“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.
Things have changed greatly and suddenly. For us New Yorkers, it’s been particularly painful. At this point most of us know someone who’s either carrying this virus or has symptoms and is unable to get tested. Health care professionals find themselves at risk but continue to carry the torch. Hospitals are overflooded and under-resourced with no relief in sight. Things look bleak. But even as they quarantine themselves in their own homes, New Yorkers seem to be going on with their lives with little signs of panic. They are meeting up for virtual happy hours on Zoom and watch parties on Netflix while getting their day jobs done from a laptop at home. Why is it that New Yorkers always seem to move forward? What makes the residents of this city so resilient?
We asked this question to our staff, friends, and family at Extra Butter and got some very interesting responses.
Ankur noted, “New York is a melting pot like no other city. Everyone is from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. It’s made up of people who come from all over the world to find a better life for themselves and family. Chances are that they come from places that were far more difficult than what they face in New York. And, more importantly, they’ve seen this city rebound from seemingly impossible depths before. So they develop a belief in this city. They move on with their lives with the faith that New York will always prevail."
“New Yorkers are always hustling so we learn to see through bullshit and tell it like it is. We are constantly on top of each other, on streets and in subways - which gets agitating at times - but we must adapt to thrive in our unique home. We put aside our differences and grievances to unite when needed. So we’ll continue to persevere like New York has persevered since Verrazzano landed here. Fuhgeddaboutit,” quipped Darsh.
“When I moved to the city, my friend told me that I wouldn’t make it,” said Ben. “And I think it’s like that for most people. It’s a daunting place to move to. The city just makes you tougher. If you can settle here in the city, it empowers you with a feeling that you can overcome anything.”
AP said, “I learned a lot about people and the world we live in after moving to New York. I moved here a month before Halloween in 2017. There was a terrorism warning on Halloween that year and it was all over the news to be careful going out as people in costumes presented a greater threat to the city. I remember seeing so many New Yorkers out that night like it didn’t even matter. People were like “We’re used to this.” I always remember that when I get asked what New Yorkers are like. They just take it as it comes.”
“We’ve had to deal with the Jets, Mets, and Knicks,” joked Justin. “If that doesn’t teach you resilience, nothing will.”
“Being born and raised in New York, you don’t realize you grow up conditioned to a faster moving pace here than other parts of the world,” said Bernie. It truly is about the hustle because if you don’t make moves, someone else will make them for you. It sounds like a ruthless, dog eat dog world, but there’s this friendly competitiveness to it. We all acknowledge that of one another. And that mutual respect is why we’re also so quick to band together when tragedy strikes. There’s this synergy, this unspoken movement, knowing when we have to work in the same direction rather than against, in order to move forward and get past the hardship so we can get on with our normal lives the NY hustle.
Stay home. Stay Safe. We'll get through this together.