Once again I've been hit by how much (at least middle class) New York residents define themselves by "good" and "bad" neighborhoods and neighborhoods that have some "good parts" or are "getting better" and neighborhoods that are "changing" or "used to be nice" or "are gentrifying" or are "mostly black, some Dominicans" or "traditionally Puerto Rican but nice", etc., etc. More than any other city I've lived in, people here feel free to keep a running commentary going in the most open, frank terms on race and class and space.
NYC is refreshingly diverse ethnically and is the rare city where working people and Wall Street execs have at least equal claims on the its identity (what would New York be without Deli owners or cab drivers?). The city is filled with some of the most democratic spaces in America, where people of all backgrounds mix and mingle--Central Park, the subway system, etc.
Yet people seem all the more separate for that openness.