Friday, June 23, 2006

How nice are YOU!

Rules of the road: (1) No raking women with your eyes; glance quickly and respectfully. (2) Offer to share a taxi rather than fight over it. (3) Babies in strollers get right-of-way—until they abuse it. (4) Still no ogling girls—c’mon! (5) And skateboarding, are you kidding me? (6) Not everybody loves your dog as much as you do. (7) No bicycling on the sidewalk unless under the age of 6. (8) Pedestrians can die of secondhand smoke, too.
(Photo: Photomontage by Peter Rad)

A big topic of discussion as of late is ettiquette in New York City. NYC is defined by all five boroughs but most think solely of Manhattan here. These rules should apply to any city but New Yorkers get it. If you're rude, your going to have your life threatened but if you help people out, you make someone's life easier and you've done something good. The karma comes back to you. So here is how not to be a jerk.

Callers into a recent Brian Lehrer's radio segment on NPR (wnyc) commented that the worst experiences with rudeness have happened on the West Coast. Apparently people there think that if they help someone, that will embarrass that person, hence, they're doing a good deed by ignoring that person in need. I've lived there for 30 years of my life and I can say that people do look the other way and it's flipping bull shit. I have literally seen someone fall while Seattleites walk OVER the person and continue down the street. Sometimes people help but sometimes they don't. It's just rude. How much effort does it take to say "Are you OK? Can I help you stand up?" I have also seen people fall in New York (tripping over nasty curbs or in the snow) and people will (again, literally) jump in front of that person to help them stabilize. It's something to think about. Rudeness to strangers is unneccessary and I'm saying this to all you white suburban raised guys since it seems to be more prevelent with you. Ignoring ettiquette does not make a man. Now let that pregnant lady have your seat and pat yourself on the back for being a hero.


Blogger cenap said...

My personal pet peeve about middle-class white guys in Manhattan (you only see this in Manhattan, by the way), is the golf umbrella in mid-town. One person under one six-foot spanning umbrella (with inevitable investment firm logo thereon) taking up 3 quarters of an 8-foot wide sidewalk. It's so rude should be illegal. No one should have an umbrella that big on a city street unless your wife and 1.5 children are under there with you.

And you're right about the west coast thing. I've witnessed both sides of it personally myself too. Seattlites walking around a person who just tripped and fell on the sidewalk, and five New Yorkers running to the side of someone who stumbled on a subway staircase.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Carmi said...

I think all that rain and caffeine is starting to affect the demeanor of Seattle residents. I'd be depressed if I lived like that, too :)

10:52 PM  

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