Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quintessential New Yorker?

Our small group morphed again last night and we welcomed 3 new people into the group. As we went around the circle and introduced ourselves, shared something interesting, small group small talk, etc... it became apparent that out of the 6 people in the room, a total of none had been in the city longer than 3 months. Which caused us to ask, "Of all the people you've met here, how many of them have been born and raised in the city? All boroughs included?"

One guy could think of one. I could think of...one.
That's it.

People love to make sweeping statements about New Yorkers. And they're not always complimentary.

New Yorkers are rude.
New Yorkers are disillusioned.
New Yorkers say it like it is.
New Yorkers are...whatever.

But who are these rude, disillusioned, straight-talking New Yorkers? People are arriving here every day from everywhere in the world, and they are taking with them their own cultural values. These values may or may not be in line with the New York stereotypes. Chances are not.
And if indeed the city as a whole promotes a certain attitude or worldview, how long does it take for someone to adopt that worldview, if at all?

Who is the quintessential New Yorker?

3 comments:

chelle said...

D, what would you say? Are the stereotypes true or untrue in your experience so far?

Dana said...

I'm not sure...
I can say that customer service folks here are not as chatty as in Michigan, but I wouldn't call (most of)them rude. And errands take a little longer, are a little more complicated, than in Michigan, so people get done what they need to get done and move on. It's a matter of efficiency.

There are so many many people condensed into a small space that you're bound to encounter all types.

Our challenge is to identify the ministry implications here-- how do you approach such an incredibly diverse population? Good thing we've got some smarties around at Emmanuel and Redeemer to help us learn.

Dana said...

Nice pink plastic van, by the way. My dad may have some connections to help you make that dream a reality with your current vehicle.