Publicist Sydney Schiff moved to New York City 9 years in the past from Tampa, Florida, to attend FIT and at all times moved across the Big Apple in a carefree method. But she now carries pepper spray together with her in every single place — particularly after shifting to the East Village final 12 months.
“I’ve needed to name the cops 4 occasions within the final two months,” mentioned Schiff, 27. “There is one one who must be on medication, that sleeps on my stoop and for those who ask him to maneuver he will get aggressive. So I at all times have my pepper spray.”
The man as soon as even instructed her he’d “homicide her,” she mentioned.
“I don’t know if he’s lucid, however for me, that is my protected area. What am I imagined to do?” she continued.
A rising variety of girls within the Big Apple are arming themselves with pepper spray as the town sees a 35.6% uptick of serious crimes from last summer. Though it’s unlawful to ship to a New York state handle, it’s become a coveted accessory as fewer and fewer outposts within the metropolis promote it.
At Esco Pharmacy in Hell’s Kitchen, an worker instructed The Post they’ve seen a “main uptick” in gross sales of the $27 pepper spray. It’s often bought by girls, in addition to by males for his or her feminine important others.
“People are afraid. It’s loopy on the market,” the worker mentioned.
One 28-year-old publicist, who didn’t need her title used for skilled causes, mentioned she attended a spring efficiency of “Funny Girl” on the August Wilson Theatre and was instructed she couldn’t take her pepper spray into the theater. Since she purchased it in Florida, she was detest to offer it up. Security instructed her to give up it and that she may retrieve it after the present.
“When I went to choose it up, there have been not less than 30 different pepper sprays within the basket,” she mentioned.
Mississippi native Maggie Zazak, a grad scholar who lives within the Bronx, not too long ago introduced her pepper spray on a primary date and needed to test it on the door of an Inwood bar.
“I moved right here final August, and it’s the truth that I’m alone right here. I like to hold it. I didn’t need my date to suppose I didn’t belief them, so it was a bit of awkward,” Zazak mentioned.
But Zazak is okay with a bit of social discomfort. While she hasn’t had to make use of it, she did have a person banging on her residence constructing door, which jolted her nerves.
“Also, my dad and mom are at all times texting me about each crime story and we’re at all times experiencing people who find themselves having mental-health crises on the practice,” mentioned Zazak, 23.
Schiff first began carrying pepper spray in her purse after a 2020 break-in in her earlier residence constructing in Brooklyn. In November, she took a category in Tampa to show her methods to correctly use the self-defense software and “really feel extra comfy carrying it.”
Still, she’s pissed off that the town she as soon as noticed as a protected haven has grow to be so harmful.
“I’m most likely by no means leaving this metropolis. I like it,” she mentioned. “I don’t need to ever use the pepper spray, however there’s a concern of the unknown. This offers me a bit of sense of management.”