New Yorkers are not known for going out of their way to help one another. This is not to say that people are unhelpful, and I think we unfairly get the reputation for being "cold" and "hurried," but I would argue that if scratch just below this veneer, you will find most New Yorkers to be lovely and friendly people.
This morning on the subway a little girl of about 2 decided that she did NOT want to be wearing the layers her mother had put on her to keep her warm. She was screaming bloody murder, but the mother would not concede, which I think is phenominal. She didn't simply let the child have her way because she was screaming, and in a public venue at that, and I think that so many parents today just give in, failing to establish the authority of the parent over the child. But what I thought was truly phenominal was the response from people around her. A woman beside me smiled at her and said, "We've all been there. It's alright." and another man leaned down to try to get the girl to smile and also to help put her shoe back on when she kicked it off. Through the entire process the mother remained calm, yet firm with her daughter.
But it just warmed my heart to see various people on this crowded AM commute actually making a point to be helpful and warm. It is these little rays of light that bring me back to the realization that New York is truly a city of great people.