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The 7 - Random - The Truth About New York City
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Hogan's My Dad
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#1 Posted on 21.12.05 2210.23
Reposted on: 21.12.12 2211.12
Okay.

Let's see if any of our resident NYC members here can help me out a bit.

All my life I've heard about New York City. Who hasn't? And I've heard things about it that I always doubted, like when people say that everyone in New York walks like they're ten minutes late for something, and that bumping into people doesn't require any apology.

Now, I'm just wondering how true that is. I went to NYC in 1999 or 2000, I can't remember which, and I really didn't find it to be as dangerous and scary as it has always been portrayed. In fact, I didn't think it was a whole lot different than Toronto, it's just much much bigger. And there were more freaks screaming on street corners.

But I wasn't mugged. I didn't have anyone bowl me over on the sidewalk. The only guy who gave me attitude was this weird, stereotypical New Yorker who said "What you laffin' at?" to me and me friends, and when he said "nothing" in response, because it was true and not because we were afraid of him, he said "That's what I thought." So, yeah, he was annoying.

But for the most part I didn't think it was all that much of a culture shock. Am I way off? Is it because I too come from a relatively large city? If I came from, I dunno, Calgary, Alberta or Columbus, Georgia, would I feel differently, have to adjust more?

What's the truth about New York City?
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Brian P. Dermody
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#2 Posted on 22.12.05 0312.20
Reposted on: 22.12.12 0315.25
I grew up forty miles west of Boston, and moved to the Village nine years to go to NYU. I've been back and forth between the two towns, and in that time I've lived around Washington Square, an NYU dorm in the East 20s, and now my apartment in Williamsburg/Greenpoint Brooklyn. And I want to live here for the rest of my life.

The truth, I've found, is that New Yorkers aren't rude. They're just in a hurry and know what they're doing. And you needn't be in a hurry. You just need to know what you're doing and not impair another New Yorker from their hurry.

It's 8 million people, by and large, trying to mind their own business.

Now, the transit strike is bringing out the worst in... me anyway. But I had luggage, I was late for work, and they were in my way. I believe I hollered, "You tourists picked the wrong fuckin' week" But I remember the blackout and 9/11 especially, we took care of each other for the most part.

We're opinionated, and high on ourselves. Why shouldn't we be?
FurryHippie
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#3 Posted on 22.12.05 1333.11
Reposted on: 22.12.12 1333.19
I'm from Staten Island and I make it into the city every once in a while, and I've never been bothered. There's some crazy ass shit to see sometimes. I've learned that if you dont stare like an asshole, the crazies will pretty much leave you alone. I don't draw attention to myself either, I dress normally and dont act wildly in public. If you draw attention to yourself, you will get more attention from the wrong types.

People DO walk like they're 10 minutes late for everything. That's why I'm not a big fan of the city. I'm very laid back and hate the rush.

People are very afraid of the "attitude" of New York but it's totally overblown. It's like when you go to high school and you hear that you're gonna be terrorized, and it never turns out that bad. People are surprisingly into themselves and aren't out to start fights. Not to say there AREN'T those assholes out there, but its nowhere near the stereotype. I'm always humored when people parody New York, with the hairy, loudmouthed cab driver or the wise-guy thug bullies. Not the case.
Mr Shh
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#4 Posted on 22.12.05 1509.59
Reposted on: 22.12.12 1510.47
Re: walking the streets...In my opinion, knowing how to walk in New York is an invaluable skill that only comes with experience. I spent the past seven years walking in the Financial District during rush and lunch hours - you have to walk fast and know where you're going. It's highly efficient (as opposed to Midtown, which is pure chaos during those times) and it toughens you up. :-) I carry that way of walking over to any neighborhood I'm in (I'm generally impatient). But it's easy to forget that not everybody works in the Financial District. For instance, I live in the Upper West Side, a purely residential neighborhood. I *hate* walking around there - too slow, too many strollers, too many dogs.

I find that some rules of driving etiquette apply to walking in New York. During rush hour, you stay to your right, unless you're passing. You do *not* walk side-by-side with someone. The streets are narrow, folks. A co-worker of mine who walked the Brooklyn Bridge to get to work during the strike couldn't get over how casually and nonchalantly most people were walking. In the busy subway stations, you typically have a couple hundred people trying to use the same set of stairs or escalator, creating a bottleneck. "Alternate merge" rules apply here.

You know, I'm really just speaking here of rush hour situations. The truth is that it depends on what neighborhood you're in and what time of the day it is.
Von Maestro
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#5 Posted on 22.12.05 1559.15
Reposted on: 22.12.12 1559.23
I also live on the Upper West Side & it drives me crazy when people are simply strolling, since I'm almost always in Rush Hour walking mode. I think the biggest mistake people unfamiliar with NY make is walking more than two people side by side. If you do that most anywhere in NYC, & especially in a business district, you're just asking for trouble... :-)

HMD, like you've experienced, we're really a good bunch. Almost everyone who comes to see me in NY from out of town, comes with the same preconceived notions that you have and leaves just as you did.

The funny thing is that I've come across so many unselfish people over the years in NY, & it's a shame that because of the general speed with which we move through everyday, people have a notion of us being rude & aggressive. It really is a great place to visit & an even better place to live!
The Goon
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#6 Posted on 22.12.05 1613.38
Reposted on: 22.12.12 1613.51
NYC is probably my favourite city. I've visited it about 6-8 times, and the liveliness of the city is second to none.

I remember in the early 90s, I was flying overseas from Toronto, and had to switch from LaGuardia to Kennedy Airport. In the cab between airports, my Dad said that it was the scariest city on earth, and that I wouldn't survive a night.

So when my ex moved to the Upper East Side in '97, I had to visit, and found nothing scary at all. The only time I might have encountered trouble was at a Jays-Yankees game, and when the guy behind me found out I was from Toronto, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Welcome, but you're not going to cheer for Toronto today." I didn't bother to test him on that.

In 99, I had the pleasure of staying in the Marriott World Trade Centre on a business trip. For me, the real thrill was taking the subway in rush hour back and forth from the building I had to get to. Best not to walk in a direction other than the one the entire crowd is going in!

I love the place. I hope to get back there every so often.
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#7 Posted on 22.12.05 1717.27
Reposted on: 22.12.12 1719.08
I found walking in NYC pretty similar to my "chicago walk" - pretty much as fast as you can go. Weave to the right when needed. Go across streets when you can, only babies wait for the lights. Don't jostle unless you are forced to and say a hurried "sorry" if you do. Try to not carry spillable stuff - you get your coffee xlose to your destination. Backpacks are the key to life, as are gloves and hats in the winter. Remember that the street is open to you as a passing lane if needed, so the best way is to walk AGAINST a one way street so you can see if you have a passing lane open if needed.

Like both cities for different things. NYC has the fruit markets everywhere. Chicago - well, it's my home town and I know it better, so there's toomany to mention. I am sure if I ever lived in NYC, I would soon find all the good (and a few bad things) about it.

Note: The PABT (port authority Bus Terminal) used to be the scariest place in town, IMO. It's not so bad now.
RYDER FAKIN
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#8 Posted on 22.12.05 1737.04
Reposted on: 22.12.12 1737.51
Mr Shh : Re: walking the streets...In my opinion, knowing how to walk in New York is an invaluable skill that only comes with experience. I spent the past seven years walking in the Financial District during rush and lunch hours - you have to walk fast and know where you're going. It's highly efficient (as opposed to Midtown, which is pure chaos during those times) and it toughens you up. :-) I carry that way of walking over to any neighborhood I'm in (I'm generally impatient). But it's easy to forget that not everybody works in the Financial District. For instance, I live in the Upper West Side, a purely residential neighborhood. I *hate* walking around there - too slow, too many strollers, too many dogs.

AWA: found walking in NYC pretty similar to my "chicago walk" - pretty much as fast as you can go. Weave to the right when needed. Go across streets when you can, only babies wait for the lights. Don't jostle unless you are forced to and say a hurried "sorry" if you do. Try to not carry spillable stuff - you get your coffee xlose to your destination. Backpacks are the key to life, as are gloves and hats in the winter. Remember that the street is open to you as a passing lane if needed, so the best way is to walk AGAINST a one way street so you can see if you have a passing lane open if needed.

Funny you should mention that - you can always spot families from New York a mile away at the Disney parks. It takes them at least an hour to calm down and walk the Mickey walk. I've always wondered what it's like for the Dads or Moms their first day back to work in the city. Home Sweet Trampled Get the Fuck Out of My Way

FLEA
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#9 Posted on 22.12.05 2127.00
Reposted on: 22.12.12 2127.36
Hmmm...I'm a tour guide so I go through this whole thing on a daily basis.

A few things that set New York apart from your average "big city." Generally, if you're used to big cities, you won't have a problem in New York.

1. Everyone swears. All the time. My first job interview here the second word out of my future boss's mouth was "bullshit." Don't take any of it personally.

2. Everyone jaywalks. Everywhere, all the time, in the most ridiculous of situations. However, don't make the mistake of thinking you can do it right away - it takes a little while to figure out. Also see all the above advice on "walking."

3. New Yorkers love to talk about three things: Real Estate, Neighborhoods, and the Subway. Ask any random person on the street anything to do with these three things (or restaraunt recommendations or directions) and it's even odds you'll get your typical hurried response, or that you'll get someone who won't shut up for half an hour.
drjayphd
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#10 Posted on 23.12.05 0241.59
Reposted on: 23.12.12 0243.06
    Originally posted by The Goon
    So when my ex moved to the Upper East Side in '97, I had to visit, and found nothing scary at all. The only time I might have encountered trouble was at a Jays-Yankees game, and when the guy behind me found out I was from Toronto, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Welcome, but you're not going to cheer for Toronto today." I didn't bother to test him on that.


Even that's overblown. Wore my Red Sox hat (!) to Yankee Stadium for a game, and all that happened was my girlfriend got a slight ribbing from the fans. Explained to them (it was, maybe, three people) she was a Yankees fan, she got the hat to prove it, back to enjoying the game. (I guess it helped the Red Sox were getting pounded.)
dMp
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#11 Posted on 23.12.05 0300.27
Reposted on: 23.12.12 0300.33
Been to NYC a handful of times and never had anything but the best experiences.
Walked around Manhattan in the dead of the night and even the bums seemed friendly *grin* though my heart was racing and my fists clenched I gotta say.

The walking is an art. It's a good thing I always walk fast as it is.
Never had bad experiences with the people either.
Never expected random people to ask what the Rangers did that night when walking around in a NYR jersey.
One time I was talking to a store clerk in a Sports Authority shop. I mentioned I was thinking of buying a signed Kariya rookie card but wasn't sure yet. His answer helped me figure it out. "If you buy that and I know you have it on you, I'll beat you up for it." which meant "Seriously, that's awesome! get it!" so I did and told him later. He laughed.

I love how the city seems to be alive.
Toronto actually gives me the same vibe, but less crowded.
Interestingly enough, when I was in Toronto during WM18 week, I saw more homeless people and freaky people than on any trip to New York.
Brian P. Dermody
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#12 Posted on 23.12.05 0722.15
Reposted on: 23.12.12 0724.52
    Originally posted by drjayphd

    Even that's overblown. Wore my Red Sox hat (!) to Yankee Stadium for a game, and all that happened was my girlfriend got a slight ribbing from the fans. Explained to them (it was, maybe, three people) she was a Yankees fan, she got the hat to prove it, back to enjoying the game. (I guess it helped the Red Sox were getting pounded.)


Now that's just dereliction of duty. If nobody at least started an "asshole" chant, it must have been either a score of 750-4 or ten years ago.

I mean, there's New York, and there's Yankee Stadium.
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#13 Posted on 27.12.05 1147.09
Reposted on: 27.12.12 1154.24
    Originally posted by Brian P. Dermody
      Originally posted by drjayphd

      Even that's overblown. Wore my Red Sox hat (!) to Yankee Stadium for a game, and all that happened was my girlfriend got a slight ribbing from the fans. Explained to them (it was, maybe, three people) she was a Yankees fan, she got the hat to prove it, back to enjoying the game. (I guess it helped the Red Sox were getting pounded.)
    Now that's just dereliction of duty. If nobody at least started an "asshole" chant, it must have been either a score of 750-4 or ten years ago.

    I mean, there's New York, and there's Yankee Stadium.
I've found that only visiting-team-fans at Yankee Stadium that act like jerkoffs are the ones that get hassled, except if there are drunk idiots around (which there usually are).

Being from NJ, driving in NYC is like driving in NJ - always expect someone to do the most insane thing possible, especially if its a taxi. I drive in often, and the only thing that still hits me is the sheer volume. Going down 34th by the Empire State Building, you just see thousands of people crossing the street in front of your car, and you're reminded of how many people are around. Its also nice late at night to see so much going on. I used to walk every day from Penn Station to NYU Hospital, sometimes at odd hours, and there is something to be said for being able to grab whatever you want for a 1am meal, most of it delicious. The Italian, Kosher, Greek, Chinese, etc - its almost all authentic and open past midnight. Mmmm.

I could definitely do without the smell of urine on the sidewalks though. I know that people in NYC with dogs have to walk them SOMEwhere, but especially on hot days, its bad. Even worse when you know that it ain't from a dog...
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