For those of you who think Harlem is a scary place...maybe it is, but not completely. In the short time I've lived here I've seen so many acts of kindness by strangers that I'm beginning to think that my Harlem home might be even more friendly and kind than the small towns I've lived in.
My roommate had an experience the other day when she went to the grocery store and bought more food than she thought she would. Then she had to walk up the steep hill to our house, carrying several heavy bags, against the cold winter wind. Every few minutes she would stop and put the bags down and warm up her hands. Then all of a sudden a little old man came along and picked up the bags and started carring them up the hill for her. He walked her all the way to our house! And he wasn't a murderer or crazy person, just a nice man who saw a need for help and filled it out of the kindness of his heart.
This morning I saw a woman with a big stroller trying to go down the stairs into the subway. As she struggled, along came a random teenage boy who picked up the stroller and carried it down the steps for her. Then he continued on his own way, running to catch another train to school.
It seems like every day I see something like this happen in Harlem. It warms my heart, and really makes me love where I live.