In New York it becomes so easy to assume that the city’s most alluring women have flown in from Paris or Milan.
But they’re just a minority. A much larger convey hails from the stalwart states that began with the letter I—like Iowa and Indiana and Illinois. Bred with just the right amount of fresh air, rough housing, and ignorance, these primitive blondes set out from the corn fields looking like starlight with limbs.
Every morning in early spring one of them skips off her porch with a sandwich wrapped in cellophane ready to flag down the first Greyhound headed to Manhattan—this city where all things beautiful are welcomed and measured and, if not immediately adopted, then at least tried on for size.
(Nadie Se Conoce)
One of the great advantages that the midwestern girls had was that you couldn’t tell them apart.
(Ⓒ Alberto Reyes)
You can always tell a rich New York girl from a poor one. And you can tell a rich Boston girl from a poor one. After all, that’s what accents and manners are there for. But to the native New Yorker, the midwestern girls all looked and sounded the same.
Sure, the girls from the various classes were raised in different houses and went to different schools, but they shared enough midwestern humility that the gradations of their wealth and privilege were obscure to us.
Or maybe their differences (readily apparent in Des Moines) were just dwarfed by her socioeconomic strata—that the thousand-layered glacial information that spans from an ash can on the Bowery to a penthouse in paradise.
Either way, to us they all looked like hayseeds unblemished,
wide-eyed, and God-fearing,
if not exactly free of sin.
~Amor Towles, Rules of Civility