1. When somebody references “the city”, you immediately assume they are talking about Manhattan.
If you lived in Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn, or the forgotten borough, Staten Island (jk, lolz), you never labeled it as the city. Your Westchester friends would always mind fuck you by saying they are visiting their relatives in “the city”, when it reality, they were just going to Queens.
2. You used public transportation by yourself as a kid/tween.
Hopping on the train or bus when you were 13 or 14 was really no big deal. I mean, how else were you supposed to get around? Your parents? Laughable. However, when an older sibling did get a car, it was a huge deal.
3. You walk really fast for no reason.
Maybe it’s been embedded in my mind to dodge tourists, but I find myself always walking fast for no apparent reason. I wasn’t even raised in Manhattan (Bronx, holler.), and yet I still huff and puff down the street like a family of four stopped in front of me to take a picture of The Empire State Building.
4. Speaking of, landmarks are NBD.
The Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty. All landmarks that belong to your city, yet MAYBE you visited them when you were 6 years old.
5. Regents Exams.
Need I say more?
6. There is no such thing as “weird.”
You’ve seen it all. From a man on the 6 train who preaches about the devil at 7AM, to someone rocking shorts in 30 degree weather. Nothing phases you anymore, and you’ve mastered the perfect “no-eye-contact” walk through Penn Station.
7. Your classmates were from a variety of backgrounds.
You had friends who were Muslim, Asian, Black, Jewish – you name it. There was always racial diversity, and everyone got along. It wasn’t until that out-of-state college, or even the work place, that you experienced a cultural divide.
8. You know what a real Italian Ice is.
No packaged “Marino’s” brand. These babies were stored in the heavens of freezers outside of pizzerias. Cherry, lemon, and rainbow. You know the deal.
9. You had a stoop.
Or your parents had a stoop, and always told you about the “good ol’ days” spent hanging out on them. Also, none of their neighbors locked their doors because everyone looked out for one another.
10. You remember exactly what you were doing on 9/11.
This may not just apply to New Yorkers, but you remember the exact moment your principal came on the intercom to announce what had just occurred like it was yesterday. Your school might have been evacuated, or even shook from the blast, and you’ll never forget it. Maybe you were a bit older, already at a 9-5 job, and had to worry about getting home. Regardless, it was the day New Yorkers came together as one, and for that, you love your city even more.