Your Formula for When You've Become a New Yorker: Our Favorites

Monday, March 03, 2014 - 10:45 AM

It's a favorite parlor game question: When do you get to call yourself a New Yorker? After coming up with our own formula, we took to Twitter and Facebook and asked you to provide your own. Here are our favorites. Keep adding more on Facebook or in the comments below. Or, write yours out and tweet back a picture!

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Comments [26]

D. Umbridge from UES

Your standard response in most situations is, "I know, right?"

Jul. 05 2014 08:28 AM
Christy from Greenpoint

You know you are a New Yorker when You know the term 'new Yorker' is only for out of town people. You either are a Brooklynite, Manhattanite, or from Astoria. Sorry everyone else. Bonus round: you identify with your neighborhood. Aka. Someone asks you where you live, you answer 'Greenpoint' without missing a beat or prefacing 'Brooklyn'.

Mar. 09 2014 10:32 PM
Adam from Manhattan, NY

I'm one of the many "transplants" who moved here as an adult and is often the target of the vituperative commentary in online commentary re gentrification, etc. And I think that the folks who were born here and have never lived anywhere else really need to get over themselves and their trite, false sense of superiority. If you live for more than half of the year in NYC and pay income taxes here, you're a New Yorker. Period. On the other hand, if you've only lived in one place for your entire life, there's a good possibility you might be a "hick" in the true sense of the word.

Mar. 08 2014 06:36 PM
Dianna of Chelsea from Chelsea, Manhattan

You know that Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan into East and West and that on the West side, each new avenue jumps to the next “100”, so that Fifth to Sixth Ave = the 1-99 block, Sixth to Seventh the 100 block, Seventh to Eighth the 200 block as so on. If someone tells you the address is 310 West 18th street – a real New Yorker will automatically know that the address is between 8th & 9th – closer to 8th. Amazing how many cab drivers, private car drivers, etc don’t know this handy fact. Unfortunately the East side does not work that way.

Mar. 07 2014 09:30 AM
Merryl H. from Manhattan

Lived here all my life (except for college), so proud to respond: When the 59th street bridge is still the 59th street bridge, you walk and talk very fast, your morning coffee comes from Sing deli across the street, you know to look down at the sidewalk for possible foreign objects, final "r"s may not be pronounced, BMW is the acronymn for the lower Manhattan to Brooklyn bridges, and you ignore the touristy trappings that arrive sometime in late November. Oh, and you can spot a NYC bagel from a mile away.

Mar. 04 2014 04:11 PM
Steven Swartz from Brooklyn

Visited another city, felt like everyone was walking TOO @#$%^&* SLOW.

Mar. 04 2014 04:00 PM
thedave from Hell's Kitchen

(You know the route better than the cabbie) (Having coffee and the paper delivered isn't novel) -(How long you hesitate after being asked "So where are you from?")= YOU'LL STILL NEVER BE A NEW YORKER


A New Yorker

Mar. 04 2014 01:31 PM

When you were born here, went to an elementary school that started with "PS," understand what IRT means, know about living in a "two-fare" zone, know the Garment Center actually made garments, remember that Times Square was a place to avoid, that there was a ferry between Bay Ridge and Staten Island.

Mar. 04 2014 12:19 PM
Rachel from Crown Heights

When you aren't a snob about the city. I have lived in NYC since I was 3 years old (excepting a few years elsewhere for college, grad school, etc.), and I bristle every time a professed New Yorker disses another city. There are innumerable fun, fascinating, cultured, historically compelling places in the world. It comes off as provincial, not cultured, to dismiss them offhand.

Mar. 04 2014 12:17 PM
Magda Gagliardi from Monmouth Junction, NJ

Was born here and feel 'once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker' even though I moved away years ago at age 30. Still feel at home each time I commute in to enjoy cultural events or wonderful cuisine.

Mar. 04 2014 12:12 PM
Swede from Astoria via Wash. Hts. via Da Bronx

1) Have to be born here. Anytime - even post 9/11, we welcome you.


Came to NY pre-9/11 and lived here 15 years. you've seen some sh*t in your time...


Came after 9/11- You won't be a NYer until at least 2020(arbitrary date assuming hyper-gentrification ends, demographics shift, crime returns and hipsters, trust fund weasels, etc go infect some other geography.)

You came when the city was 'the thing' because of that Sex in the City show and Giuliani and Bloomberg cleaning up everything. To use a term they used during Viet Nam - you, respectfully, are a REMF. You don't have the stare.

Being a true New Yorker is not about counting your real estate dollars, it's about surviving, it's about facing the monster and breaking even.

It's about being proud to live in the greatest city in the world, it's not about having a Starbucks and Duane Reade and BoA on every corner.

Mar. 04 2014 11:46 AM

Ticketed for crying in the USqPark(closed for seeding)/ took time off of work to fight the $50 ticket/ Judge sides with Park Services/Know at least 4 coffee cart owners by name/They remember you when you return 8 years after you left the job office their cart was in front of/Know where to stand on the platform of at least 5 subway lines in 3 boroughs/have witnessed homeless rate fall and rise on said platforms/have Brian Lehrer show phone # programmed into phone/have made it on the air at least 3x/have had at least 3 bicycles stolen/hit by taxi while on bike 2x/continue to ride/dislike rain & snow only bc it means taking the subway at rush hour/can recommend a cobbler or tailor in 4 neighborhoods/

Mar. 04 2014 09:28 AM
Daniel Nieciecki from New York, NY

Ah yes, the perennial "Who is a real New Yorker?" debate, as if there is some magical cachet or special status that goes with that claim.

If your primary residence - the place where you spend more than 50% of your time, the place where you are registered to vote and pay income taxes - is located within one of the five boroughs of New York City, then you are a New Yorker. It's really that simple.

Being a "New Yorker" is not a culture, not an ethnicity, not a tradition, not a heritage. It is a geographical and political description.

Mar. 04 2014 09:28 AM
Ann from Once a New Yorker, Always a New Yorker

You cross the street. Period.

Huh? A taxi cab driver barrelling past you and honking his horn narrowly misses your toes. "Hey lady," not that you're looking (or that you care), "you don't have the light." Expletives deleted.

Oh please.

Mar. 04 2014 09:04 AM

It's when you consider yourself a real New Yorker, believe it, and stop putting it in other people's face.

Because nobody cares. Your crying-in-the-street cred only means something to you.

Mar. 04 2014 08:07 AM

'Real' New Yorkers were born and raised, or raised from a very early age, in New York. Other than that you are a transplant. Or whatever word you want to use to describe yourself. There's no cute formula. The use of formulas identify you as a transplant. Even if you have lived here 20 years or more, you are still a product of your initial environment and you should consider showing some respect to your own origins, and to the origins of New Yorkers. I'm a transplant who has lived here about 20 years and even though I was raised by New Yorkers, I know that I'm not a 'real' New Yorker. I mean, come on. Identity is not something that you just put on because it suits you. It's not a mask or a costume. Stop deluding yourself.

Mar. 04 2014 07:45 AM
NameCheck from NYC

If you're born and raised here, and have stayed, then you know that people that weren't born and raised here always find that interesting. That sets the true NYers apart from the new ones. Being born here, growing up here, and then as an adult deciding to stay here is something newcomers to the city have never experienced. Non-New Yorkers find this interesting because they did not do what I (and many others) have done: stay with their roots by not moving away from home/family/hardship. [To be fair, in many cases not by choice.] To the "new" New Yorkers this is a strange idea. [I realize that through the centuries some people were brought here against their will, or through hardships I could never imagine. Yet this is 2014, and I get treated differently by every single non-native New Yorker I've ever met in an initial conversation, even for 1/2 a second. And that makes us "more true" NYers than those that moved here later in life.]

Mar. 03 2014 11:50 PM
NameCheck from Washington Heights

I think the thing that says it all is when I tell people I was born here. They pause, respect it, and ask questions. I know we're a city of immigrants, and have been since the inception, but the reality is if you're born and raised in NYC, and still live here, outsiders treat you differently. Even if they feel they are NYers.

I think we, who were born here, have something that others never had the chance, desire, or will to preserve: loyalty to where one grew up. I know that's kind of screwed up, and know that many came here over the centuries against their will, etc. But people treat you differently if you're born here (and decide as an adult to stay here) and that kind of says it all, because none of those people stayed where they came from.

Mar. 03 2014 11:38 PM

Being born here has NOTHING to do with being a real New Yorker. It's not a birthright; it's earned.

That's because New Yorkers are born all over the world.

Mar. 03 2014 08:55 PM
Brenda from Bronx and Queens

Know that "bridge and tunnel" residents from outside Manhattan are the real New Yorkers, especially if they were born here.

Mar. 03 2014 06:31 PM
Brenda from Bronx and Queens

Know that "bridge and tunnel" residents from outside Manhattan are the real New Yorkers, especially if they were born here.

Mar. 03 2014 06:29 PM
HipHopSays from Fort Greene

If you are born and bred here then you get to call yourself a new yorker/native otherwise you're a transplant or if you spend more than 18 years here (or the equivalent of longest residency + 1 year)....i've lived here for 12 years and I am just starting to think of myself as someone who lives in new york.

Mar. 03 2014 02:44 PM

When you're invested enough in your neighborhood to notice gentrification.

Mar. 03 2014 01:51 PM
Kelly from UWS

I realized I was a New Yorker when I got too old/uncool for Brooklyn.

Mar. 03 2014 01:47 PM
ella from Brooklyn, NY

When you can navigate the West Village without a map.

Mar. 03 2014 01:37 PM
art525 from Park Slope

You're a real New Yorker when you don't give a thought as to whether you're a real New Yorker.

Mar. 03 2014 12:22 PM

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