How to Spot a New Yorker

Because there just weren’t enough Buzzfeed articles about it, and we guarantee that this post will someday save your life, here is a Harvard Student’s Guide to Spotting a True New Yorker.

First, in order to identify a true New Yorker, one must define a true New Yorker. A true New Yorker lives in New York City—no, not suburban Westchester or Long Island—and Buffalo, who are you kidding? Sure, technically “New Yorker” refers to anybody from New York State, but let’s be real—nobody pictures the spacious valleys of Ithaca when thinking of New York. You may think you’ve got us New Yorkers figured out, but there’s more to us than just rudeness and impatience (although that’s a pretty big part). Here are six classic cases.

1.  The Confused Pedestrian Who Doesn’t Know How to Respond to Nice People.

We’ll probably look at you with a dumb look on our face if you’re a stranger that just wanted to wish us a good morning. Do we wave back? Do we pretend not to notice? Do we run away? We will have this same dumbfounded look when a car stops to let us cross. New York drivers stop for no one—they’ve been known to treat a traffic light as more of a suggestion than a law. Don’t be surprised when we don’t know how to respond to kindness—we don’t get a lot of that back home.

2. The Speed Walker.

New Yorkers are born crawling at a rate of five miles per hour, so you best get out of their way. If you happen to accidentally stop walking in front of a New Yorker (bless your soul), don’t be offended by the foot tapping, the rolling eyes, and the glares. It could be worse—it takes all of our energy not to tackle you then and there. Just move it along, we’ve got things to do.

3.  The Crowd Weaver.

New Yorkers are always on a mission, and weaving through the death trap of Times Square and the 2 train during rush hour has taught us to master crowds with the utmost efficiency—we can probably do it blindfolded with a cup of coffee in hand. We know the crowd. We feel the crowd. We own the crowd.

4.  The One Who Refuses to Believe Cambridge is a City.

You think this quaint town of just over 100,000 inhabitants is a city? That’s cute.

5.  The New Jersey Hater.

The armpit of New York has a habit of trying to compare itself to the greatest city in the world. Sure, New Jersey may have its moments, but the home of Snooki is really barking up the wrong tree. Also, no matter how many times a Jerseyan has crossed the border, as long as you’re not going home to one of the five boroughs, you’re not a New Yorker. (You guys can have Staten Island back, though.)

6.  The Proud New Yorker.

Within seconds of meeting us, we will make sure you know that we’re from New York (New York City). We’ll give you a second to soak in our glory. We’ll then go on our usual spiel complaining about how smelly the subway system is and how there are too many people; but don’t you dare join in our complaints.  We’ll casually talk about our morning runs on the Brooklyn Bridge and shopping in SoHo. We’ll bring up the time we saw Neil Patrick Harris at Starbucks and Jake Gyllenhaal on the 6 train like it’s no big deal. The Knicks, Giants, and Yankees are the best teams (but we’ve learned to keep quiet about the last one in Boston). New Yorkers think we're the greatest, because we are.

If you see anybody acting in any of the ways outlined above, you’ve got yourself a true New Yorker—so be sure to get out of their way and be sure to ask them about The City. We love it.

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