Regardless whether because of movies, comic books, games or history, many people all over the world are infatuated with New York and proclaim that they would “die to live there”. Of course, these people love the city from a distance. As opposed to the actual natives or residents of New York who naturally have a more accurate (though subjective) perspective, devoid of all the warping and inevitable misinformation that appear in the media about the city.
In the interest of shedding a bit of light on the complicated love-hate relationship that a New Yorker has with his/her town, some New York native thoughts were graciously collected below. Enjoy.
When talking about New York, residents don’t call it “The Big Apple” (are you from the 80s or the Roaring Twenties or something?). Nor necessarily NYC or New York. They just call it “The City”.
2. Tourist attractions
Are exactly that. If you ask a New Yorker if they would like to go with you to The Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty, they’ll probably politely ask you if you’d not rather sit together and stare at a wall, because it holds more interest for them.
3. The cab drivers
Now here’s one thing that was not exaggerated enough in the movies. Yes, most of them are profiteering, self-serving swindlers who will pounce at any star-struck out-of-towner they see. Be informed. Know exactly where you want to go and how to get there. And keep your eyes open for any and all signs that they might be trying to screw you, while in their car.
4. The noise
What noise? You call this loud? This is just the soothing background lullaby of frustrated honking drivers, blaring ambulance horns and care-free swearing. Some cities have the murmur of rivers in a forest, this city has its particular brand of virility. Deal with it.
Is the only way to go if you actually want to get to places in time. A constant mode of operation for any normal resident. Just watch out for the big metal thingies with wheels, hurling your way, as the drivers are also in a hurry to get to places…
6. Not for amateurs
Welcome to the Major League of Partying. Don’t be afraid. All these rowdy, boisterous and energy-filled people you see around you in the bar/club do transform into their regular job holding selves in the morning. But until then, they will just enjoy the night. And that means until 4am, because that’s when the joints usually close.
7. From here to there
The size of the city is daunting for a newcomer. And you’ll probably wonder how the hell you’re supposed to know how to find your way. But no need to review your advanced geometry lessons to try and plot a course. The layout of the whole city (with a few exceptions) is based on a simple grid, consisting of avenues and streets (the former longer, the latter shorter).
8. No escape
Aaaaah, the smell of Bohemianism and vivacity! And… piss. Which you’ll encounter ubiquitously and will have to brave. In such a big city, it’s only “natural” that some of your lovely peers will think it’s a good idea to relieve themselves wherever they want, and damn your puritanical and absurd conceptions of social etiquette!
9. Thank God, for you, sir!
Despite the earlier entry on the list with the negative comments, there will be times when you will exclaim the above sentence upon gratefully inserting yourself into a cab. Because sometimes you just won’t be able to find one. Especially if it’s raining or in the rush hours. Still, gratitude should last you at most 3 seconds until you switch back to alert-mode.
10. A house in the Hamptons
This expression has been drilled into you countless times before, through various media, creating an association in your mind of wealth and power for whoever owns said house in the Hamptons. Which is most probably correct, as properties in the Hamptons are some of the most expensive residential ones in the U.S. and the prices of goods and services overall are higher than in New York. However, that doesn’t mean that the Hamptons are a stones-throw away and you can just hop into something and gaze at the mighty (that would defeat the purpose now, wouldn’t it?). No, they’re actually pretty darn far away. Because if they want to come to the city they’ll probably commute via… helicopter or jet-pack or some earth-burrowing cutting edge hot-rod that you’ve never heard of and costs more than your next 20 years salaries.