People come here and yell “It’s just like in the movies!” Why? Because they saw a yellow cab and a pipe in the middle of the street with steam coming out of it. If you want to believe everything you see in the movies, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
Here are some myth busters about New York you may want to read before you plan a visit or a move.
Myth 1: Everyone on the co-op board has a rod up their ass.
You’ve seen this one. The lovely but shy heroine, or the quirky but lovable hero has to go in front of The Co-op Board before they can move into that dream apartment. The president of the coop board looks down her nose, makes a sort of whistling sound through flared nostrils, and then starts grilling. “Where did you go to school? Where? Piscataway Community College? I don’t think THAT’s one of the Ivy Leagues is it? What’s the address of your country house? You don’t HAVE a country house? But where do you keep your butler?”
Myth Busted Yes, we do have co ops and co op boards. Yes, the some of them like to keep celebrities out. Most of them will take anyone who is relatively sane and solvent. There’s an interview process, but it’s usually just a chance to meet and greet your new neighbors. The board’s job is to find out if you can pay your bills: after all, a co-op is a building that doesn’t have a landlord. You and your neighbors have to pay for everything, so if someone stops paying their fees, it hurts everyone. Of course, you could probably fail your interview if you show up and start saying things like “when you’re a celebrity, you can do anything! Don’t even ask…just start grabbing them by the…” Next!
Myth 2: Waiters wear white gloves and speak in whispers.
Myth Busted Some of ‘em hardly even clean their fingernails.
Myth 3: Guys named Vinnie want to punch your face.
Myth Busted Well, maybe. You might get punched by a guy named Vinnie or Tony or even John or Dylan. But that might be because your face needs some punching. Like if you say something stupid about guys named Vinnie, or New York City in general.
Myth 4: Your apartment will have a view.
Everyone in New York lives in the top of a tall building with a stunning view of the skyline, right?
Myth Busted Sorry folks – someone has to live on the ground floor, and that someone will be you. Someone (you) also has to live in those buildings where the only window looks out into the back of another building. Views are expensive. You’ll have to work up to one.
Myth 5: The Bronx is isolated and deserted.
Camera pans to an empty parking lot. A dark cement-block building is fronted by a sign proclaiming “Bronx Parki”…it would say “parking”, but the NG is covered by graffiti. A bare streetlamp provides the only light to a trash-nado that lazily swirls in the center of the blacktop. Our hero pulls up his collar, glances around, and starts across the expanse. Suddenly, three guys with hands in pockets materialize out of nowhere. “Hey, look what I found! Wa-choo-DOO-IN?” they ask menacingly.
Myth Busted The Bronx is a vibrant, inexpensive borough filled with world-class street food, Yankee Stadium, and people from all over the world. Daylight shines upon it, just as it does on 5th Avenue. There are parks, kids, and grannies. Fordham University is right in the middle of it, with a campus that looks like someone picked up Harvard and threw it down in the Bronx. There’s Arthur Avenue, which is better than Little Italy, and there’s a big zoo and a botanical garden. There’s boats and lobsters on City Island, houses with views of the Whitestone bridge, art museums, Riverdale Stables where you can ride a horse…there’s even a Bronx Opera.
Myth 6: Single women only associate with other single women.
They are polished, successful uptown girls who are dressed to the nines. Or, they are hipsters who have a quirky sense of humor and a downtown style. But whether they are going to a nightclub on the East Side or a Poetry Slam in the East Village, they always bring a gaggle of like-minded single women with them.
Myth Busted Once we New York girls get a date, we don’t just jettison our single friends. And if we’re single, we don’t shun those boring couples. Every group has single, married, dating, divorced, and other. What’s other? I don’t know, because I don’t ask. If I’m off with a bunch of pals, their relationship status is at the bottom of the list of things to worry about. Yes, even parents of twins will mingle with the child-free and find they have things in common.
Myth 7: New Yorkers enjoy meeting in Times Square
Every now and then you get a scene that takes place between two “New Yorkers” at Top of the Rock, or at Macy’s, or in Times Square, or worst of all – during a carriage ride in Central Park.
Myth Busted People. No. That’s just wrong. No one who lives in New York City ever voluntarily does any of those activities. In fact, we’re usually shocked if visiting outatowners make any of these requests to us. We don’t take them seriously, and when it becomes clear they WANT to take a pedicab to Times Square, we are rightly outraged.
Myth 8: Everyone is white. Or Jewish. Or white and Jewish.
Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Friends, The Devil Wears Prada, Girls – all the main characters are white. If they’re Jewish, they’re also funny! It’s an added bonus. Everyone else shows up just to add a little flavor without detracting from the main focus, which is white people.
Myth Busted: According to the 2010 census, us white people are 44% of the total population of New York City. Italian and Irish are the top “white” groups, followed by German, Russian, Polish, English and Greek. Latinos are 27%, African American and Immigrant Africans make up 25%, Asian Americans are 11%, and Native American, mixed race, or “other” are the rest, at about 17%.
So let’s do a little mental exercise: take the cast of, say, “Friends”. Replace Jennifer Aniston with Holly Walker, Courtney Cox with Eva Longoria, Matt LeBlanc with Aasif Mandvi, and Matthew Perry with Ki Hong Lee.
Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer can stay.