I walked by the American Girl Place on Fifth Avenue today. The line waiting to get into the store, moms and dads and young American girls of all ethnicities (but 95% white), stretched all the way to Madison Avenue. The line blocked the entire front of an office building, some restaurants, and the chiropractic office that I visited. I did some research later and revealed no sale or special promotion going on… people simply waited in the cold to buy dolls, accessories, and $20+ makeover sessions for their silly plastic toys.
That’s New York City. We’ve got all the glamorous celebrities, exhaggerating stores, ridiculous sales, tramatizing tragedies, and overrated landmarks. What seem to be once-in-a-lifetime events or sightings for most people in this country, are rarely more than daily routines that we run by over lunch break.
Every year, the Rockefeller Center lights one of the most famous Christmas Trees, and Times Square hosts one of the world’s most widely known New Year celebrations. Walking back to my office between those places, on a day between those holidays, made me sort of anxious. Not really anxious, actually, but I can’t tell if it was a cheerful depressing feeling, or a depressing cheerful feeling. There wasn’t much work to be done, but it was a work day after all. Why was I then surrounded by all these cheerful folks, some of whom probably left the state of Kansas for the very first time, celebrating Christmas and New Year and finally seeing New York?
Hong and I wondered if residents of Las Vegas or Orlando feel the same frustration – you wake up to yet another shitty work day, drag your feet to the nearest coffee shop for some much-needed morning fuel, only to find yourself in line with 20 goddamn tourists who can’t stop taking pictures of your stupid city. Perhaps the economy of those cities are more dependent on tourism, so the residents who by large hold hospitality jobs feel more grateful toward the visitors? On the contrary, New York would still be an overly full and crowded city without the tourists, so we’d really prefer to not have any. In addition, if there were non-tourism office jobs in those cities, their workers probably don’t have to drive through the Strip to work or wait in a long lunch line in a theme park…
So the next time you question why a New Yorker is so pissy and rude, the answer is simple – you’re freaking in his way!
While researching the American Girl Place, I found this interesting story about their discriminatory practice.