A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tales of Manhattan

Jack Kemp

I got an insight into the elitist mind a few days ago while riding the New York subway.

I was riding the "F" train through Manhattan, a train that has been rerouted through a different tunnel (and stations) on the eastern part of midtown. A typical New Yorker woman sat down next to me as her two small boys sat on the bench opposite us. Speaking out loud, she mentioned that to her sons that they would be getting off at a stop this train no longer made, Fifth Ave. and 53rd Street. I volunteered to tell her about the changes and that she would have to go either one stop south of that location or to a new (to her) one stop north.

"Where do you want to go?"

"MoMa," she replied.

This phrase didn't register in my mind right away, so she repeated it as if everyone who was anyone should know it.

"What is the cross street?," I asked. She replied, "MoMa," holding her ground.

About a minute into this confusion, I recalled what "MoMa" meant. It was a phrase I had only read in magazines and had never personally used in a conversation. And she could have told me the cross street, 53rd, when I asked her.

"Oh, the Museum of Modern Art," I said (It is located within 60 yards of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street).

We talked some more and I got off the train before she did. I did not have to ask myself why she spoke in pretentious jargon instead of English and refused to identify the cross street to 53rd for where she wanted to go when I asked her that question . And it would be a safe bet that she voted for the trendy Barack Obama in 2008.

In the future, I'll limit my subway conversations to the truly lost and confused locals who don't look like they are trendy enough to know what "MoMa" is - and to out of town tourists who need directions.

As a general rule, New Yorkers in general are nicer to out-of-towners because they see them as friendlier and kinder than their fellow City residents. This story is an example of why that is so.

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