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How to tell if you’re a New Yorker

April 27, 2004
How to tell if you’re a New Yorker

I just got this in email from a co-worker — it’s dead-on.

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You’re 35 years old and don’t have a driver’s license.

You ride in a subway car with no air conditioning just because there are seats available. You and the other three passengers look at each other and know you have pure grit.

You take the train home and you know exactly where on the platform the doors will open that will leave you right in front of the exit stairway.

You know what a “regular” coffee is.

It’s not Manhattan, it’s the “City”.

You get upset that a cabbie is obeying all the rules of the road.

You’re willing to take in strange people as roommates simply to help pay the rent.

There is no North and South. It’s “uptown” or “downtown”. If you’re really from New York, you have absolutely no concept of where North and South are….and East or West is “Cross-town”.

You cross the street anywhere but on the corners and you yell at cars for not respecting the fact.

You move 8,000 miles away, spend 10 years learning the local language and people still know you’re from Brooklyn the minute you open your mouth.

You return after 10 years and the first foods you want are a “real” pizza and “real” bagel.

A 500 square foot apartment is large.

Your co-worker commutes 45 minutes by train to a 2,000 square foot house in the suburbs that was the same price as that same 500 square foot apartment of yours that takes only 35 minutes to get to and you think he’s a sucker.

You know the differences between all the different Ray’s Pizzas.

You are not under the mistaken impression that any human being would be able to actually understand a P.A. announcement on the subway.

You know who Dr. Z is.

You have at least 50 menus in your apartment, two thirds of which you have neither ordered from nor even heard of.

You wouldn’t bother ordering pizza in any other city.

You know that off-the-shelf insecticides are just laughing gas to the superior roaches cohabitating with you in the 500 square foot apartment.

You get ready to order dinner every night and must choose from the 4 major food groups: Chinese, Italian, Mexican or Indian.

You’re not in the least bit interested in going to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Your internal clock is permanently set to know when Alternate Side of the Street parking regulations are in effect.

You know what a bodega is.

You know how to fold the New York Times in half, vertically, so that you can read it on the subway or bus without knocking off other passenger’s hats.

Someone bumps into you, and you check for your wallet.

You don’t even notice the nice lady walking down the road having a perfectly normal conversation with herself.

You pay “only” $230 a month to park your car.

You cringe at hearing people pronounce Houston St. like the City in Texas.

The presidential visit is a major traffic jam, not an honor.

Film crews on your block annoy you, not excite you. (They take up all the parking spaces!)

You can nap on the subway and never miss your stop.

The deli guy gives you a straw with any beverage you buy, even if it is beer.

You may air heartfelt gripes and complaints about your City, but heaven help any visitors who dis’ your City.

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