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IS IT JUST NEW YORKERS, OR IS EVERYONE A LITTLE NUTS?


"Tawk" to a New "Yawka" lately? It's that accent thing, right?

Pocono residents recognize it a mile away--along with the attitude. In "the city" it's a survival mechanism, in the country--obnoxious. Welcome to the running saga of weekend culture shock. Or is it more like mass schizophrenia?

Let's see. New Yorkers begin and end their workweek like herds of cattle--jammed into smothering subways and buses so tight "up close and personal" takes on a whole new meaning. Then they'll jockey for position at a deli for coffee like NBA centers "boxing out" opponents for a rebound with elbows fixed like bayonets. And before actually reaching the office, at least one sociopath will be stared down, two lunatic bike messengers buzzing curbside pedestrians cursed, and a gauntlet of kamikaze cabbies fixated on anything but safe driving dared.

Rt I-80By Friday evening, they're so desperate for the calmer pace of the Poconos, they risk what's left of their sanity just to get through the dreaded rush hour traffic on 80--only to complain all weekend long that nobody moves their "you know what" fast enough. Hello? Is there any Valium in the house?

Of course, New Yorkers don't own exclusive bragging rights to irrational behavior. Locals twitch at the first sign of New York plates, moan about congested roads and parking lots, crowded stores, markets, and the like, but then snatch tourist dollars faster than a pickpocket working Penn Station. Well, here's a reality check: There's no Ford or BMW plant in the Poconos, so lighten up; New Yorkers may be like the spouse you can't live with and can't (or shouldn't) shoot, but they play an integral role in the region's food chain. So mind your (table) manners!

Crowds or What?The Poconos is unquestionably a fine place in which to live, but since perfection is said to be the exclusive province of Heaven, perhaps making the best of the here and now might not be such a bad idea while waiting to find out.

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