I'm a home-grown New Yorker and have trouble trying to recollect (believe it or not) strangers unwilling to help strangers here. Perhaps times have changed all over the country. Only four years ago there was a foul-up concerning my arrival from DeGaulle to JFK. It was late at night and the next best option for me was to take the Shuttle Bus from the airport to a Subway line. I only ran into helpful people along the way..........Now, I have to wonder about how I'd be received in the city of brotherly luv...........now I remember a Psych. course at NYU and the Prof. was clearly NOT from NYC - and he also exuded negative feelings (IOW New Yorkers are sh*t) to the point I just couldn't resist raising my hand and incurring his emnity. Clearly, he didn't like my resistance to his particular point of view
Relating story above, it is also apropos to mention a visit to France. I'd driven into France (for the first time in my life) from Karlesruhe, and was heading toward Fontainebleau.......anyway, despite their reputation (largely derived from Parisians - oops) virtually everyone I spoke to - they tried their best to help me. My French remains non-existant (except for a few scurrilous phrases) so all communication was via gesticulation and pointing in directions etc.. I got people to exchange D marks to Franc so I could buy gas etc. So, they do not, as a people, deserve their popularized reputations. I won't say don't be an ugly American........just more appropriately learn not to be an ugly person.