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Forest Hills And “The City”

July 13, 2010 3 comments

Ever since I moved to Forest Hills it’s always amused me how some people who live here refer to Manhattan as “the city.” As in, “I have to go into the city today.”
I even catch myself saying it in times of weakness.
Because, the question then arises: if we are going into “the city,” then where are we now? You can’t go somewhere if you’re already there, now can you?
For a while there I would always try to correct people. My thinking was, if we want Forest Hills to gain more of a feel of New York City in terms of better supermakets, great restaurants and cafes, charming shops and boutiques, then we had to start thinking of ourselves as living in “the city.”
After all, words can be extremely powerful. Why does the MTA, for example, tell us, “We apologize for the unavoidable delay”? There is no such thing in the universe, including in The New York City Subway System, as an “unavoidable delay.” Something, somewhere, somehow, at some time, could have been done to avoid the delay. But if an authoritative voice on a loud speaker says it, the powers that be think the masses will believe it. The same goes for “smoke condition.” It’s called a “fire!”
But, as I said, words are powerful.
So if you want Forest Hills to gain more of what New York City has to offer, the next time don’t tell someone you’re “going into the city.” Tell them you’re “heading into Manhattan for a bit.” See how that makes you feel, and what kind of impression it makes on your friend.

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