There's a joke among us staff at GreenStar Coop, or a half-joke really, that the store should have red flags to unfurl on shopping carts and baskets for shoppers who want to signal that they are in a hurry and don't want to talk. Most of the time we're glad that people are so extravagantly friendly, but sometimes we see (and sometimes feel) that it can be a problem, too.
The problem is magnified, maybe, for ex-NYC people, such as myself. City people like to talk, but not as a way to pass time; more as a way to show how funny and smart they are. (And, of course, they are. Everyone in New York City thinks they are funnier and smarter than everyone else, and are eager to prove it.)
Thus, talk takes on a different tone. Exhibiting your cleverness takes brevity. Long-windedness is for the dull. So is lack of focus. You want to make your waggish point and walk. So does your interlocutor (at least you hope they do).
It is an art form, and a way of being, and one I haven't been able to shake, in all my years away from the city. It's one of the reasons I love the place so much. You know - I love Grand Central Station, but just partly for the architecture; more for the talk I will hear when I'm there. And for the fact that the funny person talking to me will stop before I want them to, and go.