Monday, November 01, 2010

New York Manners

Quoted from a book of aphorisms published in a previous generation,  I find:

A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.

Cute but not so, right?  Or at least seriously outmoded.  I live about as far from New York as it's possible to get inside the United States but I'm in there a couple of times a year and I find them quite easy to get along with.  They're high-energy and brusque but they're predictable and often fair-minded. Hell, they even queue (part about the car is still true, though).  Or am I romanticizing?

My friend Ignoto, whose natural venue is 14th Street, observes:
I  think we have a different relationship with time.When I moved to Florida I went to buy the paper at the local drugstore, and there was a customer in conversation with the clerk.  I had exact change, so I put it on the counter, held the paper up to show the clerk what I was taking, and went on my way.   "What's the matter, you in a hurry?" she snarled, clearly offended.  All I was doing was saving us time and avoiding having to hurry her customer.
Sounds right to me.   On the other hand, since he mentions store clerks, I will make an exception to my New York rule for clerks at d'Agostino's.  Way I see it, there were all trained at the retail academy of the Soviet Union.


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