Every city has a Question
(Fully aware this post is laden with bias, prejudice, stereotypes, classism, narcissism, racism, neo-natzism… obviously, I hope you see the intended humor in this post, not the any of the above)
I’ve always felt that each city I’ve spent a decent amount of time in had an underlying, often times unspoken, question that established your respective standing in their minds. Even if the issue was not addressed directly, initial conversations often skirt around the core issue, hoping it might be offered or derived from other information.
- Boston: “Where did you go to school?” (i.e. how educated are you?)
- NYC: “How much money do you make?” (or “Where do you work?” – just a proxy for the first)
- DC: “How much power do you have?” (or “Who do you know?” in terms of political/government power)
- LA: (a quick glance from head to toe), ostensibly seeing how good your plastic surgeon is OR “Who do you know?” (different than DC à in terms of fame)
- San Fran: “How are you changing the world?” (two acceptable forms here: innovation/start-up or environmentally)
Then there are cities that have some blend of the above, highly distinctive cities:
- Philly (so far): “Where did you go to school?” + “How much money do you make?”
- Seattle: “How are you saving the world?” (usually environmentally) + “what eco-friendly, outdoor activity are you passionate about”
Yes, this might be for a specific slice of the population in many cases, but I sensed some degree of these questions from a good majority of the people I interacted with.
If agree/disagree with any of these let me know. And, more importantly, if your city is not on here, let me know what you think that underlying question is in your experience.