I’ve made no secret of the fact that I was a little nervous about heading to New York by myself to watch the Westminster show. I mean, I’m no streetwise chick. I live in the burbs. The thought of hanging out by myself there scared me, because based on everything I was told I had come to expect the following:
- Bone chilling cold requiring layer upon layer of thermal undergarments
- Unhelpful scoundrels who would ignore me, scoff at me, or mug me
And all I have to say is this: New York, you’ve disappointed me.
The cabbie took me from the airport straight to the hotel, no driving around and taking the long route.
No one’s yelled at me, not once.
I haven’t put my hat one ONCE and my gloves only on sometimes. It’s actually, dare I say it, refreshingly brisk. I even walked two whole blocks all by myself when I bid Annette goodbye at the subway station and I didn’t get mugged, not one single time on the way to the hotel.
I’ll even take it a step further- when I was going into Madison Square Garden, there is the main entrance, and there is the press entrance. The main entrance is right by my hotel. The press entrance is around the block, under a rock, through a tunnel, past some murder holes in a dark alley, or at least it felt like it in the morning when it was cold. So I went in the main entrance, expecting to be firmly rebuked, kicked, or escorted off the grounds, and the guard just shrugged and let me come in the nice warm brightly lit entrance. I will take ambivalence over power trips any day.
But seriously, so far New Yorkers have been quite nice. I think you all have been fibbing to me all along, or else living in LA for years has desensitized me to poor behavior. I don’t know.
Sure, some of the handlers are a little stressed, and tensions are mildly elevated, but aside from two press journalists almost coming to blows over an occupied cubicle in the press room I saw very little in the way of yelling, drama, or overt hostility. It’s actually been quite pleasant.
And now here is my favorite part about New York (aside from the 15 story David Beckham billboard on the side of the H&M building): some of you know I grew up in Boston. So despite multiple decades on the West Coast, I still have some New Englander tendencies in me. Now, after living in Southern California for as long as I have, the one thing I’ve never particularly gotten used to is the expectation that you will strike up conversations with complete strangers. At the grocery store, standing at a crosswalk, people just feel the need to chat. I’ve come to expect it.
No one does that here. Everyone just walks along looking straight ahead or at their feet and ignores you, pausing only to dodge tourists taking pictures. If you try to talk to a stranger, they either just keep walking, or throw you a dirty look THEN keep walking. I LOVE IT.
Oh, and the show’s fun too. 🙂 I have been taking pictures feverishly with the DSLR, though don’t get your hopes up since I’m still in a steep learning curve so I may end up with 300 pictures of blur.