Note From A Nice Native New Yorker
Americans still think New Yorkers are mean, rude and arrogant. Yet they flock to this city in the MILLIONS. Henry Stewart of Brooklyn Magazine expressed his annoyance in the article "Why Do Americans Think New Yorkers Are So Mean?":
The last two times I went to Manhattan, no fewer than four pedestrians and straphangers asked me for directions. I guess I've just got one of those faces, the one that gets me elected foreman when I'm on jury duty, but I can't stand on a street corner without fielding queries as to which direction whatever avenue is or sit on the subway without explaining how to get to Canal Street if the R train's not going to the city from Brooklyn. And what do I get for my patience and trouble? A bunch of survey takers telling me I'm a jerk.
I give directions all the time to obvious tourists and the less-than-obvious. I've gotten adept at hand signals and using universal signs such as the "thumbs up", the "A-OK", the "flight attendant" et al. I decipher questions with missing verbs and nouns and get people where they have to go. I aid Italian families hail cabs the New York way read: climb in first then speak to the driver.
I've been the 10-second photographer for folks visiting from ATL or Albania (You take picture for us?)
Do I have my moments, when I'm in a rush, and I have to go 10 blocks in 8 minutes and I just happen to be on the busiest tourist thoroughfares of 5th Avenue in the 50's or 34th Street or Broadway south of Chambers Street and I roll my eyes and shake my head at the gawkers moving at a snail's pace? Yes. I'm human. But I've never been mean or rude to anyone because of it.
My being nice isn't an act and I'm not only nice to my Native Creative Concierge clients. I'm nice because some of these tourists are really struggling out there in them streets -- I mean they is just lost, paralyzed with indecision and ignorance and I know a friendly face, a nice New Yorker can make their day.
The universal symbol that works the best for me? A smile. I'm a New Yorker who smiles.
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