I've been on a kick of helping people lately. Recently I was walking down Third Avenue by Rodeo Bar and I saw some women with big shopping bags lamely try to hail a cab, but not really TRY, so I hailed it and pointed to them and said, "That's for you."
New Yorkers get a bad rap. The other morning I saw some tourists with a big unfolded map on the corner of Lafayette and Bleecker, and I asked, "Do you need help?" Turns out they were looking for a breakfast place, and were flabbergasted when I suggested the one they were standing outside of, Noho Star. A week or two before, on that same street but after work, I heard a couple of teens say, "I know there's a train down here somewhere..." When I directed them to the 6 down the street, one of them said, "Thaaank you, you're the nicest New Yorker we've ever met..."
Of course that may be true, but I'm not the nicest New Yorker there is. I can't be!
Don't mistake my kindness for goodness. I'm selfish and greedy. I like feeling good and showing off how much I know and how much better I can navigate the city than you. If, in the process, you learn something and are helped or convenienced, all the better.
Today I had some business-related travel trauma which forced me to return to NYC via Grand Central and take a cab to Penn Station to continue my trip down to Philly. As I waited in the taxi stand line, and nearly attacked a bunch of kids trying to steal a cab without waiting in line, I grabbed a woman also going to Penn, threw her bag in the back with mine, and shoved her into the backseat. After finding out she was a visitor and had experienced the same Amtrak-induced trauma I had, I paid for her cab ride and dumped her off at the LIRR, as she rushed to the ticket machines shocked and impressed.I ran off to find a bathroom and a slice of pizza before my next train.
Maybe a New Yorker is someone who helps you and doesn't wait for a "thank you." Who helps you because that's the way it's supposed to be done and we can't bear to see it done wrong.
In any case, all in a day's work.
The New Yorker (Part I)