New York City. The City that never sleeps. How different this land is to the South. The hustle and bustle, crowds, stores, huge buildings and landmarks. There is a darkness to the city. A kind of dark cloud that covers the city as thick as a London fog. The mystery and mystique that is New York is quickly swept away with the reality that this city’s soul is nothing but black sludge.
Visit this place for a day or two and the saying of "New York is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there" rings true. Go there for an extended business trip, say two weeks, and you find the city suffocating, a black hole that sucks your spirit dry leaving you feeling dirty, empty, gasping for air. I know because it happened to me.
Two weeks in New York City on business experiencing the Yankee lifestyle. It got up close and personal because I have a brother that has chosen to live in Brooklyn, calling it home for the last fourteen years. I saw the mass of humanity covering Times Square as well as the rest of the city. I saw the "diversity" of the people in their ethnic backgrounds, style of dress and interests. I also saw the commonality of rudeness, lack of belief in the one true God and faith in idols, and the focus on the material things of life. I also saw the change this city has had on my brother, turning him into just another big city Yankee.
New York touts itself as being this huge melting pot of liberal tolerance. The reality is it is a divided city sectioned off into ethnic neighborhoods where bigotry flourishes. I heard more derogatory, ethnic slurs in one weekend in the Big Apple than I have heard in the last five years in Dixie. New Yorkers consider themselves to be "cosmopolitan." To them this equates to intelligence and knowledge of the world and who and what people are, regardless of where they live. My observation was that the New York version of "cosmopolitan" equates to ignorance, bigotry, narrow-mindedness and a rather limited life experience producing little or no knowledge of what the rest of the world is about.
New Yorkers seem to still think that Southerners don’t have indoor plumbing, are all married to their siblings and go bare-foot. Their arrogance makes them assume they are superior to Southerners in their view of race relations, even though they are rather racist in their views of minorities and Southerners. New Yorkers assume Southerners are lesser people based on a perceived superiority simply because they are living in a large Northern city.
This city, where people live stacked on top of one another, where extremely foul language is just a part of daily life, and cold, impersonal interaction is the norm, is a strange land that bears no resemblance to Dixie. This is a strange land that is as different from the South as day is from night. This city is the hub of a wheel from which the spokes extend across the North. The negatives overshadow what few positives there are here. This is not a land or life for Southerners. It is a microcosm of all that we should avoid and try to prevent happening in Dixie.
March 27, 1999