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An Open Letter to New York Visitors and Snowbirds

May 12, 2009 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 21 Comments

Dear New York–area Tourists and Snowbirds,

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We get it, guys, we really do. Anyone who has been up to “the center of the universe” as you like to call it is well aware that there is a lot of cool stuff there we don’t have in Miami. Like, you know, viable public transportation and large public parks. But lets get something straight: We’re not impressed that you’re from New York.

Proclaiming you are from New York City when you are down here may sound to you like “I’m from a big, fast-paced city and am therefore more cultured, hardened and exponentially cooler than you.” What it says to us is “Obnoxious tourist.” It says “Please give me worse service and charge me twice as much as you would a local, because I obviously do not know enough about this place to know I am being overcharged.” We are not impressed, so do not try impressing us.

Similarly, it is not necessary to constantly remind us that whatever you have in New York is better than what we have here. If it were really all that great, you wouldn’t have spent all that money to come down here, would you? If subways and street pretzels were your main concern in life, you wouldn’t have felt the need to get on an airplane. Admit it.

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I’ve been to New York, and the New Yorkers who actually stay there seem to think the place is pretty great. They don’t need to put our city down to make themselves feel better about theirs. It’s kind of like that bully on the playground that tells kids they’re fat just so he doesn’t have to face the sad fact that he’s the class lard-ass. Except instead of telling Miami its pants are on too tight, you make up some BS about your water making the bagels taste better. You know why the bagels and pizza are sometimes better in New York? Two words: Italians and Jews.

See, here is what you don’t get: Your complaints are a self-fulfilling prophecy. As soon as the words “This would never happen in ‘The City’” are uttered to your front desk clerk, your waiter or your poolside towel boy, your level of service goes down. Hell, your food may even get spit in. So the more attitude you show, and the more New York arrogance you exude, the more the good people of Miami are going to go out of their way to make sure that your negative assumptions become dead-on.

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So my advice to you, Tri-State visitors and long-term tourists? If someone asks where you are from, go ahead and tell them. Otherwise, you are best to keep your mouth shut. Nobody in Miami is awed by a New Yorker, and nobody gives a flying F where you came from. Just sit back, enjoy the sun, and be glad you’re here.

Disclaimer: This article is the subjective opinion of the writer and not of Miami Beach 411 nor of its partners. We love people from New York!

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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21 Comments on

"An Open Letter to New York Visitors and Snowbirds"

Jessy says:

Hmmm..it’s sems to me you have in for new yorkers ? First off not all new yorkers are arrogant and obnoxious.

I was born and raised there, and I flew up there to miami with my mom and sister and neice, and I absolutely loved Miami! The culture ,atmosphere and everything about miami, So much that my mom wants to live over there..I feel miami is way more appealing Than new york. at least for me..I wish I was over there right now..So please take it easy. Not all New yorkers are show-offs or arrogant..So if you see a pretty girl who’s from New york one day Please don’t start assuming..lol

Posted on 05/12/2009 at 10:15 AM

Sungal says:

Better bagels in NY? You mean NY has bagels..Miamii has no bagels. And there are Jews here too. I’m sick of NY pizzaria style pizza, which they do have in Miami..

Posted on 05/12/2009 at 1:12 PM

Sungal says:

You’re reading way too much into people saying they’re from NY. I just got back to my apt and a guy walking near me, on my way home, decided to chat me up. I found it kind of intimidating that he was walking behind me. He asked me where I was from, and I thought…“Say NY because you’ll sound tougher and more street smart than if you say NJ”..so I said NY. He decided to probe deeper, since he was from NY. At first I said “here” meaning Miami and he didn’t buy it.

I can see certain girls saying they’re from NY to random strangers to sound more “don’t mess with me”. Although some people in NY rarely lead the Upper East/West sides so not everyone from NY has street cred.

There are a lot of people here from NY, and they’re not going to lie about it when asked. Chances are the asker is also from NY and just looking to make a friend or someone to chat with. Matt, did you ever think someone may tell you they’re from NY because they think you might be as well?

And just like racism, sexism, ageism, “geographic status/superiority” does exist in this world. I agree with you that people should drop their NY attitude when they’re here, but some just can’t.

There is no need for any Miamimian to feel inferior to a New Yorker. But if they do, that’s their problem, not the braggy New Yorker’s.

Posted on 05/13/2009 at 12:18 AM

friendly universe says:

Did you ever consider that all of the bravado you perceive from visitors from New York might just be a defense mechanism - a raging sense of inadequacy in feeling exposed (white legs and all) and out of the element of their concrete cocoon?

Most New Yorkers I know, when in their granted, overrated and overpriced safety zone of the Big Apple, are far less aggressive than you sound in this post.

Maybe your lashing out is a defense mechanism of your own - a raging sense of inadequacy in never having left the safety of your South Floridian sunshine in trying to “make it there”? Why don’t you move to New York, call me in a few years and then maybe I’ll take your complaints more seriously - if you haven’t turned into a quivering mass of jello from the experience.

Posted on 05/13/2009 at 7:30 AM

Martin says:

Maybe NYers should let their wives visit Miami alone and she’ll see that there are a lot of great that in Miami that would never happen in “the city”.

Posted on 05/14/2009 at 8:39 AM

Theresa L. Amandi says:

wow. You rock Matt.

“I love Miami.”

Posted on 05/14/2009 at 12:50 PM

Sungally says:

Matt, I’m done writing responses to you beccause u never read them!!!

totally done.

And my responses are pretty good.

Posted on 05/14/2009 at 12:55 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Matt,

You have proven my theory that if you ignore a women who likes you, she will do all she can to get your attention.

Posted on 05/14/2009 at 7:40 PM

Sungal says:

Ha! Still no response to my scathing comments. Carlos, it’s not that I need attention. When your having a discussion and one makes a point, the other disagrees and makes a counter point, you want to hear the other person’s response. Otherwise there’s really no sense makeing a counterpoint or disageeing. Could you imagine a real life argument happening that way?

Matt’s article in Ny is very accurate. The boyfriend is here and when I complained to him about the lack of bagels, he made the NY water comment.

And at Setai last night the sever took so long to get us a coktail menu..The bf said “This would never happen in NY.”
That’s bc in NY 20% service isn’t automatically included in NY.

Posted on 05/17/2009 at 2:06 PM

Carlos Miller says:

I do agree about the water. Not necessarily about the bagels because I’m not much of a bagel fan, but about the pizza.

And it’s true that NY is much more efficient than Miami will ever be. NY runs like a well-oiled clock. Miami runs like a clock whose battery has run out, giving everybody no sense of real urgency.

But having said all that, Miami obviously does not have to change its style because people will come here regardless.

Posted on 05/17/2009 at 2:11 PM

Sungal says:

I really think the service here is bad because of the automatic gratuity.
One interesting thing I noticed at the Delano..sometimes when I sign my bill the gratuity is included, other times no. If you’re a Euro or look like a cheap tipper, they include it. If you’re American and look like a big tipper, they don’t do the auto gratuity bc chances are they’ll get 20% or more.

And in NY, there is never the auto gratuity, which makes for great service.

Posted on 05/17/2009 at 3:50 PM

Carlos Miller says:

One of the reasons they have that is because foreign tourists are not in the habit of tipping.

I used to wait tables back in the day and it would get so frustrating when you provide the most excellent service to a family, and they even acknowledge it by telling you, but then they don’t leave you a dime.

In Europe, in many places the tip is already included.

But I agree that it causes bad service.

But I wonder what would happen if you simply state you are not going to pay the tip because the service sucked, or if you only leave ten percent.

I would think the customer has every legal right to not pay the tip.

Posted on 05/17/2009 at 4:01 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I’m sorry I haven’t responded to your comments, Sungal. But to be totally honest I have had EXTREMELY limited Internet access for like the pat 10 days, even paying money to go on the forums on some days. Sad, I know. But there is a difference, you know, between making idle chit chat about where you’re from and rubbing it in everyone’s face. This letter is more to the New Yorkers who rub it in people’s faces.

And Carlos, you can refuse the service charge if your service was horrible. Managers can take it off. But it’s not something I think people like to do, lest they look like cheapskates or a-holes. But technically, if you demand a manager take it off your bill, they have to. Or so I have been told by managers in the Beach.

Posted on 05/18/2009 at 8:41 PM

Sungal says:

Glad to hear you’re OK! NYC Taxi drivers are much better than Miami drivers. In Miami, you hand over a $20 for your trip and they make a big fuss..groan, turn on the light, “All you have is a 20?” I keep telling them-that’s what the ATM’s give me!

Some drivers drive me to a place and make me run in for change. This adds 7 min to me getting to my destination! Or worse, they hand over my change dollar by dollar, always running out and I end up paying $12 for a $7 ride.

In NYC, this is different. Drivers always have change. If they run out of change, they stop and get some before they pick up their next passangers. Taxi drivers can lose their license if they can’t give you change.

I love you Mayor Bloomberg!

Posted on 05/19/2009 at 12:04 PM

AmberSophist says:

You’re definitely forgetting the huge number of New Yorkers who spend a good time of their year in Miami. The ones who have been coming here since before it was the place to be, and more like when it was the Golden Girl’s waiting room for the next life. We obviously come back here because we love it.. and for many of us it is as much home as the ol’ NYC. But you have to cut some slack to those who have seen places like South Beach become more obnoxious over time. And rather quickly at that. Yes! It’s completely shocking to pay as much for a drink in the lowliest of bars as one would in any high brow Manhattan establishment. Or the fact that one has to go 90 blocks just to get a decent manicure because any place that only charged half an arm and a leg has been run out of business. It didn’t used to be like that.  So yeah, we notice.

But, agreed, that’s one thing us ¼ year Miami people have learned… if you’re going to tell them you’re from New York, quickly back it up with, but I live here too.  Otherwise you’re just asking them to bend you over.

Posted on 07/11/2009 at 9:23 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

If you don’t live here all year, you don’t live here. At BEST, you split time.

Posted on 07/12/2009 at 3:44 PM

AmberSophist says:

That’s a funny comment, considering that New Yorkers buying real estate in Miami Beach back when this town was blistering to pick itself back up by its bootstraps holds a rather large hand in what makes the area what it is today. Look at the people who REALLY live here, (Hispanic aside) and it’s in large part New York natives. (Even if it goes generations back) And when I say really live here, I don’t mean for the 1-3 year party until they grow up or go broke. Whether you like to believe it or not, New Yorkers truly paid their dues in Miami development and betterment since back when swamp became sand.

I’m not saying New Yorkers MADE Miami Beach… or that we deserve to hold our heads higher than anyone else.. all I’m saying is, some of us are as much a part of the local as anyone else. So if you want to think that a few fun years here trumps 20 some odd years “splitting time” (Through the highs and lows), by all means. (Though you may want to tell my mortgage that I‘m, at best, splitting time. Maybe I‘ll get half off on my next bill? )

Oh, and I was just being agreeable when I said they treat New Yorkers worse here. I’m yet to have that problem. But I do see how those with your mindset might give it.  Do us all a favor and get your nose out of the air, because S**t does not fly, my friend.

Posted on 07/17/2009 at 11:15 AM

Carlos Miller says:

AmberSophist,

You should check out my response this column.

http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/index.php?/news/comments/new-york-envy/

Posted on 07/17/2009 at 11:41 AM

angelina says:

I think it goes both ways, NY is dirty and when I go there I’m an uppity obnoxious west coast & miami girl who cops an attitude, probably a big snooty attitude when I have to use a public restroom and it’s gross!  I also know I was an uppity NY’er when I called Miami about bringing my pit bull into the city and I wasn’t expecting a law change, but at least some sympathy when he said they weren’t allowed, but he said “why don’t you just get rid of it?”  As if that were an option.  I took in this dog to give it a stable home, and I’m not going to abandon it or farm it out to someone when he’s been a great dog for me all these years.  That’s unheard of in larger cities where people are having more and more respect for each others pets as families, to talk like that, especially from a city worker.  The guy on the Miami city line probably will never understand a pet as family.  Then it hit me I wasn’t in the big city anymore.  I know if I move back to Fla. I will have to exposed to some of this mentality again and I’m in a nice little bubble now of intellectuals who may be boring, but very respectful for the most part.

Posted on 08/19/2009 at 9:50 PM

angelina says:

I think it goes both ways, NY is dirty and when I go there I’m an uppity obnoxious west coast & miami girl who cops an attitude, probably a big snooty attitude when I have to use a public restroom and it’s gross!  I also know I was an uppity NY’er when I called Miami about bringing my pit bull into the city and I wasn’t expecting a law change, but at least some sympathy when he said they weren’t allowed, but he said “why don’t you just get rid of it?”  As if that were an option.  I took in this dog to give it a stable home, and I’m not going to abandon it or farm it out to someone when he’s been a great dog for me all these years.  That’s unheard of in larger cities where people are having more and more respect for each others pets as families, to talk like that, especially from a city worker.  The guy on the Miami city line probably will never understand a pet as family.  Then it hit me I wasn’t in the big city anymore.  I know if I move back to Fla. I will have to exposed to some of this mentality again and I’m in a nice little bubble now of intellectuals who may be boring, but very respectful for the most part.

Posted on 08/19/2009 at 9:50 PM

Bella D says:

I’m sorry I know this was written a year and some months ago but I had to put my two cents in.  I’m soooooooo glad someone else sees the arogance on New York besides me.  I had to live in NY for six months (not that long a time) and they had me ready to rip my hair out with all the “We’re better than you are” bs.  In my list of top 100 things I hate about NY, their arogance was #1. Not saying ALL New Yorkers are like that but in six months of living there I would say 98% of the people I met and dealt with on the daily fit this catagory.  I’m just glad someone besides myself sees it.

Posted on 01/31/2011 at 2:43 PM

Bella D says:

I ment “of New York”.

Posted on 01/31/2011 at 2:50 PM

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