Today as I ate lunch at a local Subway -- uncomfortable because I had no newspaper at hand, as is my wont when eating alone -- I remembered a remarkable thing I'd noticed during my trip to New York: Everybody reads.
I've never been in such a literate city. Everyone, of all social classes, seemed to carry newspapers or books of one kind or other. We spent Thanksgiving morning not only watching the parade on TV, but passing sections of the Times and Post back and forth, and collectively working the crosswords.
It made me kind of giddy, all that reading in public.
I'm sure the pedestrian/mass-transit nature of travel in Gotham is one reason that the printed word seems to retain a healthy respect. But I wonder if there's also a different appreciation of information dissemination in general that we don't share in Greater Outer Podunk. If any students of rural sociology are reading this, here's some grist for study.