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Kenny
10-08-2008, 08:00 PM
I want a very streetwise character and so need to buff up my knowledge on how to survive in a city.

So any resources/books/stories would be welcome.

Thanks in advance!

Kenny

dirtsider
10-08-2008, 08:45 PM
Try looking up an author called "Ace Backward". I know he wrote a book about living on the streets.

ManyAk
10-09-2008, 02:20 AM
Well first thing first, he should ALWAYS have his eyes wide open and pay attention to everyone. You can't trust people on the street, so be careful.

StephanieFox
10-09-2008, 04:14 AM
If you look like you are aware of your surroundings and you walk with confidence there's less of a chance that you'll attract the bad people. If you look timid or afraid, you'll get jumped. Don't challenge anyone by staring at them, but don't walk looking down, either. Think of the way dogs react to each other. If one dog stares at another, they'll be a fight.

If someone says 'hello' you can say hello back. I found that if someone makes a negative comment, I can react by acting pissed off (but not confrontational). I'll say in an angry voice something to the effect of, "Don't give me any shit. I've got enough on my mind. Fuck it!" Maybe I'm a little crazy, they might think. At least, I'm unpredictable and better left alone. I think technique this works for me because it's unexpected. They don't expect this coming from a 5'2" middle-aged women.

Walk like you own the street. This is very important. I do something i call 'the New York stance'. I stand solidly, with my legs slightly apart, my shoulders back and my arms folded (or at least not hanging loosly). I keep my breath even. I survey the territory, but I don't let my eyes dart around. I pay attention not just to what I see, but to sounds and smells.

Don't show fear. When you back off from a possibly confrontational situation, don't turn your back. Face the person but hold your hands up, palms out and say, "Hey, I don't want to have any problems, OK?" Smile a friendly smile. Actually, that works well even when you're just walking, minding your own business.

I had a friend who was walking through Central Park in NYC at 2:00 am, a number of years ago. Some guy jumped out from behind a bush and waved a knife around, demanding money. My friend (who was about 5'6" and slender) laughed. "Do I look like I have any money?" My friend walked on the the robber went back behind his bush.

CalGrave
10-09-2008, 09:54 AM
John Rain Series by Barry Eisler are essential. Here's an article he's done. More of spy stuff but very relevant.

http://www.barryeisler.com/extras_tips.php

A quick and common sense example would be always insist on sitting in the back of a room so you can observe everyone.

lemonhead
10-09-2008, 11:30 PM
Read "The Corner" by David Simon and Edward Burns

Also, I would suggest watching HBO's "The Wire". I live in West Baltimore and the creators (I beleive the same people who wrote the corner) did an EXCELLENT job in getting the true gritty feel of life in the city.
It's an education!! (short of living here. lol)