Several times while walking alone in Manhattan and Brooklyn I’ve been faced with a do-or-die situation, or more precisely a hold-your-ground-or-run-like-hell thing. You’ve just come around a corner and spotted a group of five or six kids — rowdy, trash-talking, maybe a couple of hundred feet away — hanging out near a stoop or walking in your direction. The first instinct is to reverse course and avoid them altogether. But I’ve stopped myself from doing this knowing that the gang will sense weakness if I do a 180 and perhaps follow me….who knows? The two worst things you can do in a street confrontation is convey too much weakness or too much macho belligerence. You have to be cool and steady and low-key, not seeking eye contact but not avoiding it. Once or twice I’ve turned tail but 90% of the time I’ve manned up and kept walking.