Coming to New York City From the Midwest

Although I have made New York my home for the past 20 years, New Yorkers don't consider me a "true" New Yorker, but I think of it as a complement rather than a slight.

One think that is great about New York, is that there is a place for everyone.  Every ethnic group is represented, many languages can be heard on the street, there is a high degree of tolerance for different people by virtue of the diversity of the city.

When I first came to New York to start my career, my co-workers, who were mostly New Yorkers, confused my honesty with naivete.  They felt the need to "wise me up" or sometimes shepherd me through situations that they thought I couldn't handle.

I know New York can seem dangerous, but if you keep your eyes open and stay in places where there are lots of people it is really pretty OK.  I used to laugh from time to time that my co-workers seemed so worried about me.  Looking back on it, though, I suppose I would do the same if I began working with a young twenty something woman from a different culture.

That is what New York is, though.  It is a different culture, at least from the midwest.  In my hometown, you say hello to people as you walk down the street and you smile.  In New York, that doesn't happen...during rush hour it is best to wear a scowl on your face as you head to the subway for your commute.

Anyhow, I think people should be judged by what they have on their insides.  Their character, their goodness, their willingness to help someone else, their ability to look you in the eye when they talk.  It annoys me that others place so much value on material wealth, or where you last vacationed, or what your job title is. 

I have found that many people continue chasing something, and end up unhappy and in debt because they think that they need material things to measure up to their friends.  It makes me sad that this is a reflection of the society in which we live, why as a society can't we value the characteristics of honesty and kindness in one another?   What might the world look like if we put such individuals on a pedestal? If only societally we could turn in that direction...but I think it seems some things are changing.

ginger1979 ginger1979
41-45, F
4 Responses Apr 27, 2007

@SpiceZ. I know it is not intended as a complement, but considering how the stereotypical NYer is, like your comment illustrates, I don't wish to be part of the group.

Hate to break this to you, but the fact we don't consider you a real NYer is not a compliment at all.

I admire all the different cultures here I also go to Flushing, NY it is called Chinatown because it is mostly asians on Main Street it is different, I go there to eat the delicious chinese food and sometimes pick up seafood to cook at home it is like stepping into China itself. There are many different neighborhoods in NY that way like Brighten Beach, Brooklyn it is like Russia there are many natives from there. So much diversity and I know what you mean about the attitudes here and too much emphasis placed on material items and not enough on maybe learning a new culture or open to new ideas or just "dolce Vita" living life as italians would call it in Europe I was reading Italians focus on more well being rather then money, money, money and they also take a rest in the afternoon for 2 hours all the businesses close for 2 hours so people can rest. I think that is an excellent idea and people would cut down on heart disease that way if they do so. Bella

My flat-mate is from New York. He goes on and on and on and on and on about how great it is and what the views are like and the culture, people, buildings...bla bla bla. <br />
I like New York because its full of people, and western...and an island. I like New York for the same reasons I like Singapore...Although I don't want to live in Singapore and I do want to live in New York. For now I'm stuck in my little city in New Zealand (Got the New part-ha ha)...Auckland has Half this countries population...but all of it is in the endless suburbs.