Thing to remember about bears, whether black or Griz, is that they're strong individualists (like us human beans), and so are not especially predictable, and are prone to neurosis (also like us). You just can't say with much credibility that a bear "will" do so and so.
I've lived much of my life in the open in black bear country, and have counted a couple of bears as good friends. I've been chased off my camp by grumpy bears about as often as I've grumpily chased them off mine. I generally don't mind having them around, which is more than I can say about some of the folks from town, and probably more than most bears would say about me.
Fellow I knew back home in the Rockies was eaten by a black bear. He wasn't the brightest bulb in the marquee, and kept a dirty camp around his old hard-sided travel trailer in the backcountry. When he told us of problems with a returning agressive bear, a friend loaned him a 30.06.
When we missed him at the bar for a few weeks we went up and found his trailer door, riddled with bullet holes, ripped off. And we eventually found part of the guy under a dirt mound. Local folk did finally kill the offending bear (sadly killing the wrong one first), and he had a mostly healed scar on his forehead where a 30.06 round had glanced off. Bear skulls are thick and steeply sloped in relation to your point of aim. Shoot for the chest or side if you have to shoot. I killed one with a .22 when I was a little kid, but it took all day and most of a box of shells.
I live full-time in my Airstream, almost always in bear country. It would be inconvenient to say the least to always cook and store food away from the trailer. But when I see signs of a particular bear (or mountain lion for that matter) becoming threatening, I readily resort to preparing, hanging, and eating food far from camp. Heck, I even designate special food prep clothing (in season
) that gets hauled up into the tree with the food. When the situation is less extreme, I just put aromatic food in the refrigerator, where the door seals do a pretty good job of limiting wafting smells. Only canned food and the like goes in cabinets.
Anyone who has figured out how to survive in New York City likely already has most of the skill set necessary to live with bears. You just have to realize that there's probably not a cop on every third corner, and that even a young bear is a lot stronger than a full-grown crackhead, and possibly just as agressive.
Having big dogs around generally helps. Note use of the plural. Many bears have no compunction about attacking a single dog, no matter how good a scrapper, but few will approach two large, confident dogs. My two dogs do a very good job of keeping bears and mountain lions at bay. One is an enormous Husky / Bernese Mountain dog that looks the bear himself, but is quite deferrential to actual bears. The other is a small-ish Husky / Grey Wolf that'll jump bears for sport. It's risky to be in bear country with either of them alone because the one has no intent of offering protection while the other is more likely to provoke than prevent confrontatiion. Together they make a fine anti-bruin team.