“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) – “The New Colossus”
When you think of New York City, what comes to mind? The great melting pot; the city of opportunity; diversity personified? A place where people from around the world of any race, creed, class, and income level are welcome to stake a claim for their shot at the American Dream?
Not so fast.
New Yorkers are also Americans, but they are Americans with a heavy attitude. Whether they’ve just arrived from down on the farm or have lived here all their life, there is one thing virtually all of them have in common: they love to complain.
If it’s not the subways, it’s the crime. If it’s not the crime, it’s the dirt. If it’s not the dirt, it’s the noise. If it’s not the noise, it’s the expense – but that’s child’s play compared to New Yorkers when they encounter others with a different point of view than their own.
As a rule they are fiercely territorial and jealously guard their personal beliefs against all comers with all the veracity of an enraged Bronx pit bull. If you want to get a taste of what real New Yorkers are all about, up close and personal, look no further than some of the forums and websites devoted to New York City, where natives sound off in that classically brash, opinionated New York style.