A real surprise in New Yorkers – they’re completely friendly. Apparently they don’t make eye contact because they don’t want to be interrupted – everyone’s terribly busy. But one vendor stopped and talked to us for what seemed like an hour. He was great, made a point of showing us his vendor badge and making us feel welcome.
And after that, we started noticing things: people held doors for you, even if it took you a few minutes to get to the door. Restaurants did everything they could to make sure you got what you wanted. And store owners watched patiently as we browsed and bought nothing, even after playing with all the swords and other lovely cutting implements. Come to think of it, that may have been fear, not patience.
But anyway – I’ve heard that New York changed after 9/11. That suddenly people started getting nice. I wonder if that’s true, or if outsiders started bringing their own attitude of caring in – and realizing that it was rapidly reciprocated. Then again, having two big hulkin’ buildings brought down on your head, and several others badly damaged in the process, is enough to make most people reconsider their methods of interaction with their fellow man. And the immense outpouring of love and sympathy from the United States and the world surely had an impact as well. Perhaps the few nasty ones changed their ways, making it easier for the nice ones to interact with everyone. Really, it doesn’t matter.
New Yorkers are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Ask the stupidest questions, like where is the Chrysler Building (Chicago) or how do you find the Empire State Building (take two steps to your right and look straight up), and they answer you patiently and with a smile. The best part: each of them seems to really see himself as an ambassador of his city.
[tags]city breaks, new york, new yorkers, world trade center, manhattan[/tags]