New York provincialism, alive and well

When people say, as they sometimes do, that New Yorkers are the most provincial people on the planet, here’s the kind of thing they’re referring to:

If everybody — everybody in the world, I guess — were going to read one book, it should be an exhaustive account of urban planning disputes in New York City. Because what could possibly be more important?

Similarly, here’s Jane Kramer in the New Yorker (natch):

If you’re looking for true Southern comfort in “Ten Restaurants,” you might want to forget about Antoine’s and go straight to the chapter on Sylvia’s, the enduring soul-food restaurant on Lenox Avenue, near the Apollo Theatre, which a waitress named Sylvia Pressley Woods and her husband, Herbert, bought for twenty thousand dollars in 1962, transforming a local luncheonette into a celebration of the African-American kitchen that had seen her through a hardscrabble South Carolina childhood. Woods’s grandfather was hanged for a murder he did not commit; her father died of complications from German gas attacks suffered during the First World War. But her mother, raising her on a farm with no electricity, no water, and only a mule for transportation, kept the culinary legacy of black America—what we now call Southern food—alive, warm, and sustaining on the kitchen table.

Sure — because nobody in the South was keeping Southern food alive, were they? We Southerners would be completely lost if it weren’t for New Yorkers bravely sustaining the culinary traditions we’ve (apparently) forgotten.

Seriously: what is with these people?