New Yorkers are generally proud of their city’s grittiness—so the results of a new globe-spanning poll shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. That being said, it appears the world thinks we have a bit of cleaning up to do. (Lame!)
This year’s Time Out Index polled more than 27,000 city-dwellers in urban centers across multiple continents on a wide range of topics. In addition to subjects that have been covered in past years, including the state of restaurants and nightlife, this year’s survey put a special focus on local community efforts, green spaces and sustainability efforts. While NYC took home high marks in a number of areas—including landing in the top five cities overall and being declared the “most exciting” city in the world—there was one far more negative takeaway: It’s currently thought of as one of the world’s dirtiest cities.
According to respondents, New York is one of the top three “dirtiest” cities in the world, coming in just behind Rome and Bangkok. (That’s right, that means it managed to claim the top spot stateside.) In fact, a majority of respondents (55 percent, to be exact) called it “dirty.”
This is ridiculous. Sure, New Yorkers leave their garbage on the side of the street and you can usually find discarded plates and cups on the sidewalk, and sure, sometimes walking into a subway station feels like you’re trapped in a horror video game or an alternate dark dimension. Yes, every now and then a New Yorker might drop their dollar slice pizza on the ground and just kind of wipe it off and be like, Whatever, it’s probably fine, and yeah, sometimes you can walk through a puddle or get dripped on by a mystery liquid and you’re like, There’s a possibility a toxin in that just took a few years off my life. Ok, fine, sometimes you might be swimming at a public beach and realize you’re surrounded by empty floating Chex Mix bags and occasionally you might spend a day walking around the city in sandals and get home and the bottoms of your feet are pitch black and you tell yourself, This is fine. It’s probably just dust. Please just be dust. Alright, we’ll admit some of the public restrooms located in regional transit hubs appear to not have been cleaned since the ‘90s, and we’ve found things in city parks we never want to talk about again, but, overall, New York is pretty clean.
Or at least it is to 45 percent of this year’s survey respondents! (We want to know what city you’re living in. No, please. Tell us.) Check out Time Out's full ranking of the best cities in the world for more interesting takeaways from this year's poll.