These past couple of weeks are usually the toughest for New Yorkers. At least for those, who like me, stay here during the holidays. It is the toughest time because it is when we must share our city, favorite restaurants, shopping areas, and all those things most of us hold dear, with a lot of other people visiting the city for it’s admittedly cool factor during this period.
A lot of residents know to avoid certain places, and we still have great spots undiscovered by most visitors (even those from NJ, LI, or other neighboring towns). But some others, like myself, like going to the places where most tourists are found for the same reasons they do: it’s fun, festive, and great to see. I enjoy “vacationing” here too.
What I have come to find, however, in mingling with the very many visitors we have right about now, is how incredibly rude they are.
In walking down the street today I was pushed and shoved, my children’s heads whack with over-packed backpacks and carry ons as these overwhelmed, somewhat frazzled people walked past us.
I started thinking if the reason people behaved so inconsiderately and rudely was because maybe the reputation of us New Yorkers being so is something they had in their mindsets and felt they needed to comply with to make it through their vacation.
So I thought it might be great if I clarified a few things about us New Yorkers so that others are clear and hopefully behave more civilized on their next visit to our city.
1) New Yorkers are rude. Not all of us. We are however honest. Very passionate and vocal about our teams, opinions, favorite restaurants, and Starbucks coffee drinks, to name a few. But rude we are not. People who are rude in New York are usually from somewhere else and are having problems dealing with life in the Big Apple, so they get overly stressed and take it out on others. It is why Frank Sinatra sang, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.” Most people cannot.
2)New Yorkers are not helpful. So not true. We love helping others. We enjoy giving out directions, telling you which places are better eateries, the best train to get to so and so locations, and even the best cab route. I always stop to give lost visitors information. Now, the secret is to being receptive. If the map you got at the hotel gift shop differs from the directions of the New Yorker who lives here everyday of their life, don’t get annoyed with us, just be willing to pay more, or take longer or get lost on your way there.
3)New Yorkers are unfriendly. No. We are, however, in a hurry. We have places to be…like work, or school, or brunch dates. We live here, you know. The streets you walk through calmly and without purpose are the same streets we walk through to get to our jobs or scheduled appointments and it would be great, really, really great if you could move to the side while staring at the architecture (which I admit is pretty fabulous). And even though we are almost always in a hurry, we have an ability to stream, almost as if choreographed, past thousands of fellow New Yorkers daily, hurriedly, without so much as brushing shoulders with each other. This is a skill which we don’t expect visitors to have mastered on their brief visits, but it is important to know that pushing, shoving, cutting in line, waving bags without looking if you will hit someone, and stopping abruptly in the middle of a busy sidewalk, or just standing in the middle of one, is pretty much unacceptable behavior, most likely to lead to a reaction that will contradict my points 1,2, and 3.
We love tourists. We love our city and love sharing it with others. Plus you help keep our city vibrant and busy and employed. Of course we want you to come here. But we also want to enjoy it, even while you visit…the very many of you…and it would be great to go to the store without worrying that my child will get a concussion from a hit with you backpack, or that I will ruin my fabulous designer boots as a result of being pushed abruptly into the muddy side street.
Because though we are not rude, we are, like I said, passionate, and never more so than when being disrespected in our own home. Oh, and please tip your waiter.