The city that never sleeps isn't the fasBODY-paced city in the nation? Strangely, no--at least according to author Robert Levine's calculations in A Geography of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, or How Every Culture Keeps Time Just a Little Bit Differently (Basic Books, $24 cloth).
From the title, you might not guess this is a book for entrepreneurial readers. But in this age of the global economy, it clearly behooves small-business owners to know as much as they can about the marketplaces they're targeting. And, really, how we attempt to beat the clock reveals much about us. "After all," observes Levine, "the pace of our lives governs our experience of the passage of time. And how we move through time is, ultimately, the way we live our lives."
The way New York City residents live their lives, as chronicled in Levine's survey of 36 U.S. cities, places hem just slightly behind Beantown--a k a Boston--in terms of such factors as walking speed and the pace at which bank tellers work. Which city poses the most resemblance to the tortoise and not the hare? Survey says: Los Angeles.
Angelinos, however, are not nearly so leisurely as Brazilians. "Adjusting to the pace of life in Brazil, I figured, would call for no more than a bit of fine-tuning," writes Levine of the period he spent teaching in that country. "What I got instead was a dose of culture shock I wouldn't wish on a hijacker."
Reduce the risk of culture shock with a read of A Geography of Time.