Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Midwest musings

I've had a couple visits from Michigan in recent weeks and done a bit of traveling myself. And the observations from all involved lead to the same conclusion-- New Yorkers are not friendly enough. Yes, I know, bla, bla, bla, ask any New Yorker on the street for directions and they will be happy to help. But New Yorkers need to slow down and smile.

The slow down bit definitely comes into play on the Brooklyn Bridge. Dave, Lisa and Ellie came to visit and wanted to run across the Bridge. We had an awesome time but almost got mowed over by the bicyclists who "share" the bridge.

The next week, another set of cousins visited. Apparently they smiled at people and tried to make eye contact but got the feeling that they were getting funny looks. I can just picture it, a cheery lady from Michigan is looking and smiling at a person wearing black staring straight ahead. Yeah, I can see how some funny looks might have resulted.

Finally, while home over Easter I was greeted by two friendly pooches while I was on a walk with a friend. This got me thinking that not even New Yorker dogs are excited to see people on the street. Like their owners, they stare straight ahead focussed on the next light post.

This attitude seems to work for the city. It's successful and the tourists keep coming. But it makes me sad:-(

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why you need to move back to DC pronto!

AB

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can kind of understand New Yorkers not smiling or being overly friendly. I imagine that living in a large city with so many people crushed in around them, that acknowledging everybody would be incredibly timeconsuming.

In addition, not acknowledging others might be a way of blocking out all the people around them and thereby creating some internal sense of privacy and peace . . .

Erin - do you think this might be the case?

6:13 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

I agree! Midwesterners get a bad reputation for being boring, etc. but I think the best quality of the midwestern states is that people take the time to be good neighbors and friendly to others. Go Midwest!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I think you might be able to point to privacy as a reason that some people don't make eye contact. But then again, okay, New York is intense, people want privacy; I could make excuses for people living in midwest cities too-- ie too cold in Minneapolis to give people the time of day; economy too depressing in Detroit to want to acknowledge anyone...

5:56 PM  

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