Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cities and attitudes

This past weekend I spoke to a friend abut New York City and she told me that she would never live in New York because people have these bad attitudes, but she love to visit. I quickly defended my city and told her that its just a FRONT!

Depending on the city you live in the general vibe, lifestyle, personality is going to vary. I find it to be shaped by the environment and location of the city, the population, and its history. In NYC people wear "mean muggs" and are hustlers. In LA everybody is super laid back. Down south everybody is so hospitable. Evey region has its signature personality.

In NYC the reason why people have this austere and stone cold outlook is because of the social climate. If you walk down the street with a permanent smile on your face there is the possibility that you will either get conned or held up. It is the harsh reality. Also we are in a city of hustlers, nobody wants to look gullible or naive. Apart form that the hustlers mentality makes us work hard and we live a fast paced life because of that. Also the extremely dense population promotes the hustler mentality and makes it a dog eat dog atmosphere thus the harsh attitudes; you become a product of your environment. We are always in a rush because there are so many people in the city so when other people are in a rush or hustling and bustling to get somewhere you have to make the necessary adjustments in order to survive, after a while the lifestyle rubs off on you. But beneath the "frown" of the average new yorker is a radiant smile and horizon of happiness. There is a particular swag that is unique to New York. We never sleep and there are tons of places to go in the NYC. You will never get bored, I guarantee that. We have a certain swag that is misconceived as egotistical and pompous. This is exactly why some people hate on us. I think the swag emanates from the notion that we think we are the best or from the adage that says "if you make it in New York you can make it anywhere." The cultural dynamic in New York makes it interesting, with so many ethnicities it is an eclectic city, it is the place to live for everybody who wants to live here and can adapt. New York also has the latest in fashion trends and slang because of its innovative culture. New York residents usually tell it like it is. In New York everything is raw and organic, what you see is what you get and that is the bottom line!

As far as LA, I have not been there but I can tell from secondhand accounts that it is very laid back. My logic behind this is that it is so spread out. It is easier to be laid back and maneuver when your environment is spread out. This allows for everybody to have their personal space without having to compete for air or for privacy. Another factor that contributes to this is that it was and still is a hipster type of city and has a tolerant culture because of the amalgamation of so many different musical tastes, ethnicities, and cultures. I think the drug usage which dates back to the 60s has a historical impact on the culture and makes the culture more tolerant and freethinkerish. Nice beaches, the sun, and what could be considered pleasurable weather to most makes the social climate more lax. The cars that they ride also enable them to be more" laid back" as they take their time to cruise in the low riders.The city's residents are so laid back and happy because of the weather and the stress free environment. It is also described as being more on the superficial side because of Hollywood and all the name brand clothing. Also LA residents say that people are not as confrontational as they are in New York in general. LA is definitely a place to be if you want to be around the glitz, and the glamour, while having fun and chilling out at the same time.

The third place I am going to talk about is the South because I have been there several times but mostly just passing by. First of all Atlanta is really mellow and hospitable. I think the reason it is like that is because of the rural environment that surrounds it. This rural environment allows a very open and welcoming type of vibe. It is also the most polarized with NYC in terms of pace. It has a very slow pace. Usually people in the South take their time with everything especially in the grocery store. Some parts of the South still stuck in the 1800s in terms of attitude towards race and very much still segregated. But there are urban areas in the South such as Atlanta that are really nice and self sufficient in terms of black businesses and self empowerment. For me the south is reminiscent of a big happy family. The city of Atlanta has some of the most beautiful women and some of the most talented artists in the world. The sweet attitude of the city's residents makes you feel right at home!

All of these cities are special in their own way. The beauty of it is to able to learn about the different cultures and to be respectful of one another's cities!

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