Things got turned around, thankfully, I started going for walks around the park in the morning, and wearing earplugs in my room. A guy there, short stocky Puerto Rican (looks European) took me under his wing and gave me the low down on the place, telling me which subway trains to catch (what is uptown, what is downtown) and to not take it personally. Seems like it is a bit of a New York thing, especially in the poorer burbs, you don't trust everybody.
Had my interview with the professor of Middle Eastern endangered languages. Bit torturous cos I had a new monitor that didn't let me know when the tape ran out, so ended up having to redo some of it. Very embarrassing. I keep wondering if we missed a question, but haven't had the courage to go over it.
When it gets hot somehow some of the fire hydrants start spouting water and the kids play in it. There's bright spots in this. The first time I went on the subway, three young black guys jumped on our carriage and started breakdancing. And some of the graffiti around (only some though) has been quite beautiful. I get it now, making something beautiful out of the crap.
Not casting aspersions on NZ taggers (but I am) but they don't have massive depressed neighborhoods like in NY. I guess that's why it started here and it's copied everywhere else.