What People From Other States Think of New Yorkers


I never really thought too much about how the rest of the country perceives New Yorkers. I couldn’t really care. I’d always heard the stereotype was something along the lines of pushy, loud, rude, ornery, and, even perhaps, criminal.

Though not entirely accurate, I felt those stereotypes useful. They kept away the people who didn’t want New York badly enough and attracted people who simply had to be here because they couldn’t fit in anywhere else. Or had some dream that could only be fulfilled in NYC. But I guess that’s an outdated stereotype.

I was a little shocked when I read the first paragraph of ““The Fey Highwayman”, Rob Harvilla’s review of Sufjan Steven’s BQE symphony:

All my friends who don’t live in New York hate New York. Near as I can tell, they imagine the city as one giant, loathsome American Apparel ad, a crass, joyless, narcissistic, careerist, emaciated, insincere, hopelessly uptight, suffocatingly twee cesspool of white-privilege Williamsburg hipsterdom. I’m paraphrasing; they’re stereotyping.

I think that begins to describe how a lot of people in this city feel about the new New York. I just hadn’t realized that those changes had gotten to be so ingrained and permanent that that’s how people in the rest of the country imagine about New York these days too.

Does that sound about right?