Saturday, February 19, 2011

Arm Chair Sociology of New Yorkers

Having lived among them for three years and interviewed literally thousands of them, I am going to engage in some arm chair sociology of New Yorkers.

By New Yorkers, I mean the people who were born and raised in New York--who have never left the metropolitan area for more than a vacation. And yes, I am engaging in rampant stereotyping and generalization. I'm fine with that.

Native New Yorkers are the least imaginative, least intellectually curious, and the least able to entertain themselves people I've ever met. This is ironic because the transplants to New York City are among the most imaginative, most curious, and most entertaining people I've ever met.

I theorize that the very energy of New York City is what saps the energy of the native New Yorkers.

They have no need to be creative, because down the block, around the corner, up the street, pretty well everywhere, there is creativity already made, packaged, and delivered.

They don't need intellectual curiosity because the diversity of New York comes to them. The true difficulty in New York is not finding something new, it is NOT finding something new. If you don't have to work for something, you will never become skilled in it.

But the part that was most annoying to me was their inability to be content within themselves. No matter where they were, if it wasn't NYC, they would whine, "There's nothing to DO here!" They couldn't make their own fun. They couldn't entertain themselves. They couldn't enjoy themselves unless they were ceaselessly overwhelmed with new experiences and activities. I think you could torture New Yorkers by forcing them to play a board game.

But I love New York. If it weren't for New York, they would all be out in the real world with the rest of us.

3 Comments:

Blogger Yoel Natan said...

Also, they sneer at the population sizes of most other cities in the US, the inference being, it seems, that no where but LA compares favorably to NYC.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

Since you lived in Connecticut, any New Yorkers you lived among probably know who they are...

Did you get most of this from the interviews themselves, or from the comments they made to each other during interviews?

9:04 AM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

any New Yorkers you lived among probably know who they are...

Ah, but they don't read my blog!

From the interviews.

3:17 PM  

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