When I first came to New York, I noticed a strong contrast between myself and “real New Yorkers.” The general New Yorker stereotype is very real and was immediately apparent the second I walked off my plane into the La Guardia airport. They walk fast, they always have some place to be and they always know where they’re going.
Now that I’ve been here for 2 months, I’ve already been acclimated into New York culture. I’ve started to notice that my commitment to staying here after the New York Arts Program ends has caused me to begin to think of myself as a real New Yorker. This has inspired me to share with you some ways I’ve begun to identify as a New Yorker from my own experience! Let me know in the comment section if you’ve experienced these too.
- You’re automatically offended by tourists. Every time you see a touring group, you roll your eyes. Every time someone is walking at a snail’s pace gawking at a map, you angrily speed around them. Every time someone stops to admire a building that you see everyday, you become visibly and irrationally furious.
- People are always asking you for directions. I don’t even know why this started happening to me. I guess I have a trustworthy face and people don’t think that I’m going to ignore them? But people are constantly asking me which way to go, which subway to take, etc. So far, there’s only been one instance where I accidentally had someone take the longer route but I haven’t led anyone completely astray thus far.
- You stop looking at your phone to figure out what subway to take. Nothing is more fulfilling to a person than to master the New York City public transit system.
- You’ve done everything on your NYC bucket list. Central Park, check. Broadway show, multiple checks. All of the hotspots on Gossip Girl, check. Time to start a new list!
- You know which pizza place to go to in more than one neighborhood. This, of course, also means that you’ve had your fair share of New York City pizza. When there’s more pizza options than just Papa John’s and Pizza Hut, it’s understandable to go a little crazy, right?
- You take an average of 10,000 steps a day. The iPhone health app and I have been playing a game with each other where it is my goal to take no less than 10,000 steps. On a special day, it’ll get up to 15,000-20,000, but that usually requires a pedicure the next day.
- You genuinely believe that Times Square is an actual version of hell. I can’t tell if it’s the popularity of the place, the bright lights, or the men dressed in knock-off Mickey Mouse costumes but Times Square causes every tourist to slow down to 5 mph. I now avoid it at all costs.
- You get irrationally angry at people who are NOT New Yorkers. I cringe whenever someone tells me “it’s a place right by Central Park!” as though Central Park is a small isolated area.
- You don’t have to freak out when a subway line isn’t running. The C is down for maintenance? That’s okay. I’ll take the 1!
- You have pride in your city! When someone asks you where you’re living or what you’re up to, you are filled with joy when you tell them that you’re working in New York City. That one I might never get used to…