Midwest meets Midtown


On my subway ride today, I noticed the couple depicted and thought they were out of place. Contractor, ok, but a plain clothed and knitting wife?

As New Yorkers, are we jaded by high fashion, expensive suits and generally over-the-top people? Even though I grew up in a meat and potatoes type of town, I have gotten so used to the fact that these people do not exist in my everyday life, I practically wrote them off as fiction. I mean, why knit when you can spend $400 on something that some child in Sri Lanka knitted for you?

They seemed so out of place and almost lost, but yet they live here. Among the people in their $500+ suits and $400+ shoes, their simple Carhart, and home-knitted what-have-yous stood out more than the annoying Mexican playing the guitar at the end of the train.

It seems like New Yorkers have developed a complex of judging others in order to justify their excessive lifestyles. Most of us do it, we see someone that is clearly not from here and we judge them.

Idiots, don’t they fucking understand – WALK ON THE LEFT, STAND ON THE RIGHT.

Did you see what she was wearing? I didn’t even know they sold clothes like that anymore…

These are just a few things we think (or hear) on a daily basis. But, does it really come down to the fact; we judge them because of an inner, unrecognized, guilt or reduced self-worth? Perhaps when we see them, something in the back of our minds screams, “look they are comfortable with themselves, they can just be. There is no need to hide behind labels and designers.”

New Yorkers are so insecure with themselves whether rich or poor, we will do anything to seem better than the other person next to us. It does not matter if he has D&G sunglasses, I have the Prada shoes or he has a rent-stabilized apartment overlooking the park, but I own and am the president of my co-op board. Then, some ‘mid-western’ looking person(s) comes along and suddenly we are forced to recognize and, on some level, deal with our insecurities; so we judge them to make ourselves feel better and to reestablish our personified self-worth.

I think this is why the rest of the country views us city-folk as animals or strange people. We cannot just be, we have to identify with something at all times. We can never just exist, or better yet, co-exist. We are in a constant state of unrest with all the people around us. Unlike the rest of the country where it is not weird if anyone other than your barista remembers your name. We consider it stalking and creepy or, in rare cases, refreshing.

We are strange people, but nevertheless I love my town and our culture no matter how crass it can be at times.


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