I can’t even begin to remember how many times I have been told that New Yorkers are mean and scary. We are short on time, yes – our sidewalks are your highways. Most days we have our commute timed down to the second. But whenever I see someone who looks lost, I always stop to see if I can help.
In New York, chances are you have everything you need within a one block radius of your house, office, what have you. Today I wanted a salad but the line at my favorite place was too long so I walked to my second favorite place. Could have just as easily walked to my third favorite and still been back to work within 10 minutes. I never have any reason to venture farther than three blocks up or down or one Avenue east or west to get what I am after. It creates these little pocket neighborhoods where you see the same people every day and with whom you form relationships.
Every day (and I mean EVERY DAY) the man who runs the coffee and doughnut cart near my mom’s house gives her a huge bag of free baked goods (doughnuts, muffins and bagels) on her way home from picking up my kids from school. In turn, my mom gives the bag (minus the Boston Cream reserved for her) to the men who work in her building (doormen, maintenance guys, porters).
Almost every day, I too get free baked goods. Although, in my case it’s just one doughnut given to me by my “AM bae” also known as the guy who works at Dough Tuesday through Saturday. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even ask for a doughnut. I walk up to the counter, he chooses two for me (whatever is freshest, or I haven’t had in a while), compliments my necklace and charges me for just the one. He says hi to my mom – I am always on the phone with her – and wishes me a nice day.
We New Yorkers… So mean and scary.