I want to say that this couldn't be further from the truth. I travelled the streets of NYC with my wife and our 4-month-old baby. We usually carried with us two bags and a stroller. On the way from the airport and back, we carried all this, plus two suitcases. At every leg of our trip, from the Q33 Bus at the airport to the Q Train to Central Park, without even asking, we had kind people offering us information and helping hands. These complete strangers offered to carry bags for us, to hold doors for us, and even to call elevators for us.
I came to expect that if I looked puzzled in front of the subway map for long enough, someone nearby would ask where we were trying to get to. And when I answered, as often as not, someone completely different offered up the route to get us there. I loved one experience where two separate groups were debating the best route to get us from 53rd and Lexington up to Lincoln Center. When people helped us with our bags or held doors for us, I would respond to their kindness in the way I had seen in movies: I pulled a couple dollars from my wallet. In every case, every case! it was refused with a shake of the head or a wave of the hand.
I want to say thank you to the countless helpful and friendly people of NYC for their kindness and altruistic service. You have conquered forever the unfortunate stereotype of your city. Well, I can't speak for any of the other boroughs, but, we loved the experience we had with the generous people of Manhattan, NYC. --Shawn Butler