9 NYC Rites Of Passage


1. Accidentally Taking The Express Train. To The Bronx.

B, D, F, M. They’re all the same! Until they’re not, and you’re at Yankee Stadium. In February.

2. Eating Pizza That Costs More Than $1

It’s not something you do twice. Also, not thinking $1 pizza exists around you. It does; just follow your nose. You didn’t buy a whole pie, did you?

3. Getting Stuck In The Subway Cage And Wasting Your Fare (If You’re Using An Unlimited Pass)

I believe the scientific term is “standing turnstile”, but I prefer subway cage. Those enclosed cylindrical cages—the ones that remind me of exiting the zoo—only allow for a certain amount of turnstile to be turned at a time. If you come through from too far back, you’re SOL and out $2.50 (or 18 minutes).

4. Carrying Something That’s A Little Too Heavy A Few Too Many Blocks

Even with apps like Task Rabbit and eBay Now that do the legwork for you, I don’t want to pay even more on top of what I just did. I’m not made of money, dammit! When we first moved here, I evaluated each purchase with a “We could carry that home.” After we (okay, my boyfriend) carried our brand new rolled up rug across fifth avenue, I think he had enough. Delivery it is.

5. Scheduling (And Paying For) Delivery

“How about between 10 and 5 on Wednesday?” How about, does that line work on anybody else? Let’s think this through: I bought this couch because I moved into a new apartment because I’m new to the city because I have a new job. I don’t think it would go over well with my boss if I asked to work from home my first week to wait for my new couch. My new couch that I know didn’t cost you $100 in delivery fee logistics to bring me.

6. Catching Your First Mouse

It’s an unsettling moment to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of something munching on your food (or in our case, what turned out to be dog food). Her name was Regina. We used glue traps, peanut butter, dog food, rubber gloves and a Frosted Flakes box. I flirted with the idea of getting a cat, but the traps worked fine. I didn’t use my kitchen for two weeks.

7. Going Into Brooklyn Via A Train Different Than The L

The L is one of the safest scary places on earth; everyone gets off at Bedford and the world just makes sense. But there are so many other letters and numbers that will take you to Brooklyn, and not just Williamsburg! And the first time it happens to you, you’ll be like “Damn. There’s just so much Brooklyn out there.”

8. Selling Your Car

You just don’t need it. But before you transfer the title, you’ll become all too familiar with the street cleaning rules of each individual block surrounding your building. You’ll also fight at least three parking tickets, and possibly other humans over a space.

9. Having A “Holy Shit, I Live In New York City” Moment

Maybe it’s that view of the Empire State Building from your office. Maybe it’s the first time you hear the drum line of buckets on the Union Square train platform. Or maybe it’s that magical moment at dusk when the sun hasn’t quite set and the city lights are already aglow. Whenever it is, it suddenly hits you: “Holy shit, I live in New York City.” 

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