Friday, October 10, 2008

Rudeness

I've heard quite a bit about New Yorkers since I got back earlier this week. People who hear that I've been there say a lot of, "Ugh, those New Yorkers are so rude." All of this from Midwesterners who have never lived in the city, of course. But, it seems, if there's one thing these people know for sure, it's that everyone living everywhere else is a jackass.

I actually found New Yorkers to be quite lovely. When you live in New York, when you take the subway to and from work at rush hour, when you shop in a neighborhood grocery store, when you spend lazy weekends in the park; you realize just how great New Yorkers can be.

The tourists who bitch about a rude New York fail to recognize that the city is not an amusement park. It's inhabitants are not Disney employees paid to make sure you have a pleasant stay. The New Yorkers live there. When they're out in the city, they're actually trying to get somewhere. If you're standing in the middle of a street corner at 6:30 on a Friday evening holding your camera and a map, spinning in those wiiide tourist circles, trying to figure out which way is east, you shouldn't be surprised if some woman trying to get home to her kids after a long day at the office tells you to MOVE.

If you followed that woman into the subway, you would see that, without saying a word, she'll take the cumbersome bag from the old woman in front of her and lift it to the top of the escalator. She'll do this for two reasons: first, she is a decent human being who cares for the elderly, and second, the old lady was taking so long that none of us was going to make it from the 51st to 53rd street station if somebody didn't move things along. I respect her for both.

The point is, I'm not convinced that it's a city full of jackasses. In fact, I found a lot of people--very different people--living in a relatively small space, very few of them killing each other. Like I said, lovely.

6 comments:

Sara said...

I'd totally be Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" walking into her store saying how much I love fall in New York while people are yelling across the street and calling each other jackasses.

It's all in the perspective. :)

And dude, if the stereotypical NY construction worker whistled at me and told me I was hot I'd stop and thank him.

I'll take what I can get.

Terroni said...

My doorman told my I looked like Audrey Hepburn one day.

I gave him five bucks.

said...

I love New York and I love New Yorkers. I always feel safer in the "big cities" than I do in small town America. The crowd at that rally in Bethlehem, PA should make my reasons perfectly clear.

Anonymous said...

We New Yorkers have a gruffness that is misunderstood by outsiders.
We also know the way we have handled ourselves in any major emergency situation blackouts, blizzards, 9/11. What comes out of us during those times is our true nature.

Maria said...

I always wanted to have someone compare me to Audrey.

Chelsea, the office chatterbox, told me once that she LOVED my glasses, that I looked JUST like SARAH PALIN.

That alone deserved a pop in the chops.

Couldn't she have said TINA FEY, for god sakes?

AS IF I would wear my hair up in one of those imbecilic buns..

I truly hate your word verification, T.

MmeBenaut said...

Helloo? Audrey? So glad you gave the doorman five bucks - that's about $A10 here and one can buy a decent lunch for that much.

New York is still on my wish list of places to visit.

Rock throwing? That jackass could have killed you.