Yellow cabs whiz past, ready to kill if you happen to end up in their way. Hot dog carts dot every corner harassing you to pick up a quick, yet expensive snack. Lights shine bright even in the wee hours of the morning and strangers grope, pull, and push their way through you like you are an invisible wall.
Welcome to the city that never sleeps.
The hustle and bustle of New York City is rough for born and bred New Yorkers, but throw a Vermonter or two in the mix and pray they make it out okay.
Last weekend, some of the Spartan newspaper staff got the opportunity to be planted in a beautiful 24-story Sheraton hotel in the middle of Time Square. Some had never even stepped foot in the city before. Just imagine that.
Vermont is the kind of place where people make an effort to smile and say hello to passers-by, where people go out of their way to hold a door open for you even if you are a few feet behind them and where everything is clean and green. So similar to Dorothy being thrown into the middle of Oz from her small town in Kansas, we were thrown into New York, blind, unaware of what to expect and a little naÃ¯ve.
What happens when people are naÃ¯ve in an area they know little about? They get taken advantage of.
Some staffers decided to get adventurous and tried scalping tickets for the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. They purchased tickets outside from an unknown man for $50 each and proceeded to go inside.
The students stood in line as other Knicks fans’ tickets scanned properly while entering the arena. As there turn drew near they were confident theirs would do the same. Several seconds after reaching the gate, their tickets were found to be counterfeit and the students quickly realized they had been scammed.
Vermonters are known for being nice and trustworthy, so why wouldn’t they have expected the same from the professional scam man outside MSG.
Is Vermont friendliness debilitating outside of this state? We think so. What is known as common courtesy in Vermont is frowned upon in bigger areas. Smiling at some random person in Times Square is an invitation for a creeper to start up a conversation and possibly rob you, not befriend you.
On the other hand, if Vermonters gave up the friendly act and kept their guards up, this wouldn’t be a small college with a big heart. People wouldn’t get to know each other as easily and everyone would think it was just rude. Isn’t it amazing what can differ between state lines?