According to a recent Travel & Leisure Magazine survey, New York ranks first in rudeness among all U.S. cities.
Alright! We’re number one! Go Giants!
Wait a minute–that’s an insult. Screw them!
New Yorkers recognize the previous sentence as an attempt at satire/irony. Out-of-towners take it literally. And that’s part of the problem. They don’t get us.
Another part of the problem is that the stereotype is, well, true.
When I’m in Florida, or Arizona or Maine, strangers smile and say hello. Yes it’s weird, but trust me, it happens–and I have to admit I kind of like it.
Of course, we don’t have time for such niceties, but that’s only part of the issue. I have a neighbor in my NYC co-op to whom I’ve nodded hello for years. In response she just looks through me (no, she’s not a gorgeous young babe). This is not atypical NYC behavior, as we all know. I stubbornly decided to smile and say hello to her each morning, for about 10 straight years. She continued to ignore me. Finally I gave up and ignored her as well. Of course as soon as I did, she started beaming at me and saying hello. I don’t get it either.
But judging us as a group, I think respondents might confuse busy and rushed with unfriendly. Meanwhile, New Orleans was rated the friendliest city in America in the same survey.
According to FBI statistics, New Orleans has twice the violent crime rate per capita as NYC. Is a knife in your ribs really that friendly?
At a Newt Gingrich rally in Sarasota Florida, crowds chanted “send Obama back to Kenya!” Yes, Mr President, go back to Africa. No racism here, right? Yet another city rated less rude and more friendly than New York.
Then again, they were grinning as they chanted. I guess rude and nasty is in the eye of the beholder.