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Author Topic: I'm beginning to understand New Yorkers  (Read 97 times)


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I'm beginning to understand New Yorkers
« on: October 15, 2020, 10:34:37 pm »
I've been to NYC three times. Each time, I was there for workshops and stayed for a couple of weeks. I rode the subway and walked. A lot. Each time, I came away thinking that New Yorkers are incredibly rude. They don't smile. They avoid talking to other people. When they do talk, it's to say something like, "Move over," or "Back away," in an abrasive tone.

The Covid-19 protocols are helping me to understand why New Yorkers act the way they do in public. Here's an example: I went to Costco today. There is a big sign at the entry stating, "Employees and customers are required to wear masks at all times and to maintain 6 ft distance." The employee at the entrance gives everyone a verbal reminder, and has extra masks available to give to customers who don't have one. I checked my mask, showed my card, and walked through. There was a woman and her teenage daughter a few steps in front of me. We rounded a corner. The woman looked back to make sure she was out of eyesight of the employee at the front door. Then she nodded to her daughter. they both took off their masks. The mom said, "If anyone says anything, tell them we have a medical condition." I glared at them and shook my head. The woman mouthed "F*** you" to me then they turned and walked off. I have a pretty good idea of how things would have worked out if I pursued it--a man harassing a woman, etc. So I let it go and went about my business. About 10 minutes later, I was getting wiper blades for my truck. I was using one of those little reference books tethered to the shelf to find the size I needed. A man came up and grabbed the book next to the one I was using. He was standing so close that his shoulder touched mine. I said, "I'm almost done. Would you please back away six feet?" He replied, "No. I need to get these." So, I put my book down, backed away, and waited until he was finished. When he was done, he turned to me and said, "Got a problem?" then walked away.

If this happens in little Spanish Fork, Utah, then I imagine it's multiplied by a million times in NYC. I'm done being nice when somebody puts me or my loved ones at risk in public. I'm gonna be rude.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
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Re: I'm beginning to understand New Yorkers
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 02:42:57 am »
It might be that in cities that huge, with millions & millions of people bumping against each other continually, with no way of avoiding them, all they see is the mass & not the individuals. They stop perceiving other people as people - they become just another object imposing on my space, making me wait, occupying a seat or snatching up a piece of merchandise that was supposed to be mine.

Friction generates heat, & overheated people are more easily annoyed. The friction of so many bodies stuck in one place with no escape leads to irritation that leads to alpha-hotel-ery.

Do people act like alpha-hotels in smaller towns? Of course they do, & the philosophical conflict over masks & distancing has brought out the ugly fact that alpha-hotels live everywhere. But at least New Yorkers have a somewhat credible explanation. 🥴
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Re: I'm beginning to understand New Yorkers
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 09:47:30 am »
New York City has been like that a long time.  I remember doing some research at the Central library (which was a real gas for a bibliofile) and, finishing early, took a stroll down the street, visited a couple stores where because I was dressed for a day of reading in the rare books section, not shopping at a high end,  got ignored.   Then back on the street I arranged my face into a social smile and went on. I got more than one who you smilin at grimace. I was so glad to meet up with Daddy and go home.
This was 1969. 
I do not miss living on the northern east coast at all.  I fled back to Illinois with relief.
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Re: I'm beginning to understand New Yorkers
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 02:37:31 pm »
I don't know about New Yorkers, but you sure can't trust a Yankee fan.   ;)
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