I spent the day in New York City yesterday with a 13-month-old strapped to me, a three-year-old in and out of a stroller, a big, heavy diaper bag, a camera, and a friend who was also pushing a stroller with a ten-month-old inside. New York City is awesome, and there are so many things to see, and we walked as much as we could, but sometimes, you just have to take the subway. And for every subway entrance in NYC with an elevator, there are about 20 that just have long, narrow flights of stairs.
As my friend and I were fumbling with our children and our strollers at the top of the first of these flights of stairs, a helpful man came along and offered to help. He took the bottom of Karla's stroller, and helped her carry it to the bottom of the stairs. And as he was helping Karla, a helpful woman came along and took Valerie's hand as she was about to slip on the wet stairs, and helped her to the bottom.
I thought, wow, that was neat. Two helpful people in this city that is renowned for its rude, rushed population. We thanked them profusely, and went on our way.
But then, we came to another flight of stairs at our destination. And two more helpful people jumped in, and this time one of them helped me carry my stroller with my 30+ pound kid STILL INSIDE. And it happened again, and again. At every single subway station, at least one, but usually two or three, helpful people rushed over to help us with our strollers and our children. When my coat fell off the back of my stroller, the person behind me picked it up and handed it to me as soon as I was at the landing. (And, in one particularly awkward moment, an older gentleman actually picked Valerie up and carried her to the bottom of the staircase. I was a little too stunned to say anything, and at least he was carrying her towards me, but it was still rather uncomfortable.)
On almost every subway train, somebody noticed the baby on my back and offered me their seat (which I politely declined, since it's not very easy to sit on a subway seat with a baby on your back, but I appreciated the sentiment). I thought back to the time I came to NYC when I was pregnant with Valerie, and I never had to stand on a subway once, because someone always jumped up to offer their seat to the pregnant woman. And once, when I arrived at a bathroom with a long line, the women in line unanimously bumped me to the front of the line because, "You're pregnant! You can't wait!"
I'm sure there are rude people in NYC, but there are a lot of people in NYC. As a percentage of the population, there are probably just as many rude people in your hometown.
I want to make a television commercial for New York City. It will have a hipster standing in Times Square, saying, "Yeah, we used to be rude, but then it got so mainstream." And then he'll see a lady struggling with a stroller and rush off camera to help her. Anyone have half a million dollars and a hipster they want to give me?
Thank you so much, people of New York City. We had a great time!