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10 New Yorkers share their weirdest late-night experiences in the city

Written by
Jaime Lutz

2am in New York Harbor  
“I was on the Staten Island Ferry a few years back, and a very drunk woman started vomiting all over the place. Soon her wine-scented puke was running all up and down the floor, and to avoid it, all the passengers started running from one side of the ferry to the other, causing the boat to completely tip to each side.”
—April Lavalle, 26

2am on the Upper West Side
“After downing margaritas, I was on the subway with two friends, holding on to the metal pole. After creepily staring at me for several minutes, some random dude sitting down leaned over and kissed my finger. I gasped, my friends gasped. I was drunk, angry and feeling especially empowered having just seen Magic Mike XXL. I screamed, ‘What the fuck did you just do?’ He drunkenly slurred, ‘I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.’ I continued to yell, ‘I did not give you permission to touch me.’ ‘Sorry, sorry,’ he mumbled as he got off the train and stepped into the next train car. By this point, everyone on the train is staring. I exclaimed, ‘Does anyone have hand sanitizer?’ A woman stepped forward, handed me some. People started clapping.”
—Anita Flores, 29

2:30am in the East Village
“It was one of my first gigs in New York: 2:30am and I still hadn’t gone on. It was some venue that was really a basement for storing beer, but someone had added a mic, and hey, comedy! I didn’t know anyone and ended up talking with this woman who was a model. She had been the victim of a random shooting on the 1 train. We discussed entrance versus exit wounds (I am a nurse), and she grabbed my hand and said, ‘Want to touch where the bullet went in?’ I said, ‘Sure,’ and she stuck my hand down her shirt and between her breasts. It was interesting from a medical point of view, and I am sure my face turned very, very red. I walked back to the subway marveling, Is this what New York is, beautiful women grabbing my hand and putting it on their breasts?”
—Kelli Dunham, 49

3am in the West Village
“So it was my 18th birthday party, and I was out with some friends drinking. We’re wandering around West 4th Street when we see Christopher Lloyd walking around in a big trench coat, sunglasses and one of those, like, Chinese rice hats. My birthday is the date that the plot is based around in Back to the Future, so I was like, This is a goddamn sign. But he also seemed like a real weirdo, which was sad but also not surprising. I’ll never forget that, though. It really was a sign from the universe. Specifically his hat.”—Arielle Baer, 33

3am in the East Village
“On Halloween, the L train was packed. Only half of a group of friends were able to fit in. The other half didn’t. Then it completely stalled. For 20 minutes. We kept in touch, mostly by yelling to each other through the small space between the subway-car doors. Somebody on the inside somehow jimmied open a subway-car window, got his friend to run to ground level to buy a case of beer at a bodega. He ran back down, and can by can, handed them to his friend on the inside. The friend then began to distribute those beer cans amongst the already-wasted costumed denizens of the car. Somebody else took out a Bluetooth and started a dance party on the train, with new cans of beer coming in through the window, like food supplies to a group of trapped miners.”
—Alex Wolinetz, 27

2:30am in Union Square
“One time two years ago, I was on the way home from work at like 2:30 on the L train. It was December 21st and nobody else was on the train except four guys with Santa hats and band instruments. They said ‘mind if we play?’ And I said ‘no.’ And then they played Christmas carols all the way to my stop where they also got off. It was honestly so magical!”
Chris Burns, 27

4 a.m. in the West Village
“It was close to 4 a.m. and me and my buddy were sobering up and kinda sad after a bar had last call (we'd just been to Berlin where bars pretty much never close). We were still jet lagged and high on nightlife, and just as we were about to stumble home, I struck up a conversation with some very drunk Ukrainian boys (in Russian). Ten minutes later we were in the back of their pick up truck in Greenwich Village as one of them drove without a seatbelt to Sullivan Room (now closed), which was somewhat underground back then and brought in European DJs and allegedly had after hours parties. The wild ride on the truck bed was the highlight.”
Yan Timanovsky, 37

5am in Williamsburg
“I've been to plenty of raves that lasted till past sunrise and nights where I was walking home as everyone else was going to work. One time I crashed on the couch at Shea stadium and used a curtain as a blanket.”
Sophie Weiner, 27

3 a.m., Meatpacking District
“I once stayed out late hanging with Lil’ Bow Wow after DJ Khaled's album release party back in like 2013 (I think?) He wanted to hook up with my friend.”
Ilana Rubin, 27

5 a.m. on the Upper West Side
“I met a British man on the uptown 96th platform at 5am. He had a guitar strapped to his back and a book in his hand. He sat down next to me. In my tired and hungover state (I lived off West 145th, partied in Jamaica, and took the train back uptown to save my coins), I inquired about the book he was reading. I was hoping to get a brief synopsis. I got an extensive one-page description that left me wondering why I bothered to ask. The Brit looked at me, said, ‘You don't care do you?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t.' We laughed, entered the 1 train together and ended up getting breakfast around 6:30am.”
Obi Nwizu, 34

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