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Before I moved to New York I often heard the stereotypes of the inhabitants: they’re rude, pushy, snobby, and always in a rush. Last year I talked of New Yorker’s as “them” compared to “me.”Now, a year later, them = me. And you know why? It has little to do with one’s personality and everything to do with the pace of the city. Although I was never a slow-paced, exactly easy-going person, I’ve found that my traits have only been enhanced by my surroundings.

Slow people annoy the hell out of me, I glare at tourists walking in circles with maps around me, and I refuse to move out of the way if someone is in my path. I might sound like a total bitch, but the truth is, I’ve become a total New Yorker. And it’s not a bad thing.

 What non-New-Yorkers don’t understand is that we don’t hate you; you’re often simply in our way. Think about it: What if everyday, a huge group of people were conglomerated around your workplace, making it almost impossible to get inside. The difference is that you (non-new-yorker) most likely don’t work in or around gigantic tourist inducing areas like New York offers. For tourists, New York is an amazing, bright-lit, enormous building-filled city of endless possibilities. For New Yorkers, it’s a place where we live and work. And usually, we’re trying to get to one place or another…and that’s where you get in the way.

I happen to work near the Empire State Building; while tourists are wandering around, admiring the monstrosity, I’m trying to weave through crowds, picking up my lunch and running errands. My hour only allows for much time – and that doesn’t include standing in lines and being gracious to slow-paced tourists. 

Like I said before, I’m not a complete bitch; people often ask me for directions (I’m always surprised that I look knowledgable or approachable) and I always stop and answer them. The bottom line is: we are often pushy and fast-paced and rude. But it’s only because we have somewhere to be and you’re often in our way. Don’t take it personally. 

Posted by cher on Friday, January 18th, 2008 at 1:53 am.

27 Responses to “New York Stereotypes: We don’t like you either…most of the time.”

So absolutely true!!!! Love it!!!

I, Mitch, Approve of this message 100%! The best is when someone expects everyone on the entire sidewalk to STOP and let them take a few photos.

That is bs! I live in the second largest city in the country. Myself and everyone I know goes to work every day and we have friends/family to get home to at night. We however stop to help someone, have a conversation, or take the time to enjoy the aspects of our city. I’m sorry you are too cynical to experience your beautiful city.

To Ron: Congrats on living in the second largest city. You obviously don’t live in NYC. Therefore, until you have walked in MY shoes and experienced THIS city, I don’t think you can call my opinion “bs”. And as I happened to mention, I am always nice to tourists. And don’t feel sorry for me…I enjoy this city plenty. I wouldn’t live here if I didn’t. Cynicism comes with this territory.

I come from Sydney, Australia, and I visited New York last year, and I was really worried because of all these stereotypes about New Yorkers, but to be honest, I really didn’t notice that much of a difference. Everyone talks about how fast-paced and busy it is, but it’s really quite similar to Sydney. Maybe people walk fast in all big cities? I mean, the buildings were taller in New York, but that was about it. Some of the time I had a problem with the accent, but most people were really friendly, and it wasn’t that busy. There were a lot of people, but there was this vibrant energy. Much better than LA. Actually, I was staying in Jersey, and that scared me WAY more than New York. Don’t know what the stereotype is there, though.

Having just traveled to New york while it does make sense I think it’s truly the type of person you are. I live minutes from the toursit capital of the world mickey and friends home. Tourists don’t bother me because no matter where you live at one point at least in your life you will be the person with the map wondering around. To me it just seems like new yorkers truly hate their lives you look around at people that are walking, riding the subway, eating and they look like they just want to kill themselves. which if i had to deal with all those people that had that same look everyday i might join in the misery. I began studying people on the subway on the street working in the stores etc and everytime i told someone where i was from they would say makes sense why you are so nice. while i love the history of the state and everything it has to offer i think new york people need to take a minute here and there and actually apperiate where you live and if you can’t do that or hate to do that because you might lose a second my advice is what is good about life if you never stop and enjoy it or spend your time hating others that come with worshiping eyes to your city?

To readers:
I understand that many of you live in tourist-y areas. I will be the first to admit that NYC and its inhabitants are different than any other city. After living here for two years, it takes a toll. I live here because I found a good job that pays well. I also live here because I love the big city and everything it has to offer – whether it be food, entertainment, or culture. However, when you live and work here, it can be exhausting. When MTA is doing track work on your subway line (which mine has been doing for 9 months) it makes for a bad morning. We look pissed off because often we are. It’s not an easy-going city to live in. It’s a tiny island crammed with 8 million people during the week. We all choose to live here, however, we don’t get to experience the great things the city has to offer on a daily basis, even on a monthly basis. We work, we try to get home to families, and we deal with the daily tolls of living in a big city. I’m not saying that people living in other cities don’t experience the same thing, but there is something about NYC that hardens people. Everything is done in a rush. And it takes a certain person to be able to deal with it. I have plenty of friends who say, “I don’t know how you live there, I could never do it.” Once a year, I stay at a hotel in the city and go to Times Square and do tourist-y things that I wouldn’t do and don’t have time to do on a regular basis. It’s a difficult lifestyle to explain. It’s why I choose to live in a small, yet bustling, neighborhood in Queens where I can get away from the city on the weekends.

Wow….I find it truly surprising that all of you think New Yorkers are hardened. Sure, sometimes we get irratable and seem mad at the world but honestly….so do people all over. It’s just so much more obvious here because we arent hiding in our cars (cursing people out) in private. Everything we do and say and feel here in this great and wonderful city is out there for everyone to see. No hiding emotions here! Hard to do when we spend our lives walking and taking public transportation. Which brings up my real point; while so many people who have posted comments have stated that they live in “touristy” areas I think there is one main difference that you are all missing….New York (unlike Disney in FL or LA or Chicago) is a walking cty! So while you may have to deal with tourists you don’t have to sidestep them on your way to the store or work or walking your dog! There is a big difference when you can’t jump in your car, turn up the music and go. When you have to deal with the tourists and/or other NYers face to face all the time, it can get frustrating.
I think you can all understand that, after all I have seen plenty of road rage and honking maniacs in plenty of places across this country, taking out their frustration on others…they just take off before they have to talk to you. No interaction=how non-NYers deal with each other:)
NYC is a wonderful, energetic, beautiful city and I have lived here my entire life! I appreciate it every day. Please excuse me if I sometimes get cranky….I got that way in college too and I went to school out in the middle of the farmlands in PA!

>>

Well, that’s MTA’s problem, not the tourists’. I hate to break this to you, but most of the rest of us in big American cities are pissed off at the daily aggravations of living in big American cities. Difference is, in polite society, you put on a nice face and act with civility to others. Guess not in New York, huh?

Difference is, in polite society, you put on a nice face and act with civility to others. Guess not in New York, huh?

No. New Yorker’s aren’t going to put on a nice face and act differently than how we feel. We are frank and direct, and don’t like to pussy foot around the issues.
I’ve seen numerous arguments on the subway over personal space (which is almost nonexistent). They are loud and violent, but they are done with in a matter of a minute or two. We get what we need to say off our chest and move on. It’s not just being cranky, it’s being honest.

First of all, thanks for sharing and for actually reflecting enough to determine why you (and fellow NY-Dwellers) act the way you do! I personally don’t like the city and much of my distain derives from the likes of the accounts posted in the NYer’s defense (sorry to group you all together). NYers generally think they are better than everyone else because they lives are so much more valuable than non-NYers. Truth is, you need us dumb, slow “unsophisticated” Midwesterners and Southerners more than you think. You wouldn’t eat, much less earn a living, without the industry, services and consumption of your bretheren accross the county. Additionally, how much money gets pumped into your “exclusive” city with our tourist bucks? For all of the absurd cultural appreciation NYers seek so fervently, the culture of American’s to the west and south goes unappreciated. Its ironic that many people in your “cultural mecca” ignor the greater America. I understand that there are millions of Americans rotting in beige suburbs but they’re no worse than those slowly dying in the middle of that precious apple that think they’re more in touch because their neighbor wears a pashmina . You’re no better than us, so don’t act that way when we visit. Kudos NY for what you do for the country; shame on you for what you do to the individual.

Well, what a terrible way to live if every little aggravation causes a screaming match. I feel sorry or you if you ever try to leave New York, because your “honesty” will get you HURT in any other big American city…

YOU ARE NOT A NEW YORKER! If there’s one thing REAL New Yorkers hate, its someone who moves here and after only 2 measly years considers themselves a New Yorker. You are what born and bred New Yorkers consider a transplant.
In all honesty your post is a little too condescending for someone who’s been here for such a short amount of time. After one year I thinks its a bit ridiculous you consider yourself a “total New Yorker.” Sure, you’ve had an extended dose of what living in NYC is like, but take it from me, a New Yorker you are not. Ask anyone who was born and raised here or has lived in the city for over 10 yrs and they too will concur.

i have lived in new york my whole life and i have been all around the country i have had bad experiences in most of them no place is like new york waking up 5 30 in the morning and still missing a 7 o’clock train then to get on the train wit a bum that pees on da seat or some fat lady thinkin that she can fit on a seat when she really cant dealing with panhandlers dont hate us cuz ur not 1 of us you will never understand and stephen unlike “other big cities” nyrs have some where to be ny…….is the only place u can learn 3 different languages by takin a train there r nice people n mean people in every city just b/c u got cursed(u probaly deserved it) doesnt mean that we are rude so dont do a damn photo op in front of my house or school or job we kno we are arrogant and obnoxious but we matter so LA ATL ORL DC HOUSTON CHICAGO OR BOSTON wen talk of the greatest cities in america WE ARE THE BEST COMPARE US TO THE ROMAN EMPIRE WE HAVE NUMEROUS WANNA BE’S NOW HOW U LIK THIS APPLE??

I lived in ny my entire life, moved to charlotte nc 2 years ago, can’t wait to get back to NY. I have always been well aware of the way we are perceived by the rest of the country, and one of the things that brought me down to nc was the “southern hospitality” I heard so much about. Liked the idea of raising my boys around those kind of manners. Unfortunately, I found out through life experience here that southern hspitality is a myth. It does not exist. I’ve watched as streams of cars rushed around an elderly woman whose vehicle was stuck at the parking lot exit. Not one person stopped to help, until the “nasty new yorker” pulled to the side of the road, with my 3 small children and helped her get her car out of the way and safely to the side of the road. I’ve seen people walk into stores and let the door slam on the lady waling in behind them, I’ve watched as people huff and complain because the person behind the cash register is taking too long to ring up their snickers bar. The difference between the rude southerners and the rude new yorkers is that we are comfortable with who we are and we don’t make excuses for it or try to discredit other states. The same ignorance and selfishness exists in all cultures.

Hey i totally agree with this and as for the person who called you a fake New Yorker just ignore em New Yorkers often forget the thing that makes this city special isnt the people who already live here its the people who come from other places.

I’ve lived in Long Island, western suffolk county my whole life, have a ton of family in queens, brooklyn, bronx, and am now attending college in manhattan, i have lived in Denver also for a year and a half…and Orlando for 6 months. Bottom line is this….WHATEVER other big us city ur from u CANNOT COMPARE ANY OTHER CITY TO LIVING IN NYC. its just too different….you WILL NOT understand until u live here for an extended period of time. nyc contains 8 MILLION PEOPLE…the next closest is LA with 2 million…NO WHERE NEAR!! u jus cannot compare at all. i will also say this…if u want to see the real ny culture…meaning being with ppl who are true new yorkers…u have to go outside of manhattan. Why? because manhattan is too much of a melting pot and has ppl from diff parts of the world whereas the other boroughs and long island are true new yorkers. THATS where u will find the best pizzerias…the Yankee/Mets hats..the accents, all that good stuff and more. People think of NYC and think Manhattan where yes its beautiful and is the best part of nyc but if u go outside manhattan….ppl are just normal people. there r no tourists…no “rude” ppl its a slower lifestyle but still quite fast. u wanna tour the commercial nyc and see the statue of liberty? go ahead its great everyone shud do it. u wanna tour the real ny culture? get outside manhattan.

I guess you can’t take the honesty. Insted of beating around the bush about a problem and wasting your and the others persons time, deal with it quick and easy. both of you will feel the same way but the new yorker will get it off his/her cheast and be done. And most likely you won’t see that person again. Grow a back bone. If you don’t live here you don’t know what it’s like for us

I read everyone’s arguments about New York stereotypes – which ones are false, which ones are true, excuses as to why they are true, and all I can say is… IF YOU’RE SO DAMNED BUSY WHY DO YOU SPEND ALL OF THIS TIME ARGUING WITH PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET ABOUT STUPID SHIT? And what’s my problem, you ask? I’ve been stuck in fucking Mississippi all my life and I thought that things would be better up North, where, stereotypically speaking, most everyone is liberal. In other words, SANE. Now I’ve realized that everyone in America are assholes. Screw this. I’m moving to fucking Canada. And I don’t care about any fucking stereotypes from there, either. It can’t be worse than the good ol’ US of ASSHOLES.

“Oooh! Look at my attitude! I’m like so a total New Yorker!” Typical pretentious transplant…

PS You’re not a New Yorker – get over it. You’re simply rude…

I’ve grown up in the NYC area all my life and lived in Manhattan for the past 6 years. My opinion is that NYers are exposed to, and deal with lots of ‘strange’, and often uncomfortable if not horrific, scenarios. We have extreme weather, extreme people, extreme traffic, etc. This is a fast-paced city with people of all walks of life… So putting on a poker face is just something that you end up doing because you see and deal with so much.

Although it can be stressful and I have seen my share of “rudeness”, I see a lot of “good” in people here too. I see people help eachother on the street, give directions, give food to homeless people. I’ve seen people joining in random frisbee games at Central Park, joking on the Subway, applauding street performers, participating in massive pillow fights in Union Square. I witness random acts of kindness on a daily basis.

People may say we’re rude and cold to others, but on 9/11 New Yorkers came together. As cheesy as it sounds, the energy here was indescribable and full of love.

So yes- we are a hard city. We come off as ‘rude’ because our surroundings have necessitated our guardedness… But I think a lot of it is misunderstood because this IS a unique city and if you’re not from here, you won’t be used to our culture- I’m sure this is the same for most cities. Different places have different cultures- and there’s good and bad in all places.

Personally, I LOVE New York- I appreciate the good and the bad and I wouldn’t want to live in any other place.

I’ve grown up in nyc and at this point in my life I’m ready to go to college… I was looking to get out of the ctiy- particularly go to another state- because all I ever hear are how “nice” people are in other states… but based on these posts I feel as though, if I do go to another state, so many other people will judge me and automatically assume I am better than everybody else simply based on where I was born.
People in New York don’t go around thinking “I’m better than people from everywhere else!” and those that do are assholes- those exist in every state. Most people are just on their way to work and get irked by things in the way. Why can’t we take a minute to enjoy life? The price of living is high in New York and while a minority of Upper EastSiders create the illusion people in New York are rich or well-off, the majority of us are middle-class. And not other-state middle class, but definitely below those standards. Visiting other states, I’ve realized how much poorer my family is than the local suburb kids in other states. We get irked because work is important, every second counts, and in New York City having things done as quick as possible is essential in a job and any delays will hurt you tremendously.
We may look like we want to kill ourselves sometimes but we’re stresed just like everybody else in the country. I’m sure you look miserable too when you’re stressed! Except instead of sitting in a subway car with delays and track work making you two hours late to work, sitting next to a bum covered in urine and someone who refuses to use deoderant on the otherside of you, you’re frown is a little more public than if you were in a car.
That’s another concern of mine and college… living in New York= 1. I can’t afford to get my permit and 2. it was never a necessity when there’s public transportation. If I go out of the city I’m afraid I won’t be able to get anywhere without a car.
Not to seem like I think New Yorkers are better, but if anything the whole rude and snobby stereotype should be the otherway around. If we’re not going to work, we’re the best people for tourists to approach. We’re more than welcome to not just direct you to you’re subway station but give you detailed directions and tips for if there’s trackwork, tell you where the best pizza is, and tell you about all the other cool places to go that are not usually on the typical tourist agenda.
Maybe it’s because I’m from here, but I honestly don’t see most of the stereotypes about New Yorkers… the only difference between us and other people from other states is there’s a lot more of us (remember even though were a city we’re geographically a very small city, just a tiny dot in the whole state and even though LA has 2 million and we have 8 million keep in mind we’re much more on top of eachother) and sometimes to get where were going we have to be a bit aggressive (ie. ny drivers or fast paced walking around slow tourists).
That and our pizza is really different than other states (due to different water). I won’t say if it’s better or not, that’s personal preference, but I can’t lie, eating Chain Pizza in other states makes me miss New York a lot.

I grew up in South Ozone Park,moved to Flushing in my teens and now in my adulthood Manhattan is where I call home. My overall opinion is most NOT ALL, but most Manhattanites are rude and do not say the magic words “EXCUSE ME” or “THANK YOU”. I heard the magic words so often before I moved. When someone like myself comes along I hold the door, and say excuse me, thank you and I greet people when I enter an establishment. Can the kindness rub off?? Sometimes!! Why be so rude, and act as if all humans don’t deserve respect? Only you with your busy mundane life need to be respected if you are rushing to get to work or to the train or to an overcrowded shopping area or possibly somewhere you haven’t even thought of yet? ‘Everyone get out of my way, why say excuse me? I do not have manners or maybe I feel you don’t deserve whatever bit of goodness I have to offer.’ I personally witness these types of manhattanites and TOURISTS way to often!! It could even be a cultural thing, who knows? This is the melting pot and I don’t know what countries are breeding rude people, lol? I admit I let Manhattan get the best of me and I cut a person off while rushing before, but at least I have the courtesy to loudly say excuse me and apologize because I would hate to be a product of a self-serving environment. I was raised with manners and that is not going to change wherever I live.. It is not okay to think since you live in a fast paced city it justify’s being a rude asshole!!

Randi, i’m not gonna lie, i didn’t read all of your post, but i read pieces, and i’m currently going to school away from the city, and i’m hearing about people i’ve never even seen or talked to that think i’m a bitch or that i hate them and if they come near me, i’m going to fight them. it’s ridiculous. It drives me crazy,

but i also read some where up there that we come off rude because we’re direct and we don’t hide what we feel, and that’s definitely how i am, but no one here is like that, and pretty much everyone here likes to act pussy about how they feel, and i can’t deal with it! and i think i agree completely with NYGAL. i don’t consider myself hardened at all. like i said, i just don’t keep it all in. i’m gonna say what i feel. (haha i also went to school in bumblefxck PA for a while)

seriously. i miss my city. trust me. when i graduate, i’m never leaving the city again.

I didn’t exactly grow up in New York its self but I live right outside of the city being able to walk for two minutes and be in Queens. On the weekends I would go into the city alot with my family, who grew up in the city, and as I got older with my friends, and what I myself experienced is that there is sort of this mutal aditude and understandment that you get. We all know where we are going and want to get there as fast as we can, its just a generally fast paced city, but we love when tourists come, we love sharing the city that we often get called out on for being so prideful about. We understand the beauty of it, we see everything, we are grateful but we see it in our own way on our own time but maybe a bit better because we know all the “secret” places to get the best, and we get to see it everyday. But the fast pace and the pride for where we live does not make us rude. We’d love to talk to the tourists but not for a long time. I can understand how the subways would be difficult and maybe the streets a bit confusing because I had to teach myself but once you get it its straight forward. New Yorkers are like any other person too, I myself like going into central park, getting some ice cream and just walking around. Watching the street preformers is great and its fun. In all the years I’ve been in the city now i’ve hardly met a rude New Yorker we just have a way of doing things and when its disrupted its a bit of a nuicense.

Wow. With attitudes like these, no wonder the majority of the NYC single population are on multiple dating websites. Perhaps if NY singles knew how to treat people with some sort of dignity, they would not need to scour the internet for a companion.

You are not a New Yorker, please don’t misrepresent us. The Mexican at my corner bodega is more of a New Yorker than you. Please stop telling people you are just because it’s been two years.

Something to say?