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Old 09-04-2013, 01:40 AM
Location: Costa Mesa, Orange County, California since Nov. 2009.
11 posts, read 16,315 times
Reputation: 42


I grew up in Manhattan in the 70s. After living in Honolulu during my senior year in high school, I returned to Manhattan and lived there after high school for ten years from 1982-92.

During the entire time I've lived in New York, from childhood to adulthood, I had to deal with pushy and rude people from all walks of life. Classmates, teachers, neighbors, police, postal workers, FedEx workers, college administrators, taxi drivers, bus drivers, subway token booth clerks, subway passengers, coworkers, bosses, union workers, you name it. And of course, abusive mentally unhinged people that I ran into whenever I used the subway, some homeless, some not homeless. Just two weeks before leaving New York and relocating to San Francisco, I was given a New York-style going away present. Here's what happened.

In June 1992, just a couple of weeks before I moved out of New York and relocated to San Francisco, I boarded the #1 uptown train at Times Square and ran into a classmate from Hunter College-CUNY (where I just graduated from). As I was talking to her, I noticed a guy sitting next to her staring at me with the type of smile only a disturbed person could have. At one point he says to me "why didn't you say 'hi' to me?" At first I was taken aback by his weird comment, then asked him "are you with her?" He told me no, then I told him "because I don't know you sir." Then for the next fifteen minutes, he gets up and goes into a loud verbal tirade against me in front of my friend and other passengers in the crowded car. Even as I continued to ignore him, he kept talking and talking and very loudly so I and everybody else in the car had to hear him continue to insult my intelligence in front of everybody. He then made it racial saying I ignored him because he was black. No one in the car came to my defense.

Finally, he said "hi" to a guy standing next to him. The other guy, now wised up as to what set him off, says "hi" to him back and even shook his hand. Then he tells me "See? This is how you do it." Then he gets off the train. Both my friend and I were stunned.

That sums up my experience in New York.

I moved to San Francisco in 1992, where I lived in the Pacific Heights area and moved out in 1995 after being disappointed with my experience there. I worked for a brokerage firm downtown during the time I lived there.

New York has an unfair reputation as being the rudest city in the U.S. The truth is San Francisco is even ruder than New York. On two occasions, I ran into people who told me to my face that they are sick and tired of people like me relocating to "their" city from all over. I tried to meet people in social settings all to no avail. I learned that people in the Bay Area are very cliquish and have no interest in meeting new people or newcomers to the Bay Area. S.F. was also a city that had very aggressive homeless people. Everytime I stepped out of my home, there would be at least two or three people asking me for spare change, or "spanging" as the homeless people would call it. There were also three occasions in which I was falsely accused of cutting ahead in line (at a grocery, at a drug store and at the post office) when the truth is the complainers were the ones doing the cutting. Another time, I tried to sign up for a couple of free office skills classes at City College of San Francisco when I was still job hunting and even though I was among the first people in line, several people were allowed to get away with cutting since there wasn't a security guard nearby. I ended up not being able to sign up. One evening I walked on Van Ness and wasn't doing anything unusual until some guy walking past me told me "don't talk to yourself!" The truth is I wasn't. Another time, a filthy and smelly homeless person who looked like he hasn't bathed in a year kicked me for no reason and called me a "F-word N-word," even though I'm white. Finally, what broke the camel's back for me was when I got taken advantage of by two people I thought were my friends on two different occasions a year apart and it turns out they weren't.

I learned there were two types of people who lived in the Bay Area, the natives who have this nativist attitude about people moving to "their" city and longtime transplants who have no trouble fitting in but seem just as standoffish as the natives. The ex-New Yorkers living in S.F. were the worst types of transplants living there. For one thing, they're very intolerant towards fellow New Yorkers moving to "their" city.

I left S.F. in 1995 to a better place when my place of employment moved my unit to another city and haven't looked back.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:52 AM
1,113 posts, read 1,358,125 times
Reputation: 775
Wow... really interesting...
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:02 AM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,921 posts, read 83,566,150 times
Reputation: 41739
I haven't lived NYC but have lived in the bay area. I would never live there again and I love to visit NYC, again I would never live there. I will take my little corner of Paradise and when I need more city stimulation we take a vacation and visit those cities.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:44 AM
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,262,848 times
Reputation: 3145
You seem to have greater contact with homeless people than I do. And you seem to rub them the wrong way.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:26 AM
Location: Arizona
45 posts, read 75,101 times
Reputation: 48
I could never imagine living in New York or San Francisco because I'm not a city person at all.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:41 AM
517 posts, read 560,946 times
Reputation: 229
NYC and SF are arguably the two greatest American cities. They have the highest home prices and demand, so looks like most people think different than you.

Also, do you realize that these cities are nothing like what they were back in 1982? I mean, NYC has gone from crap city to incredibly posh and gentrified. Even if you compare back to 2000, NYC is completely different. It's been totally remade. Been to the South Bronx lately? I think you would be shocked to see all the apartment buildings going up.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:04 AM
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,749,193 times
Reputation: 8803
Sounds like city life isn't for you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:13 PM
12,636 posts, read 10,487,316 times
Reputation: 17417
As someone who claims to have grown up in Manhattan, I'm surprised you were that shocked about your subway experience. Everyone knows cities, especially Manhattan, contain many homeless people who are also likely mentally disturbed. You deal with it and move on. I've seen plenty of homeless people doing or saying weird things and I just ignore it and keep on going. I've even been literally backed into a corner by homeless men in Penn Station trying to get me to let them help me figure out where I was going (as if I didn't know). It's part of the city life. As someone else said, maybe you're not a city person after all?
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:39 PM
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
1,034 posts, read 1,560,499 times
Reputation: 389
New York City is a very large world city, very dense, very business oriented, very touristy, congested, very busy, and very in terms of everything. Not everybody likes city life.
All my friends and cousins from Europe loves visiting New York, but would prefer to live in New Jersey if they lived here.

I myself would rather live in Toronto and Montreal than New York.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:09 PM
Location: Costa Mesa, Orange County, California since Nov. 2009.
11 posts, read 16,315 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by dalparadise View Post
You seem to have greater contact with homeless people than I do. And you seem to rub them the wrong way.
You must have been formerly homeless yourself to think that it was my fault. Or maybe you're the type that thinks society is guilty for homelessness. If trying not to have anything to do with homeless people is "rubbing them the wrong way" as you say, then I plead guilty and make no apologies for that.
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