After discussing my post about homeless people in New York City, my sister commented that homeless people are usually some of the friendliest people because they are so accustomed to relying on the kindness of strangers. True.
So it got me thinking. There are so many other people in New York that I found to be kind and friendly. Not just homeless or needy people. But first of all, it seems such a big deal to comment about basic friendliness in NYC as though automatically we assume they’re not. Maybe we assume that because there are just so many people everywhere all the time, how can all those people possibly be friendly? Poor New York. It’s so misunderstood.
Taxi drivers were helpful showing us where to go once we were dropped off. They also chatted up a storm on various topics: what they would do if they weren’t driving a car, how much they loved what they used to do but can no longer do it, Egyptian politics, divorce and love, their family, and how important it is to be happy each day (!), etcetera. Subway station attendants went out of their way not to just help me but others, using their microphones from their cage-offices helping people get their cards to work in the finicky turnstile readers.
The housekeeper and attendants at the apartment I rented were friendly and helpful. Often people don’t speak English as a first language, but they speak excellent Spanish or Italian so those traveling with me were perfectly suited to speak to them. And they’d humor me with my English-as-an-only language what with my sign language and non-verbals.
The guys at the bagel store seemed to recognize me and greeted me warmly and were able to accurately guess what I’d order based on the other days I visited. The owner of the apartment offered to take me to the green grocer and the florist, a trip I never took with her, regretfully.
So what’s not friendly about NYC? Nothing I witnessed personally. I saw a few crazy people get angry at this or that but nothing ever directed at me. I guess with that many people in any given place, you’re bound to have some tempers flare. Especially during summer when it is so hot.
But when someone talks about a place where people are generally considered rude and unkind, I don’t think of New York City.