Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm in a New York State of Mind

There is something that’s been on my mind for quite a while now that, in light of recent events, I need to come out with. Out-of-Towners are obnoxious.

Generalization? Maybe. But it’s true. How many times do you New Yorkers have to listen to whining of a transplanted West Coaster complaining about the weather, or a Mid-Westerner complaining about the unfriendliness, or a Floridian complaining that he can’t watch the Heat games (which he now wants to do because the Heat are apparently good)?

All the time, that’s when. (Well, except for the Heat fan, because he won’t start following until the playoffs anyway.) If I had a nickel for every time I heard two OoTs complaining about how they have to live in New York, I’d be making money in a really weird way. And a lot of it.

In all their complaining about how terrible New York is, they never stop to realize that there is, in fact, a reason they live here. I will share with you a story about someone I know personally, who was a transplanted OoT, and finally achieved his dream of moving out of the Dreaded Town of Death. His claim was that in the town he in which he wanted to live, he could buy a house and the monthly mortgage would be equivalent to the rent he was currently paying. Once he moved out of the DToD, it did not take him long to realize that he was right about the mortgage, but miscalculated other things, like property tax in his new home town. Oh, and a salary for the same type of job he was doing here was much lower. It wasn’t long before he had to take on a second job, but he was happy because he was out of the DToD.

And that brings me to why OoTs are obnoxious. I’m not saying that New Yorkers are nice, or even that New York is a great place to live, or raise kids. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. There’s a decent possibility that I won’t stay here. To each their own. But please do me and the rest of New York a favor. When you have something that you hate about New York, don’t complain to us about it. Just fuggedaboutit. You make these claims and you expect us to try to defend the City. You are putting us New Yorkers in an awkward position. We know your complaints are infantile, and it was YOU who chose to live here. Grow up and stop whining.

As a friend pointed out to me, OoTs whine about how New Yorkers don't notice things because we're moving so quickly, yet all OOTers notice are negative things. They're such pessimists about NY that they close their eyes to all the countless times random strangers help a mother with her baby carriage on the subway steps, or stop to make sure someone is alright, or give directions and make sure you understand them, or take a picture for you several times until it comes out right, or give up a seat on the subway to an elderly person, a pregnant person, or even to a child and parent, or a student with a heavy backpack or hold the subway door for you if you're running to catch the train, or elevator doors.

I hope I’m not making New Yorkers out to be Gandhi or anything. There is much left to be desired. New Yorkers can be jerks. But so can everybody else. This is America. The rest of the world hates us more than OoTs hate New York. Why? For the same reason OoTs hate New York. We’re brash, ignorant, arrogant and rude. Yes, it is a generalization, and I know you OoTs are saying to yourselves “that’s not me they are complaining about.” Yes it is. You are American. Therefore you are what Americans represent. New Yorkers are the same way. Not all of us (in fact, not most of us) are how New Yorkers are represented in your minds. (To tell you the truth, being from Queens, I have these same feelings about Brooklynites, but I’m not a jerk, so I don’t say it to their faces.)

When you yell at us as to why your home town was so much better than our home town, it annoys us. In fact, most of us can’t go on the offensive either. You know why? We’ve never been to you quaint little one-supermarket, two-traffic light, everybody-lives-within-a-block-radius-of-each-other-so we-only-have-to-pay-for-one-wireless-internet-provider-but-that-was-only-recently-because-the-internet-just-got-here-five-months-ago town. We’re New Yorkers, after all, and we don’t care. The reason you feel so comfortable attacking our City is that you know we have nothing to say about yours, and it’s not only because many of us can’t remember if it’s Denver or Detroit that’s in Delaware. It’s that we never bothered to figure it out. Because in the end, we just don’t care.

Yes, that was sarcasm. But OoTs really get annoyed when New Yorkers point out the OoT’s ignorance at basic New York geography, like Brooklyn being to the southwest of Queens, the various ways of getting to New Jersey, and how to get to the Five Towns. But when New Yorkers show ignorance of some OoT geography, like how close Memphis is to St. Louis, or That the largest city in Ohio is Columbus, or thinking that Oxnard is some sort of genetic defect, OoTs lose their minds. They call it “Typical New York Thinking.” I’ve got news for all you OoTs: If you live in New York, you should know more about it than we know about a town which we’ve never visited! I’ve known OoTs who have lived in the City that still don’t know the difference between the Harlem River Drive and the West Side Highway, or that SoHo and NoHo are named that for a reason, or which towns make up the Five Towns. Get with the program, OoTs: YOU’RE JUST LIKE US!

Now, I assume that I don’t have enough of a readership to suggest the following, but I would like to see other New Yorker’s opinion on OoTs. Do these types of things bother you as much as they bother me? And to the OoTs, where am I wrong? I know (if you read this at all), you were appalled at it. “How can he even compare us to New Yorkers,” you’re probably exclaiming. “He must be a New Yorker. It’s Dallas that’s in Delaware. Everybody knows that!” So please, I invite all OoTs to explain to me why I’m wrong. I will call it “The New York States of Mind.” So bring it.

29 comments:

  1. I'll bite, only because you wrote this because you want me to :)

    We complain because we're constantly faced with things that piss us off. Things that aren't right, aren't nice, are rude, are obnoxious. Like, say, everywhere outside NY being "out of town", even when NYers come to our towns.

    NYers manage to complain when they come to other cities plenty, like when someone is (gasp) friendly to them, yet seem surprised when "OOT"ers are annoyed by what happens in NYC.

    Back to the points: The people who are living here, do, in fact, know that they are living here and why - and it PISSES THEM OFF. Like, they have too much debt from living here and no savings to get up and move. Or not enough to move and live off of while they find a job. Or there's family nearby they're helping to take care of, or family nearby that need them for some reason, or someone's in school still and they have to wait until they're done... which then places them back in situation A. It SUCKS.

    The friend who moved, by the way, not only gets to be "out of town", but ya know, OWNS A HOUSE. He's probably an idiot for thinking salaries would be the same, and forgetting about property tax is silly, but all in all, he'll end up way ahead with a much higher QOL. (Statistically true, by the way - and I can actually say I know this for a fact, since I ran the survey. :) )

    It's funny to hear NYers complain about people complaining - yet they miss the point. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Help make NY a nicer place to live. Maybe if people are telling you, they figure it's because you're not as bad. Maybe they're venting. Maybe they're frustrated with living in a place where everything is consistently so negative instead of pleasant. Maybe they tire of the stress of NYC. Maybe NYers should just take it, like every other place does when it comes to not having XYZ in their town or when NYers waltz in and act like they own the place or turn up their noses because the kosher stores don't have exactly what they want because it isn't worth it to the community, or other stores don't have quite the same selection, or whatever.

    Yup - "OOT"ers are going at a slower pace, which lets them actually see what goes on and realize just how horrible it is. Do you know how many people first walk past the people with the carriage on the steps before someone helps? (Approximately two dozen in ten seconds.) Do you know how long is it before someone stops to make sure someone is all right? (Often about 30 seconds, which wouldn't be a lot if 45 people hadn't walked by first.) I've rarely actually seen anyone give clear directions, so not even sure where that one's from, and guess what - people do those things *automatically* in most other cities. Oh, and in most places they don't give up seats for people - because there are PLENTY of seats to go around (though they still move from the front ones for those people who need as soon as they see them coming up the steps). Also, the trains and buses wait on their own until all people are aboard - nobody needs to hold a door.

    By the way - most non-Americans who hate America hate it either for no reason that they know for real (because they've barely met Americans) or from their experiences with Americans... which generally occur in... NYC! The most visited city in the world (?), and a foreigner's window on America.

    Try living in Brooklyn for 5-10 years, see if you still aren't venting. Generally it's easy to let stuff slide when you experience it in passing or can get away from it. When you're stuck or face it on a consistent basis - it's a lot harder.

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  2. Or of course, perhaps it's the constant diet of "look how lame your city is", as if everyone lives in some pop.672 town in the middle of nowhere. And it's doubtful that knowing the NYer can't reply is what lets people complain, when NYers typically reply with that exact set of snark which they find so hilarious, before asking who's milking Betsy this week. As for geography, it's probably a matter of how the rest of us learned US geography in 4th grade, while NYers have the New Yorker's painting view. And while NYers seem shocked and appalled that other people not only don't know their city geography, which highway is where, or which tall building is which, nobody in any other city has that ridiculous expectation of anyone from any city. Even if someone lives here, there's no real reason to know much beyond the area where you are, especially if you're hoping to get the heck out of Gotham ASAP. Specific geography and basic geography are two quite different things - especially considering most NYers I've met who aren't from Queens/5T also don't know what make up the 5 towns. (Some don't know the 5 boroughs!) Even "OOT", nobody expects a new person to learn the whole city that fast - and there's a LOT less to learn. When you have about 25 communities within the tri-state to navigate, it's a bit much to expect people to know it. Heck, how well do you know Monsey? Or Teaneck? Or Passaic? Or even the Bronx or Staten Island? Those are part of your city, aren't they?

    What, you're rarely there? Never been to NoHo, SoHo, and driven maybe 5x on the West Side Highway in 7 years. Haven't been on most city entrances more than twice. Never spent time in at least 3 of the 5 towns, been in the Bronx 4-5x and SI maybe 5x.

    Finally, perhaps it's the theme of every NYers reply upon hearing a complaint: Not "really? that's so horrible...", but "Whaddya expect?! It's NY! That's what comes with the territory!" or even worse, rationalizing rudeness as being nice, and always constantly implying if not saying outright that rudeness in NY is okay because it's expected (it's a circular argument, in case that wasn't clear). Or the constant challenge of NY vs. everyone else, and how superior NY is, and how well that's the price people pay to live here and they should shut up and deal - it's like a prima donna who think it's okay to treat people like crap since they're gracing them with their presence. Perhaps it's the "NY state of mind" that's the problem, or the demand that if others wish to disagree, they need to "bring it".

    One thing we do agree on, though: Heat fans. Those people are the worst. Ugh. Now if only Heat fans existed... ;)

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  3. For all the others reading this - this was specifically written for Jughead's Hat (and maybe 1-3 others). Don't take it too literally.

    Also - who knew there was a length limit on comments!!

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  4. I hate the NY vs. OOT war. But I do have one request - instead of focusing on how bad NY is or how frustrating OOTers can be (as much as people complain about NYers, OOTers are no saints either, you know), can we please focus on the good parts of each? No one EVER does. I may not want to live in New York forever, but it seems my experience living here has been quite different. Ever since I started Stern and began living in Manhattan, I have come across countless really nice New York City-ers who have been helpful, thoughtful, and kind.

    Maybe I've been spending too much time in the third grade lately, but I think an exercise is positive thinking is in order. Ezzie, if you (general you) would let yourself see the good in New Yorkers, it would be there just as much as it is in people from anywhere else. And don't blame the New Yorker for crowded subways and buses...we don't like that, either!

    Also, I think everyone should be required to sit in on an elementary school class after graduating from college. It really puts things in perspective, and teaches some excellent life lessons!

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  5. I think NYers often miss the point here. Firstly - there's no "war".

    Here's the rub: There are specific negative traits that come with New York that exist in varying degrees in the individuals who live there, but as a collective whole are really difficult (and not just for "OOT"ers, but for everyone). I don't know and have yet to come up with a specific positive trait that comes along with this.

    Of course there are plenty of helpful, thoughtful, and kind people in NYC - just as there are everywhere. The question is why so often so many are not.

    Positive thinking is great, until someone shoves past you. NYers don't like crowded subways... yet they have no qualms about cramming into an already full car.

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  6. Wow, Ezzie. That’s a nice little comment you had there. I would love to dissect it piece by piece, but as you have already said, there is a length limit on comments. So I would like to take some of your points and discuss them:



    “Like, say, everywhere outside NY being "out of town", even when NYers come to our towns.”

    This ends up being a ‘chicken or the egg’ debate. Who started calling OoTs OoTs first? I’ll tell you (and you won’t argue that OoTs love the fact that that’s their name. They view it as sign that they don’t belong here; that they have a stronger attachment somewhere else. They proudly refer to themselves as an OoTer. If they thought (or even came to the conclusion) that NYers gave them that name, they would never refer to themselves by it.

    “Like, they have too much debt from living here and no savings to get up and move.”

    There’s debt everywhere. Classic example of blaming an OoTer NY for their trouble. In case you didn’t realize (I know you do- you conducted the survey), we are in kinda bad economic times. People are struggling everywhere.



    “Maybe they're frustrated with living in a place where everything is consistently so negative instead of pleasant.”

    We don’t view EVERYTHING as negative. OoTers do. There are good points and points to every community. OoTers tend to be blind to any and all good aspects of NY, focusing only on the negativity. Great, now Matisyahu is going through my head.



    “Do you know how many people first walk past the people with the carriage on the steps before someone helps?”

    Please, don’t tell me that everywhere outside NY, when someone is struggling, the first person to walk by offers the help. Doesn’t happen. Maybe sometimes it does, but not every time. Same thing here. It’s just the luck of the draw(er?). Will the nice guy pass the person in need first, or the guy that doesn’t care. If you think that everyone outside NY cares, you’re delusional.



    “And while NYers seem shocked and appalled that other people not only don't know their city geography, which highway is where, or which tall building is which, nobody in any other city has that ridiculous expectation of anyone from any city.”

    This was not explained well in my original post. It’s people who have been here for longer than I’ve had my license; people with cars; people who drive places and still don’t know. To these people, this IS their city, yet they choose to make sure that it’s not worth learning because they are gonna be outa here two years ago. That was, is and always will be the plan. You don’t have to love it, but learn to live with it. Until then, I’d be glad to give you clear directions. J



    “Or the constant challenge of NY vs. everyone else, and how superior NY is, and how well that's the price people pay to live here and they should shut up and deal…”

    And this is the point that I was making from the start. OoTers do this as much as NYers. They go on and on about how far superior their town is to NY. Yes, NYers may have done it first, but it’s turned into a kinda reverse racism and NYers can’t do anything about it because we can’t hurt the little gut. You do it as much as we do (if not, more by now).

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  7. I happen to be an OOTer who loves NY and I don't even complain about all the annoying parts when I'm there. But, if you're going to talk about how OOTers act complain when they come to NY, let me tell you the other side of that which you probably don't see. I own a business in my mid-sized town and I have a lot of customers who are NYers and if I could, I would ban them all. Their ignorance, arrogance and obnoxiousness is unsurpassed by a/t I've ever witnessed. My favorite is when they complain about s/t and to make their point they ask me "have you ever been to New York?" To which I'll either reply "what's New York?" or if I'm in a forgiving mood, I'll explain that we're not in NY and why things are different here. It never helps to explain, they always end by saying "you should go to such and such place in NY and see how it's really done". Also, as for ppl in NY being helpful, sorry but it's way less common to see ppl helping strangers in NY than it is in small towns. There'a two sides to it and the bottom line is, if you're in a city you don't consider home, shut up and stop complaining or just go home.

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  8. This ends up being a ‘chicken or the egg’ debate. Who started calling OoTs OoTs first? I’ll tell you (and you won’t argue that OoTs love the fact that that’s their name. They view it as sign that they don’t belong here; that they have a stronger attachment somewhere else. They proudly refer to themselves as an OoTer. If they thought (or even came to the conclusion) that NYers gave them that name, they would never refer to themselves by it.

    That's just false. Most people from anywhere else are legitimately confused when NYers show up in their town yet refer to them as "OOTers"... even in their town!

    There’s debt everywhere. Classic example of blaming an OoTer NY for their trouble. In case you didn’t realize (I know you do- you conducted the survey), we are in kinda bad economic times. People are struggling everywhere.

    You clearly did not understand this. Many people start off in NY-NJ and - because of the much higher costs of living - pick up a lot of extra debt that's much harder to work off.

    We don’t view EVERYTHING as negative. OoTers do.

    False. No idea how to respond, since you've just made a completely outrageous statement with no backing.

    There are good points and points to every community. OoTers tend to be blind to any and all good aspects of NY, focusing only on the negativity.

    No - NYers think that anything good that happens somehow erases the bad, when good happens everywhere. It's that the bad which doesn't happen everywhere but does in NY (or does at a much higher rate) that is what makes NY so negative.

    Please, don’t tell me that everywhere outside NY, when someone is struggling, the first person to walk by offers the help. Doesn’t happen. Maybe sometimes it does, but not every time. Same thing here. It’s just the luck of the draw(er?). Will the nice guy pass the person in need first, or the guy that doesn’t care. If you think that everyone outside NY cares, you’re delusional.

    Percentages are so much higher that it's not comparable.

    Until then, I’d be glad to give you clear directions.

    Haha. I've seen you drive... I'll pass. ;)

    And this is the point that I was making from the start. OoTers do this as much as NYers. They go on and on about how far superior their town is to NY. Yes, NYers may have done it first, but it’s turned into a kinda reverse racism and NYers can’t do anything about it because we can’t hurt the little gut. You do it as much as we do (if not, more by now).

    It's less of a reverse racism than an expression of frustration - but now somehow NYers think they have the upper moral hand because people expressed frustration, which is silly. Pointing out that NYers can be X Y and Z and that there are really horrible things that come with living here, then being told by NYers to "shut up and deal" and/or that "well that's what comes with living here" does not somehow make NYers morally superior, or even close.

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  9. Ezzie, you said:

    "We don’t view EVERYTHING as negative. OoTers do.

    False. No idea how to respond, since you've just made a completely outrageous statement with no backing."

    The backing is that I have yet to hear an OOTer say something positive about living in New York. All they ever do is complain about how horrible it is. You even said:

    "Here's the rub: There are specific negative traits that come with New York that exist in varying degrees in the individuals who live there, but as a collective whole are really difficult (and not just for "OOT"ers, but for everyone). I don't know and have yet to come up with a specific positive trait that comes along with this."

    You can't think of a single positive trait that comes out of living in New York?

    It's that the bad which doesn't happen everywhere but does in NY (or does at a much higher rate) that is what makes NY so negative.


    See above.

    Haha. I've seen you drive... I'll pass. ;)


    JH is a good driver! And he studies maps! :)

    It's less of a reverse racism than an expression of frustration - but now somehow NYers think they have the upper moral hand because people expressed frustration, which is silly. Pointing out that NYers can be X Y and Z and that there are really horrible things that come with living here, then being told by NYers to "shut up and deal" and/or that "well that's what comes with living here" does not somehow make NYers morally superior, or even close.

    No one said NYers are morally superior. We just don't want to hear about how obnoxious and ignorant we are anymore. And if all someone can do is complain about how terrible New York is and how mean New Yorkers are, then that person should leave. And there are plenty of people who are here, complain about being here, and don't have any financial problem about moving somewhere else. Clearly those people are choosing to be here for some reason, so it would be nice to hear about that reason once in a while. I don't go to another city and complain and complain and complain. There might be things I don't like, but there are always things to like, as well. And New York is the same - you can't say it's not. New York has what to like just as much as anywhere else.

    An OOTer once told me that I should stop saying certain words with a NY accent (and my NY accent isn't even that strong) because it makes me sound ignorant, and she tried to switch me over to a mid-western accent. She made me very self-conscious about the way I speak. Is that not obnoxious? People from other regions of the US are allowed to speak with their accent.

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  10. The backing is that I have yet to hear an OOTer say something positive about living in New York.

    You can't think of a single positive trait that comes out of living in New York?

    Nothing that is specifically New York. Perhaps having stores open later, but I only need that because the days are so hectic, so not sure that counts.

    JH is a good driver! And he studies maps! :)

    I'll still pass. ;)

    And if all someone can do is complain about how terrible New York is and how mean New Yorkers are, then that person should leave.

    Don't you see how bad that sounds?

    And there are plenty of people who are here, complain about being here, and don't have any financial problem about moving somewhere else.

    They may have other issues that keep them stuck.

    I don't go to another city and complain and complain and complain.

    How often do you go? Ever lived elsewhere for an extended period of time, especially away from family? (I know this is a no.)

    The accent thing is weird and likely a function of a jerk taking advantage of your personality. Plus, you don't have a strong accent.

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  12. Ezzie, I am thoroughly convinced that you continue this argument to humor yourself with us arguing in unison against you. Whatever. I'm in.

    "The backing is that I have yet to hear an OOTer say something positive about living in New York. You can't think of a single positive trait that comes out of living in New York?"

    "Nothing that is specifically New York. Perhaps having stores open later, but I only need that because the days are so hectic, so not sure that counts."

    Do you realize how bad THAT sounds? It's exactly what I've been saying about OoTers. You're just as bad as you claim NYers to be.

    "JH is a good driver! And he studies maps! :)"

    "I'll still pass. ;)"

    Pass as well.

    "And if all someone can do is complain about how terrible New York is and how mean New Yorkers are, then that person should leave."

    "Don't you see how bad that sounds?"

    She's only asking those who have absolutely nothing good to say about NY should leave. Not everyone who says something bad about it. It's a good thing you stuck that thing in there about the stores being open late, or you'd be gone, too.

    "And there are plenty of people who are here, complain about being here, and don't have any financial problem about moving somewhere else."

    "They may have other issues that keep them stuck."

    Both of you, don't pretend to know other people's situations - financial or otherwise.

    "I don't go to another city and complain and complain and complain. How often do you go?"

    "Ever lived elsewhere for an extended period of time, especially away from family? (I know this is a no.)"

    You're giving anyone carte blanche to attack any city just because they moved there and it's not what they are used to? You ARE your definition of a NYer.

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  13. As someone who lived (kind of) in and out of town I would say that there are pluses to both. OOTers do seem to get some sort of pleasure from bashing NY, but it seems kind of cheap to me. You don't like the city? Parking is too hard to find? The people aren't nice enough? They don't say hi? They judge you? Welcome to NY. There is a price to pay for a thousand kosher restaurants, supermarkets, schools and universities. You chose to move to NY for a reason, so be grateful that you have wtvr opportunities you have from living here and complain amongst yourselves, not to In Towners. Really, if you don't like it, leave. Go out of town, but don't be surprised when you get back home and see there are politics going on there as well.

    It's all a matter of perspective. I have been considered an in-towner for being from NJ and I have been considered an OOTer. It's all a matter of perspective. Someone who lives in the middle of Oklahoma would probably consider living in Chicago "in town" just b/c there are more "frum" resources there.

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  14. NYC has many things that make it uniquely wonderful.

    * Cultural opportunities. Yeah, we don't have the only museums, festivals, and restaurants in the world, but we have the greatest variety and the most accessibility.

    * speaking of accessibility, we have subways. That alone places NYC above most of the rest of the world.

    * Diversity. Having spent long periods in OOT places that were mostly WASPy, NYC's diversity feels like a breath of fresh air. It's nice to live somewhere where it's normal to be Jewish, where people recognize the signs and know what to expect and how to behave.

    * Job opportunities. We have jobs that don't exist in most other places in the USA, and they pay much better than any other jobs. That's why you're here. And if you are too enticed by the goodies around you to live within your budget, well fine. Stop complaining and move back to Tennessee where your only expense is gas for your evening cruise.

    * Exchange of ideas. NYC is a crossroads in the world. Everyone comes here. People come here for college because there's no place else where you can sit in a cafe with people from all seven continents and discuss news, politics, society, religion, and the future of the world. Where you can hear and express a variety of opinions and be heard respectfully instead of indulgently.

    * Yep, the stores open at all hours. How on earth anyone stays in business OOT by shutting up shop at 4:30 I've never understood. People work 9-5 OOT as well, don't they? I certainly did.

    One of my favorite pasttimes OOT is standing on the side during the kiddush in shul waiting for someone to demonstrate that fabled OOT friendliness and approach me. Once, another new woman approached me because I was the most accessible looking person in the room.
    Yeah, it exists. But it's not like in the average OOT's rose-tinted fond recollections, the equivalent of your grandmother's good old days.

    Western culture is built on the concept of greed. That is not good. But it has led to an era of unparalleled peace, prosperity, and tolerance. That is good. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good and just lump it. The alternative is to rage from your mental Pakistan and wonder why nobody is listening.

    In 3rd grade we had to memorize a poem that included the line, "If you're out to change the world, the trick to turn the tide is first to make the change in you."
    Ezzie - you might be entreating NYers to make their city a better place, but all you're doing is being as annoying as you claim we are. Just be a nice person and hope it's catchy.

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  15. On my flight to New York last week I was thinking "I can't wait to get to that smelly, dirty, unfriendly, overpopulated, expensive place". After being there for a few days and getting stuck in more traffic, spending more money on parking, taxes, tolls and food than I have since last trip, I've only been home for about 12 hours and already I miss that awful place :-)

    Bad4: lol about the kiddush, but there are some OOT places that really are more friendly. Also greed isn't good, it's great, just imagine where we'd be without it.

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  16. I can't believe you came in and didn't tell me! I want to be the only friendly New Yorker!

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  17. I meant to tell you, but I only do about half the things I mean to do and it was either tell you or file my 2009 taxes, and the government owes me money, so... :-) Too bad you don't have twitter, i was updating my location a lot in an attempt to get stalkers :P You couldn't be the only friendly New Yorker though, there's plenty of those in times square, I mean one guy even offered to polish my shoes, out of the goodness of his heard ;)

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  18. Yeah, but he's a New Yorker, so he probably would have stolen them. I tried twitter once. Didn't like it.

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  19. JH - Yup :D

    Do you realize how bad THAT sounds? It's exactly what I've been saying about OoTers. You're just as bad as you claim NYers to be.

    That doesn't make any sense - I'm answering the question.

    She's only asking those who have absolutely nothing good to say about NY should leave. Not everyone who says something bad about it. It's a good thing you stuck that thing in there about the stores being open late, or you'd be gone, too.

    Wow, that's not obnoxious at all. /sarcasm

    Both of you, don't pretend to know other people's situations - financial or otherwise.

    I'm not pretending. I'm giving actual anecdotes and actual data that I am fully aware of.

    You're giving anyone carte blanche to attack any city just because they moved there and it's not what they are used to? You ARE your definition of a NYer.

    No - I'm saying that if you've actually lived in another city for an extended period of time, you now have a good feel for that city and aren't criticizing without basis. Like, say, me in NYC.

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  20. Bad4:

    NYC has many things that make it uniquely wonderful.

    * Cultural opportunities. Yeah, we don't have the only museums, festivals, and restaurants in the world, but we have the greatest variety and the most accessibility.


    That makes NYC a nice place to visit (a stance I've long taken), not live. I've most often heard from people who live here that for the most part they have been to almost none of the cultural opportunities that exist here, so I don't see how having it in your city of residence is helpful.

    * speaking of accessibility, we have subways. That alone places NYC above most of the rest of the world.

    Even with subways, it takes 45-60 minutes to go from Queens to Manhattan. In most cities, this will get you across the entire city. (And cars/insurance are far cheaper, and there's places to park, etc. etc.) The subway system is nice, but it just lessens other negatives, not to mention it's not exactly a pleasant experience. [+2 for performers though]

    * Diversity. Having spent long periods in OOT places that were mostly WASPy, NYC's diversity feels like a breath of fresh air. It's nice to live somewhere where it's normal to be Jewish, where people recognize the signs and know what to expect and how to behave.

    Where were you? NYC is actually surprisingly NOT diverse by neighborhood (check stats from the last election). It prides itself on diversity - where blacks live here, whites here, Italians there, Jews there... I grew up in a rather diverse neighborhood, though I will acknowledge that many midsize Jewish communities around the USA are not particularly diverse themselves.

    * Job opportunities. We have jobs that don't exist in most other places in the USA, and they pay much better than any other jobs. That's why you're here. And if you are too enticed by the goodies around you to live within your budget, well fine. Stop complaining and move back to Tennessee where your only expense is gas for your evening cruise.

    The pay doesn't come close to the cost of living offset. That's NOT why I'm here. I don't buy "goodies", as you likely would know. As for opportunities, there's a pretty high rate of unemployment in NYC, particularly in the frum communities, so not buying that one, particularly when you once again factor in COL.

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  21. * Exchange of ideas. NYC is a crossroads in the world. Everyone comes here. People come here for college because there's no place else where you can sit in a cafe with people from all seven continents and discuss news, politics, society, religion, and the future of the world. Where you can hear and express a variety of opinions and be heard respectfully instead of indulgently.

    That's so self-indulgent without basis it's not really worth responding to. Also, false on both sides.

    * Yep, the stores open at all hours. How on earth anyone stays in business OOT by shutting up shop at 4:30 I've never understood. People work 9-5 OOT as well, don't they? I certainly did.

    Where were you that places closed at 4:30? Most places close between 7 and 10, depending on the store. There's also the idea that, ya know, the people who work in stores are entitled to have lives, too, and aren't just [minority] people there to serve you [white].

    One of my favorite pasttimes OOT is standing on the side during the kiddush in shul waiting for someone to demonstrate that fabled OOT friendliness and approach me. Once, another new woman approached me because I was the most accessible looking person in the room.
    Yeah, it exists. But it's not like in the average OOT's rose-tinted fond recollections, the equivalent of your grandmother's good old days.


    Maybe they were [gasp] not intruding on your personal space, like you requested in your post. Or maybe you were in the wrong shul/town.

    Western culture is built on the concept of greed. That is not good. But it has led to an era of unparalleled peace, prosperity, and tolerance. That is good. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good and just lump it. The alternative is to rage from your mental Pakistan and wonder why nobody is listening.

    I love capitalism - I fail to see how the least capitalistic state in the Union falls into that category.

    In 3rd grade we had to memorize a poem that included the line, "If you're out to change the world, the trick to turn the tide is first to make the change in you."
    Ezzie - you might be entreating NYers to make their city a better place, but all you're doing is being as annoying as you claim we are. Just be a nice person and hope it's catchy.


    If you've read my blog, ever, you might have noticed the scroll over on my header, which references R' Salanter's quote on changing the world - and yes, it absolutely comes with yourself first. That's why I try to actually practice what I preach, rather than say "well that's how it is/I am/we are, and tough on people who don't like it". That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to speak out against things I don't like. And for what it's worth, with the people we have here, it DOES seem pretty catchy. Who'd have thunk it? :)

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  22. I just think that people look for ways to put down New York--and New Yorkers--and automatically take a negative approach to everything New York. There's plenty to complain about New York, but you're wearing blinders if you don't notice absolutely anything good about living here.

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  23. That's just not true. Most people actually come here pretty positive about it - they're young and excited about the opportunity NY is supposed to stand for, plus they enjoy the fun and ability to do things whenever, etc. It's just that that wears off pretty quickly.

    Like I said - great place to visit, horrible place to live.

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  24. Eh, I dunno about that. I know plenty of people who put down New York before ever living here.

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  25. Alright, my turn to weigh in here. First of all, good post, Jughead. You do make a good point. Everyone needs to be more careful about complaining. However, Ezzie and BJG are right about one thing: NYers seem to complain/criticize a LOT more while visiting OOT than OOTers do while visiting NY.

    As far as B4S subway line, that's laughable. We don't need subways because we have cars! And roads to drive them on! And driveways to park them in! Ah, the joys of OOT living... :-)

    And when you look at NYers who have moved to OOT, from my empirical evidence, I see a lot more NYers who are thrilled to be away (just never realized it existed before) than OOTers who are thrilled to be in NY. But you're from Queens, I think that's not the NY most people complain about.

    Biggest NYer annoyance? Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit are not all one city!

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  26. OOTer, two things:
    1) Do NYers complain about OOT or are they glad to be out? You say both, and if you want to say that both happen, well then I don't think NYers complain about being out of Town as much as you believe they do.
    2) NYers complaining about OOT does not give OOTers a right to complain about NY. In fact, using that as an excuse makes an OOTer more like a NYer than they think.

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  27. JH - If I can answer for OOTer -

    1) When they're visiting, complaints the whole time. When they move there, love.

    2) I don't think that's what OOTer was doing.

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  28. its very simple. only nyers like ny- the poor pathetic misguided losers dont know any better. everyone else hates it bc we know what normal life is like elsewhere. we pity. and we despise ur miserable city. FNY. an F all u pathetic fnyers. u have my pity.

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