Figueroa-Levin: Hello! My name is 'I Don't Have Time for This'

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images) (Credit: (Getty Images))

New York City has a reputation for being rude. Every so often a new survey will be published naming New York as the rudest city in the country.

My reaction to stories like this is just rolling my eyes, though that might be interpreted as rude. Whatever. I disagree with these surveys. New York City isn't rude -- it's just that people from everywhere else are sensitive.

New Yorkers walk fast, talk fast and express their feelings without sugarcoating it with nonsense or pleasantries. This can come off as rude, especially to people who aren't natives.

A few years ago I was upstate for an event. It was a nice day out, so I decided to walk from my hotel to the venue. Everyone I passed said good morning to me and made some cheerful comment about the weather. Everyone. I don't have time for that! If I had to say hi to every person I saw walking down Broadway I'd never get anywhere.

Of course I say hello to people I know . . . Well, actually, I don't even do that. If I see someone I know on the street we'll just make eye contact, smile, and nod and continue on our way. I guess our rural brethren have nothing else to do but wander around aimlessly and greet each other.

In my opinion, New Yorkers are quite nice. They hold doors, they get straight to the point during conversations and don't waste your time, and they join you in horn-honking solidarity while stuck on the FDR.

When I was collecting donations after Sandy for my native Staten Island, total strangers gave me money, toiletries and other supplies. Whenever I've asked someone for directions I've always been given at least three options.

New Yorkers don't need to wear nametags to be friendly and happy, as a group has proposed we all do on June 1. They just need to be engaged and then allowed to get where they're going.

So I'm probably not going to wear a nametag on Nametag Day. The last thing I need is for those annoying "Can you take a few minutes and give me money for this cause I'm collecting for" guys to call me by my name. "Hi, Rachel, can I talk to you about wind power?" No.

I met my husband on the subway. I didn't need a nametag for that.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican, @EveryGentrifier and @ElBloombito.


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