Last month, a little magazine called Travel + Leisure ranked the rudest cities in America. We’re not really sure how they did this or who they asked, but the top two results were… drumroll, please… Los Angeles and New York. In that order.
We love it. And we couldn’t agree more.
Seeing as I apparently live in the rudest city in the country now, I’ll go first. This is Miriam, by the way. Before I moved here, I would have told you there was no city ruder than New York. Then again, I would’ve told you spending $2,600 a month on 425 square feet on the Lower East Side was a steal too. I adore the rudeness of New York. I loved that I could walk around, hateful as all hell, and no one gave a shit. That I could cower behind a huge pair of sunglasses or yell my head off at the guy trying to cut the cab line at JFK and be applauded doing it. Yes, New Yorkers actually rally in their rudeness together.
Or as Ellyn puts it, I’m not offended or surprised at all. I wouldn’t care if Manhattan was number one. I would defend the title. Being in New York makes me pushy and impatient. I’ve developed an attitude problem and an anxiety disorder. For anyone not living here, why don’t you try commuting to work on a train that’s packed so tight you can’t move an inch without elbowing someone in the face or butting someone in the hip? When you finally do arrive at your subway stop, exit like it’s a cattle call, and then walk to work, in the bitter cold, rain, or sweltering humidity. Along the way, at least five people will ask you for money, try to sell you a salon package, or hand you a menu. Then you ride up the elevator with another ten people, stopping at every floor, which of course arrives at yours last.
But in LA people play on a whole different level of rude. Miriam again, bitches. A few months ago, when discussing the nature of Los Angeles, a dear friend’s husband said, “Everyone in LA is in their own movie. And if you’re not in their movie, they’re not really talking to you.” I’ve repeated that line way too many times since, but I can’t help it, because it’s so true. It’s not that people in New York don’t have a vision for how their life should be, or a personal agenda–but at least they’re upfront about it. Here you just wind up feeling like the college freshman desperately trying to make friends with the seniors at another awkward dorm party. Those Hollywood parties they go to in Swingers? Sort of dead-on. Angelenos want to be rude without actually being rude, which is to say, in other words, fake. And I hate fake.
See, Ellyn’s got a real reason to whine. You try spending your day sitting in a high-walled cubicle with no natural light, no view of the outside, and everyone around you cursing and yelling all day long. It’s New York. If you have time for lunch, you emerge into the streets and fight tourists to get down the block, stand in line for twenty minutes, then go back to your cube to eat since there are no available tables. Finally, commute home like cattle, and frantically rush to your couch to relax. Rinse and repeat. If you’re not rude after that, you’re not a real person.
And if you’re not a real person, then you should definitely move to LA.