I’ve lived in New York City a couple of times, first in Brooklyn before it became enormously fashionable, and then at 122nd and Amsterdam, when I was a fellow at Columbia University. I jetted or drove in numerous times when I worked for the New York Times, and have visited since then.
I learned a few things about New Yorkers. One is that many of them are transplants. They moved to the city for school, or career pursuits. The second is that there are just as many everyday New Yorkers as there are fashionistas or hipsters.
My first stint was at the height of the era when women wore sneakers to work, depicted in Working Girl. I refused to join them. I thought tennis shoes and socks looked clunky, when there were comfortable and attractive walking shoes on the market.
Yes, there are lots of cool kids (at least in their minds), but I encountered as many relatively normal people in my NYC visits as I did Broadway performers and fabulously dressed ones.
That’s why I take advice from New York publications on how to behave with a grain of salt.
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