There are three questions people always ask you when they meet you in NYC:
Where are you from?
Where do you live?
How much rent do you pay?
New Yorkers like to use the answers to these questions as a gauge of how likely you are to get on and in the case of the last question - as an insight into how successful you are. Normally landlords want you to show that you earn forty times your monthly rent over the year to ensure you can afford it - so answering a simple question can let a New Yorker work out how much you earn from an inquiry into your rent.
Unlike any city I have ever known, living in an area can denote a certain type of person, different styles fit different areas. My first six weeks back training has shown me that the climbing walls here are the same, the questions are different but the answers you get will clearly determine your likelihood of having a mutual understanding of the sport.
Sheffield is a climbing city, most people I knew had fingerboards in their halls and boards in their basements - it's rare to find someone there in a climbing wall who hasn't touched rock. Despite being a fair way from rock, London actually felt a bit like a climbing city, many of the people I met at the wall there were originally from climbing cities and regularly made the journey north to the peak.
New York feels different.
The majority of the people I have met at the walls here haven't ever touched rock; they look confused when I bring up the concept of training, they don't know the origins of the campus board, they've never heard of the schoolroom or Font, and expect them to know what you're talking about when you mention broccoli and dieting and say 'but what would Malc do'?
Forget about it.
It's a shame that these people only climb for the fitness. New York has amazing climbing around it and rock in the city. But I guess that leaves the world class climbing for the rest of us and the campus board and Beastmaker always open.
It just pains me to see so many pairs of oversize baggy Solutions and Dragons going to waste...