Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Yorkers are Friendly to Tourists and Birds

Pale Male and Lima Watching Over Their Chicks

Despite the stereotype, New Yorkers are probably the friendliest people around. From a person throwing you a causal smile on the street to a bird watching enthusiast eager to discuss the nesting habits of red-tailed hawks (named Pale Male and Lima) living near Central Park, New York City is people oriented. Sure New Yorkers can be curt and brusk, but for the most part, they seem ready to engage in a real conversation. Not just a friendly "hello" so common in uptight California. (I can say that because I'm an uptight native Californian.)

For example, last Wednesday, I had an interesting conversation with a retired Merck chemist at a local diner on 3rd Avenue. We happened to be sitting at adjoining tables and started to converse. This guy helped develop statins, the drugs that lower cholesterol. In his opinion, statins should only be prescribed to people with a history of heart disease. He would never take statins just to lower cholesterol since statins have so many side effects, including memory loss problems.

See what you can learn by going to a diner when people are willing to talk to strangers.

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