Sontag on differences between California and New York

I’m fascinated with the differences between New York (where i spent my first 18 years) and San Francisco Bay Area (where i have spent my last 14 years).

See my 2004 post: How San Franciscans and New Yorkers Differ

My brother, Jon Hoffman, posted out to me an essay in today’s New York Times Magazine by Susan Sontag on which she says:

“In Calif., a stranger is a [potential] friend until he proves otherwise; in NY, a stranger is an enemy until he proves otherwise. One uses up a lot of energy in NY by that hypothesis.”

So true. i’ve found that it is so much easier to trust people initially than to distrust them. and that doesn’t mean leaving your car doors unlocked while parking in the Tenderloin … but it does mean not worrying that everyone you come in contact with is going to screw you over … and allowing for the fact that some shrinkage (some people taking advantage of you) in life is ok … it is the cost of living a good life where it is easier to be happy.

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