being dead, so I turned it off (not noticing ALL of the dialed/received calls, etc), and went in and watched Eddie Izzard. (Another great show. Not his all-time funniest stuff, but I was really happy to see him live.) As I was on my way to the subway home, I turned the phone on, and noticed he had called home, my mom had called back, he had called Shira and my cousin Ashley. So I text Shira "Hey, I'm okay, on my way home. Have my phone, it's about to die, talk to you soon."  

When I get home, I realize how truly sketchy/con-artisty this guy was. I called home, and my mom tells me that she had been talking to Shira all evening. Basically, my phone randomly called the house number. Thank god the key lock wasn't on... Somehow while the phone was in this guy's pocket, it called the house. My mom said that when she picked up, she heard all of this spanish conversation. She stayed on the phone for a good 2 minutes and my mom keeps saying "Hello? Hello?!" So she talks to him, then realizes the only person she knows to call right now is Shira. She talks to Shira, and obviously Shira doesn't know exactly where I am. She calls my Aunt Nabila, who happens to be visiting NYC this week, no answer. She calls Aunt Susie, to get Ashley, Nabila's daughter's cell phone number, Ashley picks up, and no, of course I'm not with them today. My mom keeps calling my phone back, and talking to this man, Alex. She tells him that he can leave the phone with the concierge at the Westin Hotel Times Square, under Michael Brown. My aunt had offered to bring my phone to me in Astoria on Monday, so that could work. But no, he doesn't want to "leave" the phone anywhere. He claims he's leaving town tonight, blah blah blah. Then he tells my mom that "one of my friends is going to meet him at Radio City to get the phone". That was Sarah, the Craigslist girl. BUT, Shira ended up going to Radio City at like 8:30 (AFTER I had already gotten the phone), waiting, him not showing up, obviously, and just concerned about WTF had happened.

On my way home, I turned my phone on temporarily, and sent Shira a "I'm fine, got my phone, it's almost dead, TTYSoon" type of text. She, being the angel she is, called and updated my mom. Seriously, after talking to my mom (for almost three hours last night), it makes me so thankful to have the family and friends I do have. Without all the crap phone events of the day, Sunday was pretty spectacular. But I was just a bit flustered at the mid-day happenings.

1 comment:

Xtine said...

Oh, good god.

I'm sorry, hon!

Honestly, though...he could have demanded MUCH more than $70 <3