You hear it all the time – especially if you’re from California: People from New York are whiney and rude! I am here to tell you, as a true-blue Californian who recently traveled to New York for summer vacation with my two daughters, that this stereotype is not even close to being true.
Quite the opposite. I found New Yorkers to be some of the nicest, friendliest, most helpful people I have ever met. They smiled, they small-talked with us, they gave us directions and on one particular occasion, when I must have really looked like a lost, pathetic tourist, this woman walking very swiftly on Wall Street actually took time out of what was probably a very bad day for the stock market to stop and ask me if I needed any help. I didn’t even have to ask . . . she KNEW!
I would like to officially apologize for every Californian who has ever perpetuated that unfair stereotype of nasty New Yorkers.
What I love about New Yorkers is that they are who they are. No pretenses. Yeah, they’re in a big hurry most of the time, and maybe that’s why they are so REAL: There’s no time for B.S. There’s a big, bustling city they have to keep in perpetual motion.
Bostonians on the other hand . . . not so nice. A little too aloof and uptight, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the puritanical roots that they haven’t been able to shake. Whatever the reason, within five minutes of getting off the subway from the Amtrak station, I sensed a personality clash between me and Boston.
So, picture this. My daughters and I are dragging our heavy suitcases down two flights of subway stairs to catch the Green Line to Brookline, a nearby suburb where our hotel was located. My daughters are on one side of the stairwell, and I moved to the other side, the left side, because I was worried that if I lost my grip on this heavy bag, it would careen into them and knock them down. It was THAT overpacked! And at the time, there was no one else on the stairwell but us.
Little did I know that there is an unspoken subway protocol in Boston, whereby you are supposed to walk down on the right side, and walk up on the left. Everything is so PROPER here. So I’m struggling with my bag, and suddenly the stairwell fills up with people who had just jumped off the subway. One by one, they brush right past me without a glance or an offer to help. Big, youthful, muscular Bostonians who could have lent a hand, but didn’t. It’s like I was invisible or something.
Instead, this loud-mouthed BLEEP-BLEEP bounded past me and started screaming, “Nice, Lady! Real courteous of you to block the stairwell so no one can walk up!”
I said, a little out of breath, “Excuse me???”
He screamed louder, “You heard me, Lady! How rude of you to be on that side! Can’t you see that people are trying to get past you?” Try to imagine a Kennedy screaming at you, because that is exactly how he sounded. This man was so inappropriately angry, in fact, that I had to wonder if the Red Sox had just lost a game or something.
So, being the smart-ass, free-spirited Californian that I am who despises obnoxious, rude jerks, like this guy, I screamed back: “Yeah?? And how rude of YOU to be screaming at ME! Welcome to Boston, HUH!??”
I could hardly wait to see the rest of this welcoming city.