It's not that I'm the biggest expert on New York City; far from it. But yesterday I was shocked (culture-shocked, of course) when I was driving, listening to the radio, and I heard a truly absurd description of New York in a Spanish pop song. The song was good enough in itself, a bittersweet complaint from a man who has left his life in Spain behind in order to go and live in NYC with the woman he loves. The chorus says:
Iré tan pronto como pueda donde hablen español
estoy viajando, como un tonto que ha llegado a Nueva York
Hay mil tiendas de pistolas, rascacielos de cartón,
y la verdad es que tuve miedo en el avión
I'll go as soon as possible somewhere where people speak in Spanish,
I'm travelling, like a fool in NYC
there are thousands of gun dealers, cardboard skyscrapers,
and the truth is, I was afraid during the flight.
Erm... I didn't see a single gun/weapons shop in my stay in town and I think it's not easy to buy weapons in New York State. Besides, it is obvious to anyone who has spend more than an hour in New York that all you have to do to find people who speak Spanish as a native language is maybe go to the north of Manhattan. It's amazing what people will assume when they apply a stereotype to a whole country.