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8 Differences Between a NYC Native and a Transplant

New York City
by Joey Parr Jan 3, 2017

New York natives fold our pizza to eat it.

Pizza by the slice is a bit of a religion in New York and us natives fold our slice in half lengthwise to eat it. This technique makes it easier to eat and walk at the same time, not to mention it allows the grease to drip out before biting into it. Transplants and visitors are not required to do this (holding a slice flat is just fine), but there is zero excuse for using a knife and fork to eat pizza.

New York natives understand that black is a color.

Transplants to New York arrive with clothes of various colors, such as blues, greens and reds. A newcomer’s longevity can be determined by how quickly they begin swapping out colors for the many shades of black.

Transplants think going to Times Square for New Year’s Eve is fun (for their first year).

New Yorkers know that going to Times Square in general is to be avoided, but recent transplants may want to experience New Year’s Eve in the iconic way they see on television. Their first time quickly becomes their last as they realize standing around with tourists who may or may not be drinking for hours with no bathrooms for a 10 second countdown looks better on TV.

Most New York natives haven’t been to the top of the Empire State Building.

The views of Manhattan from a high rise are stunning, but New Yorkers don’t want to pay a hefty entrance fee to see a panorama that can be seen out of many of our skyscrapers where we work, live and play. Besides, photos of the Manhattan skyline are more iconic when the Empire State building is part of the picture.

Native New Yorkers can recognize each borough’s accent.

New York’s five boroughs have different accents and a native can tell if you grew up in Queens or Brooklyn, just by how you talk. Newbies? Well, fuhgedaboudit.

Natives know the many meanings of the phrase “excuse me.”

Most visitors and transplants to New York think saying “excuse me” is a polite thing to do. A New York native will tell you that is true, but it can also be rude, pushy, sarcastic and, frankly, offensive. It’s all about the tone and attitude. If you want to test this theory, stand in front of opening subway doors. You’ll experience the difference immediately.

New York natives don’t wait in lines.

Native New Yorkers will not stand on line (or in line for that matter) for a drink or restaurant. There is always another place to try. There are a few exceptions, such as Shakespeare in the Park or morning caffeine.

Native New Yorkers don’t wait on the curb to cross the street.

A native New Yorker, and honestly anyone who has lived in New York for more than a week, will not wait for a walk signals to cross the street. Instead, we are off the sidewalk, in the street, waiting for a car to pass.

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