16 Things You Need To Master To Become A New Yorker


1. Don’t make yourself a stranger to the rambling greens of Sheep’s Meadow, of the Nethermead, of Inwood Hill.

2. Don’t get too pissed when your high heels sink into ill-maintained grass.

3. Either invest the hell out of becoming the kind of woman who can walk everywhere in four-inch stilettos (you know who you are). Or decide, without need for any sort of public declaration, that you couldn’t give any less of a fuck about four-inch stilettos. Wear flats.

4. Take all of the unique culinary opportunities to you. From traditional Cordon-trained chefs to international fusion, some of the finest restaurants in the world are here.

5. Accept that spending your money on a night at Ushimakawaru or wd-50 is not a viable option because you actually need to eat the other 30 days of the month too, and that you will only be able to eat at such restaurants if a significantly older wealthy man asks you to dinner.

6. Manipulate your moral compass enough to allow for these kind of “experiences.”

7. Never move to Murray Hill.

8. Take an entire day to support the artistic endeavors your friends labor over and not-so-subtly bombard you with notices for on Facebook – go to the tiny gallery show on Elizabeth Street, the staged reading in a basement in Astoria, the zombie punk show where you run an eight out of ten chance of emerging onto the streets of Bushwick covered in glitter, beer, and fake blood.

9. Do this every single day.

10. Find a Columbia student to sell you amphetamines – that Teen Witch-themed midnight burlesque show isn’t going to see itself.

11. Feel your defenses build, so much that you feel nothing upon regarding the pantsless flute player who has preceded her pleas for money with “it’s my birthday” every time you’ve seen her.

12. But also remember what it’s like to leave your heart unguarded for a moment so it can be swept away; by the reds in the thirty-foot Chagalls at Lincoln Center, or an exceedingly good plate of dollar dumplings eaten in Columbus Park in the dead of winter.

13. Do not give a single damn about Donald Trump.

14. Sing with people in groups as often as possible. Perhaps look into a career as a Broadway chorus member, or a waiter at a piano bar (not necessarily mutually exclusive.)

15. Swipe your subway card as you walk through the turnstile in one fluid, elegant gesture, perhaps even while holding coffee and your breakfast. Do not feel too smug when you can do this and tourists cannot.

16. Watch the sun rise over the city as pull into Jamaica Bay, care of the red-eye you took from someplace else that might have some of the virtues of New York, and cheaper drinks, but certainly lacks 24-hour pharmacies where the sweet teenagers behind the counter will not judge you for buying nail polish and a bag of Tostitos at 2AM.

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image – Leo-setä