Empathy — while being your super power — will also open up your channels to the “Too Much”. And even a warm smile given and received — will be mistaken by the non-conscious. You did well — to make it through with heart & psyche intact. My daughter lived in Philly for 2 years during grad school and loved the city. She looked at the diversity of it all like a canvass of Humanity. But she is an artist as well as an empath — so even the dark colors appeal to her on a different level than the rest of us.
Many blessings my dear Violet. Black candles — salt in your bath — and buy yourself a black tourmaline pendant for the trip home to absorb all that negative vibe. ❤ And then when you’re home — smudge the hell out of yourself.