How Everyone Knows You’re From NYC

My job has given me the sometimes exhausting, but mostly just exciting, opportunity to travel around the continental United States quite a bit. I’ve been in the heart of big cities and to outlying suburbs; I’ve been on the East Coast and West Coast; down south and in the middle of America. I’ve been just about everywhere. The places I’ve been to in this country are so different from one another. And yet, no matter where I go, I always hear the same thing: You must be from New York, right? So how do they know? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve come up with a few reasons people will always be able to spot a NY’er in their presence.

1) We wear black. Not just the overweight people who think black is slimming. I mean everyone. Short, tall, fat, thin; everyone in New York wears black. I was on the phone with an LA-based client chatting about my upcoming journey out there and joked that I always rent a convertible when I go to LA and people must know I’m a tourist because no one else drives around in February with the top down. They laughed good-naturedly and then replied: They’ll know you’re from New York because you’ll be wearing all black while driving the convertible.

2) We keep our headphones in– I didn’t realize this was a New York thing until I was out in San Francisco visiting a friend who transplanted there from NYC. We were enjoying a midday snack at an outdoor café when a guy walked by wearing a Yankees hat with iPhone earbuds in. My friend pointed and said, “he’s from New York.” I thought she was referring to the team he chose to support, but she elaborated that no one she had seen in San Francisco regularly walked around with their headphones in. It’s a very NYC thing to do. It’s noisy and congested in this city and our only escape as we’re trekking through the streets or riding various forms of public transit is to drown it all out with our favorite songs.

my dream

3) We walk, like, really fast – Nothing, and I mean nothing, frustrates me more than slow walkers. Floors you walk on should be set up like roads you drive on – slow on the right, fast in the left. Unfortunately though, they’re not. This is the easiest way to tell a tourist from a local when you’re in NYC. Tourists meander and take their sweet ass time. Locals are pushing past them muttering hurry the fuck up asshole under their breath as they pass. Try walking through the airport. You can spot a New Yorker a mile away.

4) We complain about having to drive – Ugh, why can’t I find a cab? Is there a subway or something nearby? These are all statements uttered by New Yorkers when they leave their city and venture elsewhere. The thought of needing to call ahead for a cab, or actually drive yourself, is foreign. The very nature of NYC basically requires its residents to give up their cars in favor of mass transit and cabs. Rental car companies should charge NY’ers more since the first 5 minutes we’re back behind the wheel, we basically have to teach ourselves how to drive all over again.

5) We complain about the food – No one will ever make a cup of coffee, a bagel, a slice of pizza, etc. like New York does. New Yorkers are so annoying about food. No matter where we go, or how fantastic a meal is, we usually say something along the lines of “That was amazing. It totally reminds me of this great place in the East Village…” We just can’t accept the fact that another restaurant in another city might do something better than they do in New York.

However to all the above reasons, all I have to say is #sorryimnotsorry.


Posted on February 28, 2012, in new york city and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m from New York and nothing is more annoying than trying to commute to my office on the subway with these morons wearing their earbuds in both ears. They never hear you say “excuse me” and “thank you” then give you a dirty look as you slide by them. They also feel it is their birthright to park themselves next to the subway doors and never move to the center of the car. They think they can pretend the rest of us do not exist just because they are listening to their music, which is often loud enough for those of us next to them to hear. I wish them all just enough tinnitus for it to be as annoying as they are.

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