When I was 19, I worked the night shift at a French-Japanese fusion restaurant near Union Square. It was called Japonais, the French word for Japanese, and the vibe was just as pretentious and obvious as that name suggests. When I clocked out of work in the wee hours of morning, the first thing I did was find food. Then I hopped the fence in Union Square Park to scarf it down in before getting on the train home to Harlem.
The people I met during those 2 a.m. dinners were vermin of the highest order. The kind of creepers that made me wish I was Chris Hansen with a hidden camera in my cleavage.
There was the guy in a purple suit, with bowtie, who wanted me to “try out” for an Elton John music video. (Elton John videos are typically cast in hotels at 2 a.m., apparently.) There was the guy who handed me a business card for a phony modeling agency, and the guy who invited me to the modeling agency in his bedroom.
It scared me to think that these looming predators – merely pests to me, could seriously harm someone who bought into their scam.
While the internet clearly facilitates the behavior of some of these creatures (what’s good, Craigslist Killer?), it also has many resources to help you identify and avoid them. **
New York Sex Offenders is New York’s sex offender registry, specific to each county in the state.
There is a Wikihow on avoiding that creepy dude on Craigslist.
Models Advocate offers a wealth of information about modeling agency scams.
I cannot vouche for it’s reliablility, but for all things Fuck That Guy, there’s, well, this.
**Another good idea is not to hang out in public parks at 2 a.m.