Are New Yorkers the Friendliest People in the Country? We Have Reason to Believe So

Aug 11, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Ah, New York. The land of bagels, pizza and more than 8.6 million grumpy citizens . . . right?

The city definitely has a reputation for too busy, can’t-be-bothered residents — but according to a recent study by StreetEasy, the Big Apple may actually be one of the friendliest cities in the nation.

We know. We were shocked, too (and we live here).

Of course, the report from the New York-based real estate database was focused on friendliness as it applied to neighborliness. So, New Yorkers are nice to each other. But are they really that cordial to tourists walking around the city, getting lost in the subway stations and taking photos in the middle of the sidewalk?

In light of this news, we couldn’t help but wonder: Are New Yorkers actually that friendly to travelers from out of town?

Related: Miles Away: Your Trip to New York City

To determine whether or not the myth of the friendly Gothamite was fact, I went on a little adventure around the Flatiron neighborhood around 10am on Wednesday morning, pretending to be a tourist in need of help. I asked unassuming passerby questions like, “Is that the Flatiron Building?” and, “Where’s a good place to get breakfast around here?” (Answer: Daily Provisions).

I’ll preface this all by saying that, subjectively, I’m a pretty approachable, friendly woman. So if you’re not, well, friendly and approachable, you should expect the results of this test to vary.

The first woman I spoke with in Union Square also looked like she was in her mid-20s; I asked her how I could get to the Flatiron Building and she took off her headphones to point me in the right direction. This became a common theme — Every single person I spoke with dropped what they were doing to answer my questions.

Case in point: I approached a man working on a laptop at Madison Square Park and asked him where I could get breakfast. He stopped what he was doing, racked his brain and, when he couldn’t remember the name of the place he was thinking of, took out Google Maps on his phone to look it up for me. It was a really kind gesture, and I actually felt bad that I wasn’t really going to get breakfast.

When I walked past the dog park, I asked a man if I could pet his absolutely adorable Labradoodle, to which he said, “Of course.”

This was the best part of the assignment, obviously.

When I stopped a woman walking her dog in Union Square to take my picture, she seemed a little confused but obliged anyway. I even took a trip down to the Union Square subway station — which, not for nothing, felt like the Ninth Circle of Hell — and approached a woman wearing headphones and walking fast. I stopped her to ask how to get uptown, to which she took out her headphones and asked specifically where I was heading. When I told her Central Park, she gave me detailed instructions about how to get all the way to the West Side of Manhattan.

All told, I spoke with about 20 people on Wednesday, and every single one stopped to help me and answer my question, even if only for a few seconds, and even if it was an absolutely ridiculous question. I didn’t encounter one person who was “too busy” — if anything, people seemed happy for a distraction and the satisfaction of helping someone out.

Related: The Best Value Points Hotels in New York City

That said, you’ll have to go out of your way to talk to New Yorkers. No one is just going to approach you asking if you need help or anything. But if my morning walk around the city was any indication, you’re bound to find some of the friendliest people you’ll meet on your next trip to New York.

Featured image courtesy of Alexander Spatari/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.