I’ve been gone for a week and don’t have a Weekly Woke Report. In lieu of that, I thought I would detail a little of my trip to New York City, and compare it to the basic clichés that movies and media portray the city as.
What’s The Difference?
This was my first ever trip to NY, and as you probably know, it’s probably one of the most represented cities on the silver screen. Watching movies over the years, I’ve noted several clichés, and now this was my chance to see if they were true.
I was there a week so I had a fairly reasonably sized sample of time to obtain my data from. Of course, this is all highly scientific and non-biased. In other words…
So let’s take a trip through the clichés and bust some myths!
Cliché: There’s always some worker running a jackhammer.
Yes, I saw at least 2 workers cutting with a jackhammer. One was cutting in the side of a decorative sidewalk edge. Why? To make it look bad I guess. I wonder if they just place these guys strategically to keep up the image and distract from their real plan: putting Arabic food trucks on every corner so you can never find an actual hot dog stand.
Cliché: Everyone is always honking their horn in traffic.
Although the movies turn this up to 11, and the horns aren’t nearly as often as you might think. But they are frequent. Now, in most places, a horn is used more judiciously when something has gone very wrong or is about to. In New York, however, it’s used like a comma.
“Yeah, I take 29th street honk, go through to 5th Avenue honk, and then turn honk into Central Park honk honk.”
In many cities, a horn honk is an invitation to get shot but in New York, I think it’s just another form of communication or possibly some sort of spectator sport.
Cliché: New York traffic is terrible.
It’s pretty much an exercise in madness. At this point, most regular people making a median wage do not have a car. Having one for parking alone will run you around $500 a month. So the only people who have cars are the wealthy or Uber drivers.
From what I could tell, the vast majority of cars are of the BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, or Cadillac variety, and all of them were getting into the Holland tunnel when I had to use it. Every single car in New York.
Not an exaggeration. I’m a scientist remember. So you can believe me.
Cliché: New Yorkers are rude.
New Yorkers are no more rude in my experience than any other place I’ve visited. People actually held doors open for me and generally seemed to mind their own business. It’s just that there are SO many people that they just kinda withdraw into their headphones and don’t make a lot of eye contact.
They also have a rhythm in getting around. Cars and pedestrians know when they have the right of way, and as they proceed to go, they simply assume they won’t get run over, or walked into. The subway is basically the same deal, people know how quickly you have to get on and off the subway, and you will get shoved by a lot of people if the train is crowded. It’s not rude, it’s just necessary.
I did come up out of a subway to hear two men screaming at each other, but no one else was paying any attention and we just walked the other way. I am disappointed a cab never got close enough so I could shout:
“I’m walking here! I’m walking here!”
Cliché: New York is dirty.
Status: Mostly true.
Ok, this is a little tougher. Most of the places I went to were clean, even the subway was clean. But places like the subway, that are over 100 years old, are just plain grimy. With that many people crammed into an 8-mile long island, there’s a staleness that permeates all the time. I noticed how much fresher the air is when I got back home.
One day was garbage day, or as some of the New York four-legged denizens call it, buffet day. Yes, there are rats in the streets. Not a ton, and they only came out that night. Yes they are large. I’m pretty sure some of them were hauling off a dachshund. Well who doesn’t like a little Oktoberfest food?
Cliché: Trump Tower is Ugly
Look, I like most of Trump’s policies but let’s face it, his tastes are pretty much the same as Biff Tannen in the alternate timeline. Trump Tower has the moment of looking impressive due to the expense, but after a few moments you realize it’s the color of vomit and the weird brass reflective walls make you dizzy.
The nice thing that they do have to soothe you, are armed to the teeth NYPD officers looking extremely nervous. I assume they have to be there lest some lunatic SJW decides to indulge in a few political fireworks.
I mean, this is disorienting as hell. The color is terrible. He really has the refined taste of your average trailer park manager with too much money.
So that’s some of the things I found. All in all, I would say that the movies generally represent New York accurately but maxxed out. Like if they show 200 hundred pigeons, it’s really closer to 20. Sure there are pigeons, just not that many.
Sure there are homeless bums, but not that many. Sure there is traffic, but it’s not quite as bad as you might think. Sure there are rats the size of Volkswagens but… well ok, they actually seem smaller on the silver screen.
I would say New York embodies the phrase:
“It’s a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”
So naturally, 8 million people do.