New York elbows past Los Angeles as America's rudest city
New Yorkers are the rudest people in America, but they glower with glamour, according to the latest survey of Travel & Leisure magazine readers, who ranked New York more boorish than Los Angeles -- last year's champ -- but who also praised New Yorkers as the country's most stylish jerks.
All that rude behavior clearly hasn't discouraged tourists from flocking to Gotham. The results of the annual survey coincided with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement that the city ended 2011 having hosted a record 50.5 million visitors, an increase of 3.5% over the previous year.
Travel experts say there are several factors that make New York the country's biggest tourist destination: the weak dollar; an increase in budget hotels; its unrivaled energy. The not-so-sweet disposition of its residents apparently is not one of the city's draws. The roughly 40,000 people who responded to the Travel & Leisure online survey rated New York dead last of 35 metropolitan areas in friendliness.
As one might expect, New Yorkers asked about the survey by the local all-news channel, NY1, argued against the findings -- if they bothered to respond at all. "I think it's wrong," said one man, adding that he always helps people who need directions. "That's all I do is give directions," he griped. Others said visitors mistook New Yorkers' typically frenzied pace for unfriendliness.
The city also ranked last for affordability, cleanliness and noise levels, but the fashion center of the country was tops in style and diversity.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, which was rated the rudest last year, moved into a warmer spot at No. 32 in that category, proving itself also nicer than Miami and Washington, D.C. But its improved behavior apparently didn't do much for the city's fashion sense: It was ranked fifth in the style category.
And for travelers looking for a friendly place to visit, the survey ranked New Orleans at the top of that list, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Nashville.
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-- Tina Susman in New York
Photo: It's not as mean as it looks. New York was ranked the rudest city in America in an online survey. Credit: Justin Lane / European Pressphoto Agency