Celia Rivenbark

From the Belle Tower | New Yorkers can’t resist her Southern drawl

I just returned from a working vacation in New York City and here is what I learned…

New Yorkers are super nice to women who have a strong Southern accent. Almost everywhere I went, my Southern drawl earned everything from opened doors and help with my luggage to free wine. Good wine. In a fancy restaurant. Sugah.

New Yorkers are not shy about showing anger when provoked. We were in a taxi when it collided with a truck in the next lane. Out jumped the occupants of the truck. One ripped open the driver’s side door and instructed our driver (who stared straight ahead while repeating “no hit, no hit”) to “Get out of the !@#$*ing car!” Because I was with my daughter and her friend, I started to say: “Young man, do not use that kind of language in front of ladies” but this seemed hypocritical since I had just used the exact same phrase to the girls, who dutifully melted like buttah into the Times Square hordes. What can I say? We have all seen too many episodes of “Law & Order” to take chances. Dah-DUM. New Yorkers who work at the airport don’t care about your Southern accent or much of anything else.

My wide smile followed by a super slow “Caaan youuuu hellllp meeee?” at the ticket counter was met with a deadpan “I’m busy.” She then picked up her cell phone and, while looking me in the face, loudly made a dinner reservation for that evening, then called her friend to tell her they had an 8:30. Well, I nevah!

New Yorkers live in the most exciting city in the world. OK, at least in my world. Where else can you literally stumble out of bed, walk two blocks and see Coldplay perform for free? Sadly, I didn’t see them because I totally overslept LIKE SOME KIND OF COUNTRY MOUSE.

New Yorkers never do any of the things we did that week. When I met with my agent and publisher and told them everything we’d done so far they were like: “Ohhh, I keep meaning to do that.” And we’re talking routine stuff like top of the Empire State Building, taping of Stephen Colbert’s show and the 911 Museum. When I said that we went to Strip House because I saw that their 24-layer chocolate cake was the Food Network’s Best Chocolate Dessert in America, they looked puzzled. (It should be noted that Duh Hubby was definitely disappointed to discover that Strip House is a swanky steak restaurant.)

New Yorkers can’t escape from Donald Trump in their face every day. The buildings, the signs, he’s everywhere. In Central Park, I was walking off a typical $35 bacon and egg breakfast when I decided to sit on a bench and watch the swans. When I stood up, I read the plaque dedicating the bench to Donald J. Trump. Surprisingly, it wasn’t even “the best and hugest of the benches.” He might want to fix that.

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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