Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Hardened New Yorker Combats Tourist Sensitivity

Posted by evankessler on June 2, 2009

Every once in awhile the naivete of a tourist will clash with the hardened perspective of a real New Yorker.  Now, my friend Katie F wasn’t born in NY, but she’s been living here long enough to have adapted the hardened perspective of someone who’s been here long enough and has more or less been desensitized as many of us have to not only our present situation, but our recent past as well.

Now I’m not the type to go around scouring people’s status updates, but when I spied the following anecdote on her gmail status, I had a good laugh.

“I  had a hotel guest walk up to me this morning sobbing.  when asked why, the lady said “9/11. (sob sob) well, it’s so sad, doesn’t it upset you??”  I said, “Well, it DID, I’m better now…unless it just happened again, did it?”… lady walked off.”

Katie and I Showing The Strain of Constantly Fighting Back Tears in A Post 9/11 New York

Katie and I Showing The Strain of Constantly Fighting Back Tears in A Post 9/11 New York


I inquired further with my friend about the incident.  Apparently the lady in question hadn’t even been to ground zero yet nor was she staying near the site.  She was only on 49th street.  She had just arrived in NY and her first instinct was to feel sorry about 9/11.  Mind you, she didn’t feel sorry about the victims of the city’s other previous tragedies, a la the draft riots of 1863, the closing of Cats at the Wintergarden Theater or the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 where women and children burned to death in the midst of horrid labor conditions.  Apparently this woman just goes around to different cities crying over the bigger tragedies when her plane touches down.  Word has it she’s planning her next trip for Oklahoma City or Pearl Harbor.

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