Let’s start by clearing some things up: not everything you’ve heard about New York City is true. No, New Yorkers aren’t all mean people, who live in a closet-sized apartments with five roommates. And no, New York isn’t a complete concrete jungle (We actually have way more green spaces than you’d think). Now, with that out of the way, today we’re going to reinforce some NYC stereotypes that are actually true, so you’ll have a better idea of what you’re dealing with when you walk the not-so-mean streets of New York.
1. NYC is dirty.
It’s not just dirty; it also smells! Your sense of smell is the only sense worth turning off when you’re walking around NYC. Trust me, you won’t regret not smelling hot garbage and dog poo on the streets or piss and general musk in the subway stations.
2. NYC is loud.
Between the sounds of traffic, construction, sirens from ambulances, and the general buzz that occurs when 8 million people live life in one area, it’s no wonder why New Yorkers file hundreds of thousands of noise complaints each year.
3. NYC is expensive.
According to Business Insider, New York City is the seventh most expensive city in the world and the most expensive US city. It makes sense, considering the average cost of rent is $3,400, not to mention that it’s darn near impossible to find a decent cup of coffee for under $3. But you don’t have to be a baller to comfortably live here or visit. It takes a bit of research but there are a lot of things you can get in the city for cheap or even for free. Check out this guide for starters.
4. There is competition for everything.
For real. From parking spaces to apartments to jobs to subway seats, if you want something in New York, at least twenty other people want it too.
5. New Yorkers are dreamers.
You don’t come to New York just cuz. You come here because you want to make it on Broadway or you want to write a New York Times bestseller or you want to make big money. Not every dream comes true, but that doesn’t mean New Yorkers don’t keep dreaming.
6. New Yorkers are workaholics.
Combine stereotypes #3, 4, and 5 and it’ll make sense.
7. You can cry in public in New York and everyone will ignore you.
In general, New Yorkers are committed to minding our own business in public. So if you’re sobbing your heart out on the sidewalk over your lost lover or some deranged man hops onto the train and starts cursing at people, most of the time no one’s going to bat an eye. But don’t confuse this for heartlessness. If you’re in genuine need of assistance, we’re more than happy to help.
8. New Yorkers don’t make a big deal out of seeing a celebrity.
At least not to their face. There’s an unspoken rule that if you see a famous person out and about in the city, you leave them alone. At most, you’re allowed to smile or wave subtly. But that’s it.
9. We have strong opinions about food.
Food is a very serious topic in NYC. From crowning the best food spots in the city to relaying the proper way of eating pizza, New Yorkers have several opinions about food and we will fight anyone to defend them, even the mayor. Earlier this year, our mayor, Bill de Blasio, made it known that he liked his bagels toasted. In response New Yorkers grabbed their virtual pitchforks and proceeded to roast the mayor all over the internet. But don’t let this scare you too much (I like my bagels toasted too); you’ll be okay as long as you don’t eat your pizza with a knife and fork.
10. For pedestrians, crossing symbols are just suggestions.
If the coast is clear, we’re crossing the street. Even if there’s a car coming, if we think we can beat it, we’re going to cross the street. Note: Don’t emulate this, unless you are 100 percent confident in your speed walking abilities.
11. We are cagey about our borders.
You’re only allowed to claim that you’re from New York City if you live within the five boroughs. Long Island doesn’t count and certainly not the suburbs of Westchester. If you say you’re from NYC and we find out you’re actually from Ronkonkoma, best believe we will call you out on it.
12. New Yorkers aren’t phased by roaches and rats.
Seeing a rat on the subway is no big deal to us. Pointing out a roach just results in it getting unceremoniously squashed. But if you really want to freak out a New Yorker, mention bed bugs. Those blood-sucking demons are every New Yorker’s worst nightmare.
There you have it! Twelve NYC stereotypes that are actually true. Did anything on this list surprise you? Anything that you would add? Share it in the comment section. And if you like this article and want to show Shiloh in the City some love, share the word about this blog. Thanks for reading!