As everyone knows, New Yorkers are snobs. New Yorkers are anxious. New Yorkers have a tiff with almost everyone. Unlike the friendly Midwesterners and the breezy West Coast folk, New Yorkers (and East Coasters in general) are edgier, more elitist and a bit more standoffish than the typical American.
Now, I never really got a sense of this arrogance until one night at the Gansevoort Hotel’s rooftop bar. Overlooking the Hudson river while enjoying a refreshing champagne cocktail, I overheard a twenty-something New Yorker saying, “We can’t hang out with her. She’s a New York City intern, and you know those types: they don’t know anything.” I could go on and on about the terrible reputation she gave to us “New York City Interns,” but what she said really made me think: are all New York City interns just know-nothing Midwesterners? Are we all bound to always be unsophisticated?
Yes, we might not be as privy at first to the New York life, not knowing whether to call the metro the subway or where to get the best bagels or how to walk 30 blocks in heels, but I had to disagree with this New Yorker. Can’t some New York City interns be savvy? and aren’t all New Yorkers “transplants” in a sense? Most New Yorkers started off as an intern or a NYU student or a West Coaster dreaming of the Big Apple. And I could bet 100 bucks this twenty-something was once an intern herself.
But this little statement gave me an extra bit of insight into the mind of a typical New Yorker: they always need something to complain about. Now, as a born and bred downtown Chicagoan, I understand this mentality a bit, having always made fun of tourists and been frustrated with “country folk.” But I realized that New Yorkers take this trait up a notch, needing to have an attitude almost all the time. It’s who they are. And I even find myself walking a little faster down the street when in NY and scuffing at those who get in my way. When I was at The Standard Biergarten last Sunday, a man came up to me and asked why I had such an attitude on my face, only proving my point that New York gives you a bit of an edge. So I might just be a New York City intern, still looking at her iPhone to get around, but let’s just say I am a New Yorker in the making. Whether they like to admit it or not, most New Yorkers started off as me. And most of us will one day or another be that girl at the Gansevoort Hotel making fun of an NYC intern. Or at least that’s what we can hope for.
– Harriet White