Sunday, August 31, 2008

That article from the Times on becoming New Yorkers

There was a lot of reader feedback to Cara Buckley's article in the Times from Tuesday on "the sometimes painful adjustments faced by newcomers to New York City."

As she reports in the City Room, "scores of people, it seems, were reminded anew of the growing pains, and delight, that often go hand in hand with moving to the city. Readers’ comments ran the gamut, from lonely newcomers who still felt lost to people who remembered their early days here with great tenderness."

"A few native New Yorkers insisted that it was the arrivistes, rather than people born in the city, that acted standoffish and brusque, and gave the city its reputation for being rude."

Dennis Kelly, who grew up in Long Island and works in Queens, wrote:
As someone who regularly holds doors open for other people, and who is born and raised in New York I find that the rudest “New Yorkers” are younger professionals transplanted from other places that are trying a little too hard to be “real” New Yorkers. Everyone knows the stereotype from movies, and they try to live it. Their only guides along this path are other transplants who have “made it” because they have that “real” New Yorker attitude. Your article only managed to further entrench this stereotyping. Rude is not the new black. It never has been.


Ken Mac said...

younger professionals = MacDougal St fratholes!

Anonymous said...

I always thought the stereotype came from the fact that in small towns, people would go to stores to buy stuff, and start talking to the cashier when checking out. The stores of course would be empty. They would say hi to people they saw on the street, who they knew, and would stand on the streets talking to people, of course this wouldn't be blocking traffic.

These people would come to the big city and be SHOCKED that no one tried to do this, not considering that this sort of "friendly" behavior is impractical and actually inconsiderate in any place where you have to deal with crowds.

In fact one effect of the recent wave of transplants is that many haven't given up their small/ town suburb behavior, so you are more likely to be stuck behind someone ambling along the sidewalk, checkout lines are longer, subways are delayed because people hold the doors open for their friends etc. It would be funny if it weren't so frustrating.

Anonymous said...

NYC has always had newcomers. The previous years' transplants were more respectful of their adopted city. The difference now is that most of these transplants are narcissists and have that attitude of sense of entitlement and privilege. As soon as they stepped into NYC, they expect the city and NYers to satisfy their desire and bidding. In other words, they want the city and NYers revolve around them. I can't wait 'til karma bites them in the ass and they go back to wherever they come from crying to mommie and daddie.