|05-18-2009, 09:06 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
The New York Attitude
New York City is one of my favorite cities in the world. I have been there quite a few times now and every time I am amazed at the architecture, liveliness, cultural diversity and the speed at which people move around the city: 24 hours a day. Time seems to move faster here than anywhere else in the world.
Another thing that always amazes me is what they call the New York Attitude. Locals call it a mixture between tough, bravery and being overworked. They want to make it, to succeed in life, whatever it takes (even at the expense of others). To me it is being rude, very rude!
Once I made the mistake of taking a bus into Manhattan to my hotel. Instead of giving polite directions, the bus driver was extremely rude and shouting very loud at her passengers, mostly foreign tourists, to put their bags in the baggage compartment. I guess this can only happen in New York.
On that same visit, my friend Danny, a colleague who I was travelling with, made the mistake of filming a NYC police officer’s tow-away truck. Bad mistake! He almost got arrested for that. A couple of hours later, he got into an argument with a cashier at a restaurant over 25 cents, after leaving a generous tip on the table.
Now the reason why I write this post is that next week I will visit NYC again, this time with my wife who has never been there before. In a strange way I have been looking forward to the New York Attitude which to me is part of the whole New York experience.
It will start at the airport with officials looking at me with a “you’re not welcome” expression on their face. Then the cab driver, who sees every other car as a competitor who he needs to outsmart at all cost, using the taxi horn as his main weapon.
Staff at New York City hotels can be rude as well: “No, we are not ready for you yet, come back in a couple of hours. You want a storage space for your bags? We don’t have that here!” Need I go on?
The great thing about writing a personal development blog is that I can use my own life as an example on how to, or not, improve communication with others: how to live a better, more authentic life. While preparing for this post I have been thinking about a quote from Wayne Dyer:
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”
Doesn’t this apply to me as well, thinking about the New York Attitude? If I expect people to be rude, I will only see rude people. However, if I expect people to be nice, I will notice them too.
So, as a little experiment, next week, I will go to New York with a more open mind. Expecting people to be nice, patient and caring about others. Let’s see what happens. When I am back, I will let you know how the experiment went.
|05-18-2009, 02:26 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2008
I think this is an EXCELLENT thing for you to do. Having lived in New York for most of my 29 years, I can tell you countless stories of NYers being kind, generous, and helpful to a fault. For only a few examples:
People have gone out of their way when giving me directions, sometimes going with me part of the way, or telling me to transfer at the next stop and not this one because it was safer at night.
All sorts of small things like lending me a cell phone when I needed to call home, buying me frites when I didn't have money (this happened just Friday!) and then spending a pleasant evening in conversation with this (former) stranger, sharing a cab down to the ferry late at night when we were worried that the shuttle bus was not going to make it on time and we'd then be stuck with an hour wait - and then helping me by carrying my younger daughter so we could all run fast enough to make the boat. In fact he ended up paying for the cab himself as I didn't have change. People have run after me when I've dropped my cell phone so they could return it.
I got free flowers for my wedding when I struck up a conversation in a deli with a wonderful woman about flamenco and opera, and when I mentioned I was getting married she asked what kind of flowers we were having, and when I told her we were just going to city hall and could not afford flowers, she told me that as a floral designer she would give me some. I got the most beautiful (and heavy!) bouquet later that week, and boutonnieres as well, in colors to match my wedding dress. In fact, I also had lovely REAL jewelry that was lent to me by another person I barely knew.
The whole thing reminds me very much of a conversation I had online a while back - someone said that all the bisexual people he knew had serious mental issues, and he seemed to feel this was *why* they were bi. I told him that all of the bisexual people I know are amazing, fabulous people, and much more together than most people I know. You find what you want to find...
|05-19-2009, 06:50 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sunny Florida
make the most of it!
The people and your experiences in new york will only be magnified by what you believe to be true at that time.
I've spent most of my life in new york. My experiences have been with complete generosity, amazing quality friends and strangers and positive experiences that I wouldn't trade anything for. But there are every other kind of people, experience and expectations for new york other than my own.
My own beliefs and expectations set the tone for what I get out of new york every time I'm there.
Have an amazing trip with your wife!! Can't wait to hear about it when you get back.
|05-31-2009, 05:43 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
I'm back from NYC. What a difference this time! Although I also encountered some rude people, especially in the tourist areas like Times Square and the Empire State Building, my overall picture towards New York changed quite a bit. The only thing that remained the same was the way how taxi drivers fought there little battles on the streets of Manhattan Island.
The New New York Attitude | Awake Your Authentic Self
|05-31-2009, 08:26 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
I agree that any experience is what you create it to be with your own mostly unintentional biases.
Are there rude people in NYC? Yeah. Pretty much everytime I went there. But there were always more nicer people than rude. But there are rude people in Raleigh too, where I live now. I just don't focus on them.
Wayne Dyer has that great story about the airline check in clerk who looked like she was harried and hassled and determined to give him a hard time about a cancelled flight. But he diffused her with his own smooth, calm, pleasant attitude and acknowledged her difficult job and even gave her a free copy of his book. Did he get on a flight? Yeah. Was she smiling when he left her counter? Yeah. Did he help her to have a better day? Probably.
|attitude, authentic, new york, nyc, rude|
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