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Article: "My kind of town: New York"

Someone linked to this article in the Smithsonian (I forget who sorry) from 2008 and it's so great. It's a hypothesis about why there is a (mostly) inaccurate stereotype about how New Yorkers are rude. If you think New Yorkers are rude, you haven't spent enough time (say, >10 minutes) in Philly.

Author Joan Acocella thinks New Yorkers get a bad rap "because they make less separation between private and public life."

That is, they act on the street as they do in private. In the United States today, public behavior is ruled by a kind of compulsory cheer that people probably picked up from television and advertising and that coats their transactions in a smooth, shiny glaze, making them seem empty-headed. New Yorkers have not yet gotten the knack of this. That may be because so many of them grew up outside the United States, and also because they live so much of their lives in public, eating their lunches in parks, riding to work in subways. It's hard to keep up the smiley face for that many hours a day.

Even if you have no interest in this "debate" you should read the article for the dramatic story that unfolds in a post office, when the USPS clerk insists a man buy a big roll of bubble wrap after he's already paid $2.79 for the box. It's a very New York story.

Read the article here.

Image above taken from Apple Maps


April 29, 2020


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