I'm a bit sick today and hence the grumpy mood. It seems that every time I read a column about New York or new yorkers it's always how different they are from other places, how superior they are to those other, non-New York Americans. Seriously, sometimes I just want to say, "get over yourselves." And I say that as someone who plans to live in New York in the near future and loves being there a whole lot.
I know plenty of people who don't fit a word of what this author describes. It's a special place, I can acknowledge that, but stop with the navel gazing.
But I think it's also possible that New Yorkers just appear smarter, because they make less separation between private and public life. That is, they act on the street as they do in private. In the United States today, public behavior is ruled by a kind of compulsory cheer that people probably picked up from television and advertising and that coats their transactions in a smooth, shiny glaze, making them seem empty-headed. New Yorkers have not yet gotten the knack of this. That may be because so many of them grew up outside the United States, and also because they live so much of their lives in public, eating their lunches in parks, riding to work in subways. It's hard to keep up the smiley face for that many hours a day.
I'm going back to bed.