Go to main menu Go to main content Go to footer

Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

A New York moment

BY Will Nicholls Mar 24, 2023

Parking the car for four days in the same spot on the street saw no vandalism or missing vehicle. Nothing like Montreal where some Cree have seen their vehicles stolen from hotel parking lots where you would expect they would be safe from thieves. Plus, there was nary a parking ticket gracing the windshield. An unexpected New York moment.

Traffic in this bustling metropolis was the reason why we left the car parked and used public transit. Being newcomers, we didn’t have any idea of the many sight-seeing options and which subway lines to use. But there were police at most stops as a result of 9/11 (and yes, we visited the memorial for the Twin Towers), so we asked them. With smiles they helped us find our way around the city more than once and gave us advice and ideas to ensure our journeys were trouble-free and enjoyable.

In Montreal, I have told my sons to ask the local or metro police only as a last resort because of their First Nations heritage. Experiencing the difference was definitely a New York moment. 

Even while riding the New York subway and talking about where we wanted to go, a New Yorker would speak up and assist us. Not something you would expect in Montreal even though this city claims to be a tourist-friendly destination.

While visiting museums and local sites we took a taxi or two and never once got taken on an expensive scenic route. The drivers were honest, friendly and talkative… at least the ones we had.

In one bookstore, not finding everything I was looking for, the clerk told me where I might be able to get them – at a competitor’s place. Not something you might experience elsewhere. Just another New York moment. 

While taking in the sites we came across the bronze statue of a bull on Wall Street. Two helpful women from London told us that some helpful New Yorkers said that rubbing the nether regions of the bull was supposed to bring you good luck financially. That’s why the picture of me doing so is shown here. I’ll let you know if it worked depending on how lucky I am. Definitely, a New York moment.

There were certainly more New York moments, but it brings home a fact we should all realize – stereotypes are not always true. We should all try to ensure that New York moments are a part of our lives whether we experience them, or we create them for other people, both strangers and friends.

LATEST ᒫᐦᒡ ᑎᐹᒋᒧᐧᐃᓐ

Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.