Tags: new | york | 911

New Yorkers Can Take It

Monday, 03 Jan 2011 08:36 AM

By Jon Friedman

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OK, I'll say this out loud: New York is the best city in the world. Sorry, London. Forget it, Paris. Get serious, L.A.

If you needed any more proof, just observe how New York reacted during the blizzard of 2010. Sure, the city could have done better at picking up the snow, especially in the outer boroughs. But that can be overlooked.

What makes New York great is the spirit of the people who live here. When the snow falls in ridiculous levels, we suck it up and ski down Park Avenue. It goes beyond resilience — it shows the New Yorkers' determination not to let anyone or anything beat us.

Nearly a decade ago, New Yorkers showed their stuff in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the country. Rather than cry in our beer and wallow in self-pity about the hideous tragedy, we paid tribute to our fallen heroes, gave thanks to the firefighters and other responders — and then we rebuilt our city, and our psyche.

But 9/11, of course, was an example of an extraordinary event. The world shared our grief. But when snow descends from the skies in near-record numbers, we are facing a test on our own.

Yes, we know how the rest of the nation secretly loves it when we face a problem like the snow (though, this year, Angelinos were too doused from their epochal rain to worry too much about us). They watch the Weather Channel, point to the people stranded in the local airports and chuckle at us. Indeed, we are on our own.

However, if you live here, you know the real story. We can take it. We trudge through the snow, slip across the ice, and grin anyway. We aren't necessarily tougher than anyone in Texas, or Illinois, or Maine. No, what sets us apart is our ability to wink at the blizzard.

So, go ahead, folks. Put on cable TV and laugh at the spectacle of snow over our heads. We can take it. That's what makes New York the greatest city in the world.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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