Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 22, 2011

New York, New York

New York City and its citizens have a bad reputation.  There is a ubiquitous stereotype that New York is a cold and unforgiving city and New Yorkers are rude, pushy, and overbearing.  From the US to Europe, from South America to North Africa I have encountered this prejudice.  This is a myth.

In fact, I find the opposite to be true.  New Yorkers get straight to the point and are honest, which some could consider rude.  Sure, New Yorkers are often extremely busy and don’t have time to go out of their way with honeyed platitudes like people from other parts of the country.  But if you need help, New Yorkers are there for you.  If you are actually in trouble, people will help.

Getting onto the subway one day I slipped, dislocated my knee, and went down in excruciating pain.  (Because of an old riding injury my knee goes wonky at the most inopportune moments.) Almost before I hit the ground two people caught me and helped me into the car.  Though it was a full car the people seated scrambled to give me a place to sit.  Another passenger offered me water, and a third wetted a towel to hold to my knee apologizing that they could not offer ice.

It is this type of decisive action to help fellow citizens in trouble that pulled New York through the bombings of September 11th, 2001 with grace.  Volunteers came out of the woodwork.  They were always there; they just needed an opportunity to offer their help.  This is certainly the most obvious example of New Yorkers rushing to others’ aid, but it does happen every day.

Thankfully I have not witnessed or experienced many catastrophes where people needed to rush to my aid; however I find that New York is a city that lends itself to acts of kindness.  In my experience most New Yorkers will help you out if they can.  This may stem from the isolated lives many New Yorkers lead, a basic desire for human connection, or something more.

Whatever the case, from the people to the sites, from the food to the entertainment, New York is a city like no other.  I may be traveling, but I haven’t found a city yet I’d rather come back to.  There’s no place I’d rather call home.

Central Park

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Brecher

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Responses

  1. New York loves you and misses you!

  2. I’ve known this for years, from little kindnesses not as dramatic as your example. Why didn’t I ever mention it?


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