This iconic street performer in Times Square is there every day attracting a line of tourists waiting to get their photo. He even ran for president back in 2010. But while visitors to the city might be struck by the sight of a man in cowboy boots, underwear and not much else, real New Yorkers walk right by without even turning their heads. And that’s if they’re even there. Because lets’s face it, real New Yorkers don’t got to Times Square.
Before heading out you check the route on Google Maps and automatically add an extra 20 minutes. This is partly because you know that the traffic is always worse than it says, but also because you need to factor in some time for a disagreement with your taxi driver who has absolutely no idea where they’re going.
Walking around New York is great, as long as the crosswalk lights go green when you want them to. But if they don’t? Well, it doesn’t matter too much. You just go ahead and cross anyway. And when you visit other cities you are shocked by the site of everyone waiting patiently for the lights to change to cross. Is no one else in a rush around here?
Pizza in the United States has a long history – the first ever pizzeria was set up in New York in 1905, by Gennaro Lombardi. Now, there’s so many styles of pizza in the USA, but when it comes to some of the country’s very best pies, New York is where it’s at and that’s why you have such strong opinions on it. Slices or the whole pie? Deep pan or thin crust? Pepperoni or olives? You could argue about it for hours.
New Yorkers are famous for having quite a conservative style of black, black and more black, and after living there for a couple of years, your wardrobe seems to have changed to a monochrome palette too. You didn’t even notice it happening. But all of a sudden, you’re dressed like everyone else on the F Train.
When friends or parents visit and request to visit either of these places, you look at themas if they’ve lost their mind. Sure, you’ve seen them both on your daily commute for years, but you’ve never actually bothered visiting either of them.
When a friend suggests going for a walk in nature, the only place you can think of is Central Park. It’s the country to New Yorkers. The huge green expanse in the centre of Manhattan Island has been your playground and escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets. But you know that boating on the lake is strictly for visitors.
When you first moved to New York, your head was turned by Robert De Niro and Sarah Jessica Parker going about their daily lives, but now, spotting a scrum of paparazzi surrounding Kim Kardashian won’t even surprise you. You’re so used to seeing celebrities that it’s just part of daily life. You eat in the same restaurants as them and shop in the same supermarket as them. It’s no big deal.
New York is HUGE, and when you visit pretty much another city, it feels more like a village. And we don’t mean the East Village. You love the sprawling mass of NYC and feel stifled anywhere else. You love the unique feeling of each neighbourhood and love that each of them makes up the unique patchwork of this city.
Drinking in New York is not cheap, that’s why you have a favourite happy hour in every neighbourhood and every corner of the city that you can always rely on. You know the best place for buy one get one free margaritas between 4pm and 8pm as well as the best sports bar for beer at half price.
You’ve heard about the troubles that happen in London when the city is struck by light snow, but you know even a heavy snow storm in New York won’t put a stop to business. There will still be street sellers, business people and service staff doing their thing.
Even though it’s expensive and dirty and busy and grimy, you take one look at that magnificent skyline and know that you live in one of the world’s best cities. Whether you view it from the East River, New Jersey, Brooklyn Bridge or the Empire State Building, there’s no denying that it’s pretty impressive.