Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Big Apple Ranks As World's Most Polite City

Yep, you read the headline correctly. New York City and, I'm assuming the reference is to Manhattan, has ranked as the world's most polite city.

But if you're guffawing or shaking your head in amazement, I would dare say you've not been to Manhattan recently. I speak from experience. Our first trip to Manhattan occurred prior to 9-11 and it was everything I'd heard about...noisy, horn honking, aggressive, impatient, and a not-real-friendly place to visit.

During two 2005 trips to Manhattan, we found the city had changed. Waking up on our first Manhattan morning, I asked my wife, "Do you hear that?" She said she didn't hear anything, and that was exactly the point. There were no car horns honking. You could hear the hum of traffic, but no honking horns.

People we encountered were friendly, polite and helpful. It was as though Manhattan had received a big dose of Disney. Since our trip was in February, we attributed this new and improved Manhattan to the winter blues. On a return trip in August, nothing had changed. The city was more crowded, but Manhattan's demeanor hadn't deteriorated. In fact, in many ways, we found Manhattan more friendly and polite than Coshocton. Go figure.


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