Attention New Yorkers! Cancel your aromatherapy/shiatsu/acupuncture/therapy appointment. According to a recent poll by Forbes, New York is not the most stressful city in America.
Which city takes the illustrious prize? Is it:
* Los Angeles – where the very thought of driving on the 405 at rush hour is enough to make your blood pressure rise?
* Boston – where your great-great-great grandson will still be paying for the nightmarish Big Dig which cost taxpayers approximately $12 billion (no, that’s not a typo) more than original estimates?
* Detroit – where the metro area unemployment rate is 8.5 percent and the city unemployment rate is 12.9 percent versus the national average of 5.5 percent?
The answer is none of the above! Apparently Chicagoans are the most stressed-out Americans. And the city’s transit system is one of the top contributors to local angst. One woman interviewed shook her head said, “The El. It’s terrible. It’s crowded and it smells. Everyone is just crammed on there.”
Maybe it stems from that day in April when hundreds of rush hour Chicago straphangers took matters into their own hands and evacuated a train that had been at a stand-still for more than an hour. They climbed out of the cars, into the tunnel and walked along the tracks to freedom. May I just say, right on!
But otherwise most people kind of clucked around saying, “It can’t be us. It can’t be us. What about New York ?” They all seemed pretty confused about the dubious honor, including Mayor Daley who said, “How can we be number one?” Even movie critic Richard Roeper chimed in, “Saying life in Chicago is more stressful than life in New York is like saying Owen Wilson is a more intense actor than Robert De Niro. It doesn’t compute.”
Come on, Chicagoans! Take a tip from us New Yorkers and relax!