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Don't Mess With New York

You don't want to mess with New Yorkers, man. You just don't. Guess Public Storage learned that the hard way.

Yesterday, the New York Daily News reported on the hand-slapping Public Storage received in response to its latest NYC subway posters, which were purportedly offensive to city residents. The company had created a train-side ad that read, "Finally a good reason to leave Manhattan," and listed lower storage rates for facilities in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

Public Storage officials responded by saying the company did not intend the ad as a "cultural critique of the outer boroughs," but as a means of mocking "the excessive prices of self-storage in Manhattan." In any case, City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) got up in arms and wrote a letter requesting the ads be removed, which they were. The storage provider now vows to be more sensitive in its ad campaigns. How nice.

Gioia considered it a real victory. Public Storage says its campaign was slated to expire anyway. Who knows the truth of the matter? It's irrelevant ... The real question is whether the city perchance overreacted.

Now I grew up in Connecticut, and I love NYC. And having also lived in Boston, another East Coast melting pot, I understand the emotional swells of a city that embraces its diversityespecially when it has endured such travesty in recent years. But every metropolitan area has its quadrants, each with its own character. It isn't a question of better than/worse than, just flavor. Is that so terrible to acknowledge?

I think the real offense was in the source of the statement: Public Storage is a Glendale, Calif.-based company. One should never talk smack about a foreign culture, even in jest, and especially in the native environment! So I'll reiterate: You don't want to mess with New Yorkers, man. You just don't.

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