Found this on MSN Travel site and thought it could help clarify what many have said on this board
The Rumor: New Yorkers are rude.
The Truth: Fuhgeddaboudit! “It’s absolutely false that New Yorkers are unfriendly — they may seem standoffish at first, but that’s just concealing a very big heart,” insists Ed Koch, a former mayor and a quintessential New Yorker. (Hey, someone who appeared in "The Muppets Take Manhattan" should know.) So what is with the gruff exterior, then? Call it a coping mechanism for living in a city of more than 8 million people. “We believe that people want their own space, so we don’t intrude unless asked for assistance. But if you’re visiting from out of town, just walk over to any New Yorker and he’ll immediately help you out,” says Koch. And rather than feeling upset about a brusque cab driver or a bagel guy who seems to toss your change at you, remember that they are just trying to keep the wheels in motion. “People here want to help you get on with your day!” says Koch.