Travel and Leisure Magazine came out with the results of survey categorizing the rudest and friendliest U.S. cities. New York City was ranked number one for rudeness. Having lived close to Manhattan for most of my life, I have had a number of opportunities to travel into the city for a show, shopping, museums, or other special events. I am not a well-traveled person, but I know rudeness when I see it, and my experiences in New York have always been positive.
Walk down Fifth Ave. or Broadway and you have to stop at every block and wait for a crossing light to change. People are orderly and wait. Of course taxis have right on red so sometimes you have to speed across, but people do not push or run over anyone who takes their time. They might walk around you and seem to be in a hurry, but that is because they probably are. When you have to walk 10 blocks for an appointment you have to move fast. When the train or bus is late, you have to run to be on time for work. This is the city that never sleeps.
The restaurants in the theatre district are often crowded. I have never encountered a rude host, or waitperson. Many are young people in search of a dream. Most have come for other places, and are trying to make a wage that will allow them to live in a very expensive area of the country. They often ask where you are from, if you are catching a show, did you go to a concert, etc. I have had many a nice conversation with the workers in every style of restaurant.
I always get lost in Greenwich Village. It might as well be the Bermuda Triangle. East and West confuse me and for some reason, the main avenues seem to get twisted around. This is an area where the people hanging out a bit more relaxed. It is a mix of students, artists, musicians, people with dogs, and merchants. I have always been able to ask someone for directions, and they have more than willing to help. The same holds true for questions regarding the subway system. I have been told the best number to catch, and which station to go to.
I’m sure that there might be places I have not been where people might smile more and are not all hurrying around. Life is enjoyed at a more leisurely pace, and that the sun and scenery are enjoyable. But for those of us who have been to New York, there is no place like it on earth. Broadway is simply the best in plays and musicals. Lincoln Center is a phenomenon all its own. The history and art museums are outstanding. The music scene is eclectic. The fashion district is still strong, and the universities are some of the best in the world. The sports fans are among the most loyal.
New York saw its darkest day on 9/11. The horror of what occurred, and the lives that were lost will never be forgotten. On that day and the days that followed, the people of the city came together. Police, firefighters, EMS, and ordinary citizens banded together to help others. No matter what the perception is as reported in a survey, the people of New York are kind, gracious, strong, and always lend a hand in time of need. History will remind of us of that forever.