New York - A Safe Place To Be

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New York - A Safe Place To Be

Post by photomaster »

My first visit to California unhappily coincided with the release of the science fiction film Escape From New York. When I spoke with my New Yawk "Hey - howya doin" accent, people looked at me like I was an alien from outer space who had just landed. I was unprepared. Had someone from California visited New York, us guys wouldn't have even noticed or cared. We have such a wide, rich, diverse culture here that everyone speaks with some sort of accent. By contrast, most of those whom I met in Northern Cali didn't care much for us.

The wife of my uncle carried on about how dirty our city was - dirty, full of crime, overcrowded, and a dangerous place to live. I asked when the last time she visited. She confessed she's never actually visited New York City in person. Also unfortunate is that millions of people think of New York as being represented by the actors on Saturday Night Live. While I adore the program, hey! Those people do not represent us as a people. If you want to get some insight into New York, watch The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart is who I would refer to as "A typical New York'er."

Here are some fun facts about New York. A large sandwich made of a long Italian Roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese is known throughout the greater NY area as a "Hero" and not Bomber, Hoagie, Hoagy, Hoggie, Dagwood, Grinder, Poor Boy, Submarine, Submarine Sandwich, Italian Sandwich, Torpedo, Wedge, Cuban Sandwich, and definitely not a "Zep." Although, "Sub" is acceptable, the correct usage is to visit a "Sub Shop" where you buy a "Hero." A carbonated cola is known as "Soda" and not "Pop." You may ask "Pop" for a "Soda," but if you just ask for a "Pop" nobody will understand what you want.

Mustard goes on hotdogs, ketchup goes on burgers. Anything else is just repulsive. Nobody puts mustard on a burger. That's just... disgusting. New York has the best pizza, best bagels, and best Italian food in the country. We also have some of the best micro-brewed beer. The Brooklyn Brewery is legendary. In Blue Point is Bluepoint Brewing, the best beer in New York, but it's difficult to find anywhere except in Blue Point. Thankfully, the guy who authored Blue Point's website does not brew the beer!

Long Island, NY is home to some of the worst drivers in the country. When it snows in Winter, people driving huge SUVs travel at one of two velocities: 20mph or 70mph. Driving down the Expressway, one sees dozens of vehicles driven off the road by people thinking that 4-wheel drive gives them supernatural ability to make a 3-ton truck immune to the effects of ice. Pedestrians are fair game on Long Island. I advise out of town'ers that road rage rules. Drivers speed up to beat yellow lights. In fact, a light is not considered red until it's been red for at least three seconds - known as the "3-second rule." If you're a pedestrian in a crosswalk on Long Island, be prepared to dart out of harm's way because those white lines on the pavement mean nothing.

Most convenience stores will not accept a credit card or a check - cash only, please. And, please do not engage the cashiers in idle chatter. Unlike other parts of the country, we like our checkout lines to move in an efficient manner. We're not being rude; it's just that there are a few dozen people behind you who would rather be someplace else.

New York is one of the safest places I've ever been. New York City never sleeps. Most restaurants are open twenty-four hours every day. You can have breakfast at 2am or a steak dinner at 3am. It doesn't really matter. In fact, you could actually be made to wait for a table at any time during the day or night. What makes the streets safe are the shops and restaurants. New York has a tradition of merchants and merchandise. No street thugs or gangs would dare mess with a shop owner, else the entire neighborhood would pounce on them. Commerce is king. Don't mess with a shop owner - ever.

In fact, New York didn't even make the top-10 most dangerous cities... not even the top 25 cities, as compiled by Morgan Quitno. Oakland, CA made the list - wow. I was in Oakland back in the 80's and thought of it more as a quiet farming town. Dallas, TX made the list - I heard rumored that it is legal to carry a gun on your belt on the street, but it is a felony to be in possession of more than five dildos or vibrators. Gots to have your priorities, I guess.

Here's the list of the top twenty-five most dangerous cities with New York notably missing.
  1. Camden, NJ
  2. Detroit, MI
  3. St. Louis, MO
  4. Flint, MI
  5. Richmond, VA
  6. Baltimore, MD
  7. Atlanta, GA
  8. New Orleans, LA
  9. Gary, IN
  10. Birmingham, AL
  11. Richmond, CA
  12. Cleveland, OH
  13. Washington, DC
  14. West Palm Beach, FL
  15. Compton, CA
  16. Memphis, TN
  17. Dayton, OH
  18. San Bernardino, CA
  19. Springfield, MA
  20. Cincinnati, OH
  21. Oakland, CA
  22. Dallas, TX
  23. Newark, NJ
  24. Hartford, CT
  25. Little Rock, AR
New York is not a place I would refer to as "Dangerous" - but, traveler be wary. It's more of a game with people of the street. If you look up at the tall buildings in NYC then someone will brush by you and (opps) there goes your wallet.

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