I’m on the road this week for work and had a chance to wander NYC for the first time this weekend. I am staying in New Jersey, and took the train into the city. This gave ample time to consider my surroundings and debate what stereotypes would ring true.
Where New Jersey is metal and rock; New York is glass and chrome. New Jersey seems like the place where the ugly, critically necessary work gets done. It’s the workhorse. The dishwasher up to his arms in muck in the kitchen of a 5 start restaurant. The man at the carwash with the toothbrush scrubbing the grill of a fancy sedan. The squeaky crane pulling load after load of broken cement during the birth of a sky scraper.
NYC is the over indulged trust fund baby throwing the party. Never mind he still invited a few friends who drink too much (don’t breathe too deeply, be careful where you step) and the RSVP list got out of control (elbows in.) The good news is the host has friends of every country and religion. He has excellent taste in public transport, food and art. And he employs some of the nicest people imaginable.
By the end of the day, I felt like writing a thank you card for the invitation.
That hype about New Yorkers being rude is just that. I had plenty of eye contact and manners, even from those on the street. The kindest group of all? Police officers. They were out in force for a parade. I watched as they directed handful after handful of tourist, with patience and a smile.
I can’t wait to come back, with more time and money, although I’d guess there is never enough of either in this great city.
More photos here.