New York City! The Big Apple! The city that never sleeps! New York City has always been one of my favorite cities in the world! The first time I stepped foot in the Big Apple was New Years of 2000, the millennium. Since then I had fallen madly in love with Manhattan. I couldn’t wait to move there one day and become a Broadway Star or work in the Fashion Industry there.
After many years of traveling back and forth to NYC and dreaming of the day I will live there, I finally made my dream come true in 2008. I had gone through a bad breakup on my birthday, Aug.12 and decided the next day that when one dream falls apart, you mustn’t waste time and simply step right into your next dream.
So I had decided the next day on Aug.13, to find a fashion school (FIT) and move to NYC! I only had a week and a half, before school starts, Aug.25! Yup, I made the public announcement to my parents who thought I was out of my mind at first but was already used to my spontaneous ways and agreed to pay for my schooling and a one way ticket.
Living in Manhattan at first might be overwhelming, but after a while you learn things along the way. You can definitely tell who is a tourist and who is a true New Yorker by these simple things…
16 Ways to Spot a New Yorker vs Tourist. 😉
They never wait for the light to turn green to cross the street- I’ll never forget my friend Marina asking me “What are you waiting for, go!” I was like “wait! The light hasn’t changed” and she said “Sooo…If you wanna be a New Yorker, you cant stand at a red light.” Since that day I realized how true it is, real New Yorker’s never stand at a red light. They are too busy in their world to wait for anything because it seems like a waste of time for them. Now when I go visit New York and I see those people standing at the red light, I’m all like…tourist 😉
They aren’t over dressed in layers- NYC is known for its freezing below degrees weather and people that aren’t used to it, will pack up their entire winter collection for only 3 days in the city. Real New Yorkers are so used to it by now. When I first moved to the city, I was that girl that wore 2 pairs of pants on top of each other, 2 pairs of socks, boots, 3 layers on top, gloves, hat and a jacket! But after a while you just realize how ridiculous that is, everywhere you go is heated indoors and it gets tiring wearing all those layers and taking them off when you get in. After a while of being in the cold your body just gets used to it. Slowly you will wear less and less layers until you’re at a point where you aren’t even in need of your gloves. Although they might still be hiding somewhere in your purse. 😉
They stay away from tourist areas like Time Square- When I first moved to NYC, I thought living in Time Square is like living on top of the Eiffel Tower! I really thought that nothing screams out more NYC than living in Time Square, so I rented an a apartment right in Time Square! 47th St and Broadway! If you went up on my roof top you would have the perfect view of Time Square.
But after a while with all the crowds always there, you realize it’s not the best area to live in. On top of that there is no real clubs, bars or nice restaurants like, there is at other sides of the city. Everything except for Time Square closes early, all you’re left with to eat is food from the Delis, which in my opinion is gross. Real New Yorkers wants nothing to do with that area or any areas crowded with tourist, which is why there probably isn’t much to do there.
They know all the coolest bars in the middle of no where- One of my favorite things about NYC is unlike LA or other cities I lived in or visited, where there is only very few “Hot Spots”, is that there is so many cool bars and clubs all over the city hidden away, just waiting for you to explore them. There is thousands and thousands amazing little spots all over the city. From the looks of it on the outside, you would never expect what you’re about to walk into. Sometimes you walk into a place and its Drag Queen karaoke night other times it’s all of Manhattan’s Elite Socialite. Real New Yorkers know over 50 cool bars or clubs at all parts of the city hidden away, that a normal tourist would never even knew they exist.
They walk in the middle of the street- when streets get crowded. haha this is probably my favorite thing, but its true once again New Yorkers dont have time for people to get “out of the way”! So they take the shortcut and just walk in the middle of the streets, to avoid the crowds.
They already have a metro card for the subway- on top of it they have almost all the cities subway system memorized to the T and never get lost. People that aren’t familiar with the city tend to get on the wrong trains all the time or just avoid going on them just so they won’t get lost.
I remember once I went with 2 friends to NYC as everyone argued that they knew where they were going and getting off, the moment we walked out of the subway my friend says “Oh Shit!” I was like “WHAT?” it only took me seconds to realize that we are in the middle of nowhere overlooking a huge cemetery at night! Or a time with my parents where we got off at the wrong spot and got lost in some ghetto neighborhood. It only took me a couple of days to figure out the main subways I needed to get around the city. Once you have those memorized, they are stuck with you for life.
They are power walking- I’m sure many do know this, but New Yorker’s are always power walking somewhere. I always found this to be funny when I first moved to the city. I would just wake up and go out of the house, not really sure where I was going to yet and the moment I stepped foot on the street, I would see people power walking in such speed, that was way too much to handle so early in the morning. After a while you kinda get used to it and you start doing it yourself. Otherwise you’ll get run over by the people in the streets haha. I got so used to it, that I still do it till this day and people ask me why I walk so fast “Its because I used to be a New Yorker.” I say! It’s actually fun and if your already walking you might as well get some exercise through it.
Picnic at Central Park- Activities only real New Yorker’s actually do! Well there is no beaches near by, so they take their blankets and lunch to the park.
When they walk into Starbucks, the staff already know how they like their coffee- Known for their mentality of work hard, play harder, New Yorker’s need something to keep them energized through the day! Therefore, Starbucks is their best friend and better than that, they walk in and their drinks is already being made for them and the rest of their employees. Probably due to them coming in there a few times a day 😉
They hate Time Square and think its overrated- Real New Yorker’s just dont get what the big deal is about this place. Most of them haven’t been there in months, which caught me by surprise so many times. I will always think it’s WOW and can never get enough of all those flashing lights.
They know how to spot an empty cab and can stop it right away- Oh how many minutes of my life did I waste before understand the taxi system. Right above the cab, there is a number which is the taxi number, if it lights up where it says “off duty” it means they aren’t working, there is another light next to it that symbolizes that the cab is free and waiting to get stopped. Before knowing this, I would get so mad and frustrated wondering why no one is stopping for me, that is until I figured out the trick! Most tourist dont know this and will also waste so much time on understand this. But now you know 😉
They don’t own a car- owning a car in NYC is a waste of time and money. There is never a place to park and if you park at a parking garage it can cost you between $25-$45 a day! They love to walk, take the subway or taxi it everywhere they go.
The ladies buy their own drinks- when they go out! What?! I know, odd! At least for a girl growing up in LA where all you really need money for is for valet because you know your covered the whole night, NOT in NYC! Real New Yorker girls love being independent and that includes buying their own drinks. Guys there are also different and think because they bought you a drink your coming home with them. ewwww no thanks.
They never get lost- no matter where they are, they know how to get back to where they need to. They have the streets and areas memorized completely. Unlike tourist who would panic at the thought of getting lost in the big crazy city.
They wear flats and bring high heels in their purse- a trick I learned from my girls there. All the “smart” girls have an extra pair of shoes hidden in there purse, where they tend to change it through out the day, going to a club? no problem, walking with the flats and a block away slip into their high heels, same goes for work!
They almost never eat at the same place twice- I was once told by my teacher at FIT that if you went to a different restaurant for each meal of the day in NYC, it would take you over 75+ to eat at all the restaurants. Therefore, real New Yorker’s really dine at a different place every night! There is soooo many amazing restaurants all over, that its a waste to eat at the same place twice, unless its amazing!
So there you have it! Now its up to you, be a tourist or fake being a New Yorker 😉