According to Travel + Leisure, New York City claimed the No. 1 slot. Needless to say, the title didn’t go over well in the Big Apple.
“New Yorkers rude? No *&$! way!” reads a headline in the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, the folks over at Gothamist ran this headline: “New Yorkers Aren’t ‘Friendly’ Enough, Say Sensitive Readers Of Irrelevant Magazine.”
“The Big Apple reclaims its heavyweight title in hostility, a dubious honor it last held in 2009-and a reputation it has had for much longer,” the authors of the survey note. However, they add that “deep down, voters probably love New York for its flamboyant, bird-flipping spirit.”
“People in New York are constantly in a rush,” Big Apple manners expert Thomas P. Farley, who writes the blog What Manners Most, told Travel + Leisure. “Certainly, they don’t linger on corners smiling, waving, and waiting to help people. But once you’ve stopped a New Yorker and asked them for directions, they’re usually more than helpful.”
So are New Yorkers misunderstood? Does this survey perpetuate a dated stereotype?
Most New Yorkers on the street seemed blasé about the ranking.
“I expect this kind of thing,” secretary Martha Ibanez said. “There are so many con artists out there that you have to be careful and that can be seen as not trusting. But when I see tourists I’ll go up and say ‘Hi’ and ‘Can I help you’ and point them in the right direction.”
“As a whole, most people in New York are very helpful,” Trent Graham, an IT worker in the Financial District, added. “This is a city with all types of people from all over the world living in close proximity. People tend to separate into groups, but these things, these surveys, they can be spun to mean whatever you want them to mean.”
Friendly or not, New York City welcomed over 50 million tourists in 2011 and shows no signs of stopping.
There is one glaring trend in the recent survey of rude cities: the bigger the city, the bigger the attitude – or at least the perceived attitude. Smaller cities, particularly those in warmer climates, did much better with New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston all ranking in the top five for friendliness. However, “Orlando,” “Miami,” and “Atlanta” all ranked in the top 10 rudest cities.[Credit: NY Daily News]