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How a Stolen Wristlet Proved NYC Is Filled with Kind Samaritans

It’s hard to believe the spring semester of Newhouse NYC is over. We asked the students to reflect on their time in NYC, and here is what spring Newhouse NYC student (and recent TRF alumna!) Autumn Boatner had to share about how her stolen wristlet led to a very unique connection.

Autumn

Very few things are as important to a twenty-something woman than her wristlet. It is in college that a young woman learns about the magic of wristlets, wallets that render purses useless once and for all. My wristlet is a beat-up, Lilly Pulitzer tech case–faded by dirt, adventures, and use. I’ve had my wristlet for three years. Toward the end of the spring semester, it was pickpocketed on the 3 train. Unfortunately, thanks to the convenience of wristlets, my keys were missing in the action as well. Upon realizing that my wallet was missing, I was distraught, asking subway conductors for help. They tried to help, but there isn’t much more they could’ve done besides shrug.

The only thing more magical than wristlets is circumstance. The frustrated pickpocket ditched my wristlet on Broadway after realizing the most valuable things inside it were a three-day unlimited ride metro card and seven dollars. Luckily, a kind samaritan picked it up and looked at my IDs, and discovered I interned at Viacom. That kind samaritan also happened to formerly work for Essence, a media professional herself, and she set out to return it to me.

After finding me on Twitter several hours later, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to see a stranger attempting to return my wallet. We arranged to meet up in Harlem for her to return it. The evening ended in a heartfelt, two-hour conversation over drinks. Imani, the kind samaritan, is more than a stranger now. She’s my friend, and we’ve gotten dinner since. I cannot fathom what karmic forces brought us together, but I’m so happy they did.

The lesson of this story is, New York City gets a bad rap. This is a city full of kindness: locals willing to guide the naïve tourist, honest cashiers that tell you when you overpay, commuters willing to hold a subway door for a flustered parent. It didn’t take meeting Imani for me to realize that, but it’s a great example of just how crazy the city that never sleeps can be.

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