Natives and Transplants and Tourists

I have been contemplating where to go for my next doughnut review. Part of me feels like I should be brave and go to this place called Holey Cream. But it is overwhelming to me. And I don’t think I will actually like the doughnuts. I prefer stuff with really fresh ingredients – fruit flavored doughnuts where you can actually taste the fruit, not just sugar.

So my next thought was to go to Doughnut Plant and see what they have for seasonal offerings. I may still do that later today. But low and behold, when I sat down at my desk yesterday I was greeted with what you see above. Which brings us to this post.

I did favors for three people yesterday. Only one brought me doughnuts as a thank you – he is a Native New Yorker, as I am. We have a bad reputation, we residents of my fair city. But I am more and more convinced that it is not about those of us who were born here. My friends and I are always the first ones to give directions to those who look lost, to help someone who has fallen, to hold a door open. My friend just came back from Montreal – he told me that no one held a door open for him nor did they thank him when he did so. On the other hand, I have had more than enough people tell me, proudly, of some rude act on their part that made them “a real New Yorker!”

The older I get, the more my city changes. It used to be this gritty place where you could get robbed just as easily as you could visit a museum. But there was a very distinct difference between native and visitor and we natives stuck together. Now, prices are such that the city is more transplant than native. You hardly ever see kids on the train – families find they need to move to the suburbs because it is next to impossible to afford an apartment large enough to make you feel like something other than a sardine. Commuting is done in silence with everyone on their phones. And if my kids (more often than not, the only children on the train) make a peep – everyone stares.

But the reputation of the city doesn’t change. We are all still mean and nasty. But is it really us? I think it’s you – the tourist, the transplant, the B&T people. You are keeping this reputation alive, not me.

We natives are buying each other doughnuts and holding doors open. We are doing everything we can to make this a friendly city. You want to be a “real” New Yorker? Say please and thank you and step to the side when you take a photo of the Empire State Building. It looks lovely today.

Namaste.

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