One Bad Apple

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Different countries, cities and towns are known for certain things. Some are bad, while others are good. However, they usually stem off stereotypes and/or one’s experience that is then used as a standard. New York City is no different. Although NYC is known for its diversity, abundance of restaurants, good food, interesting scenes– essentially tourism central, etc., one common misconception that people have about NYC is that New York people are rude or even worse, the rudest of them all.

I often tease friends not to be such locals/New Yorkers. For example, after we partook in the last movie screening of The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival on Monday (on the menu that day was the 1980 psychological horror film,The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson), we needed to make use of the restroom. They complained about going to use the restroom at the McDonalds in Time’s Square because going through Time’s Square alone is such a hassle (if you’ve been to Time’s Square, you’ll know– hint: it’s filled with tourists taking pictures of every jumbo screens, marquees and characters roaming on the streets). You can easily google phrases such as “How to Annoy New Yorkers” or  and it would land you to posts like this and this. Many of these acts are committed by tourists. Fortunately, the simple way to minimize these so-called “problems” with locals is for tourists to apply common sense. For example, in a city of over 8.4 million people, abruptly stopping in the middle of streets, sidewalks and pedestal walkways is going to perhaps cause someone to spill hot tea/coffee on you AND themselves, or cause someone to trip, and the list of accident goes on. Causing traffic by walking slowly or holding hands of your significant others down the stairs to the subway can cause someone to miss their train (with the way NYC public transportation system works, it might be the last train for the day or the hour because of construction or so, adding unnecessary detours and extra minutes to hours spent commuting). It’s not that the people are mean or rude but rather tired of dealing with tourists and people alike that are not considerate to others’ needs. Again, applying common sense and being aware of the culture especially NY’s fast pace culture when visiting NYC and other major cities are helpful.

Prior to going to the McDonald’s to make use of their restroom after the film screening (even before the screening started), there was an act of community that took place at Bryant Park. Because the lawn opens at 5pm and the screening starts at 8pm (again, NYC is a very populous city) for people to start reserving their seats/portion of the lawn, many people a camp out on the lawn for hours to have good seats. There are others who arrive moments before the screening thinking there will be a miracle and a nice square feet of lawn waiting for them. In the midst of claimed blanket spaces, there was a Hispanic man who had been camping on his space since 5pm laying on his jacket with a little bit of grass space surrounding him. A 30-something years old white woman appeared with a baby, her mother (perhaps) and later on another woman, attempted to bully the man into adjusting to make space for her and her company. No one was happy about this. First of all, her sense of entitlement rubbed everyone the wrong way. She arrived late with a party of four including a baby! Although the baby was cute (babies are cute all the time until they are yours or until they become tyrants), this event was not a place for a baby. Plus, the mother’s attitude was horrible! After twenty minutes of people scolding her and standing up for the Hispanic man, she got the hint and left. Moral of this story, New Yorkers are not mean/rude. They are just like any other people. They stand up for what is right and scorn you when you are wrong.

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What are some stereotypes about your town, city or country?

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Marg

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