||04-16-2013 04:13 PM
Hey now, not to dig up a old thread, but NJ gets a bad rap. In fact, if you're looking at the New York Metro area, New Jersey is actually the most helpful/nicest of all the areas surrounding New York. Long Island, Westchester, Staten Island, and NYC Metro are by far worse than New Jersey. I grew up in Northern Virginia, moved to NYC 6 years ago, and have family in the mid west, so I know a bit about hospitality, and yes, NY lacks much of what the rest of the country would call it. But there are benefits, like being frank and self righteous. It's a survival tactic.
With that said, it's hard to compare the rest of the country to the New York Metro area. It's population density dwarfs anywhere else in the states, and the culture has grown up to match. NJ is the most densely populated state in the country, and in relative terms it's also IMO the "nicest" of the suburbs surrounding New York City. In our town, there are barely any locked doors, crime is non-existant, and you might as well be in mayberry for the friendliness. When we moved in all the neighbors came by and said hello, some brought cookies etc... couldn't have been happier with the town. You just don't hear about the nice parts because all of the loud mouths in the rougher areas scream louder (i.e. jersey shore types).
As it pertains to the original owner's question. Yes, I would say that this is a morally bankrupt question, but to better understand it, you have to think how New York City people think. People here just don't do their own work to their house/yard etc... There are so many people looking for work and there is so much money, it is almost criminal to do it yourself. People look at you like you're crazy when you say you're doing your own work on your house. The mantra here is "how much does it cost for someone else to do it?" So it's kind of a loaded question, because here, nobody does their own tree clean up, it's just not "normal". Whether you agree with that or not, it helps to understand how people from NYC look at things.
With that said, in our old house in New York City proper, someone's tree fell on another neighbor's fence/yard, and it sat there for 6 months before we moved (I'm sure it's still sitting there). Our old neighbors ripped out my plants that touched our shared fence, cut down our trees ON OUR SIDE of the fence! Asking whether someone was liable for a tree falling on a neighbor's yard is "kind" compared to what NYC attitude would say!
On that note, I would have gotten out the chain saw and helped the neighbor. We have a tree that's perilously leaning, and I asked my neighbor if he would go in with me to have it taken down (it's way too tall for us to do it, and inbetween power lines, so quite dangerous). My neighbor insisted we'd take it down ourselves with his truck... We ended up not taking it down (he eventually realized that just was not safe), but just to say our neighbors did in fact offer to help and have been really nice.