Oh, so you've heard of the famous New York warmth and friendliness, have you? And about how it is all inclusive, accepting of every lifestyle and behavior, and basically a hipster paradise? Rest assured, there are buttons every New Yorker has, which, upon pushing, shall unleash upon you a liberal and fearsome wrath.
It is not actively recommended you troll innocent New Yorkers with the following habits. But, hypothetically speaking, imagine someone did have a bucket list to complete that included getting a Manhattanite's goat, they would find the list of things not to do in New York City below very handy. They would also likely need to know some self-defense.
1. Introduce yourself as a New Yorker when you're actually from New Jersey
Or Westchester or Connecticut or Rhode Island they're not fussy about where you're really from. Never, ever attempt to appropriate an NYC identity if you're not actually living and working there. If they find out, your social cred will plunge to somewhere between a chewing gum stuck on to a subway seat and the bed bugs that plague half the island. Your NYC stripes have to be earned over time. Until at least two years have passed, you're just a tourist on an extended staycation.
2. Talk About How Awesome Times Square Is
A little insider not-so-secret. There are few areas New Yorkers hate more in Manhattan than Times Square. It clogs traffic, draws the strangest people (and we're not even talking about the Naked Cowboy and nudie American Flag ladies), and is a giant ugly blob of mismatched colors in a city that otherwise aspires to be hipster and classy.
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3. Pause To admire Trump Tower
It's best to pretend there's a giant gaping black hole where Trump Tower is. Be caught looking up its gaudy heights, and you can be sure you've got at least twenty contemptuous eyes on you, judging away at everything from your ill-judged purchase of a Statue of Liberty key-chain to the way you even breathe.
4. Get Your Subway Etiquette Wrong
Notice that prickling feeling on your neck? It's the stares of twenty New Yorkers during rush hour boring a hole into the back of your neck as you clumsily try to figure out the correct way to swipe your MetroCard. Oh, you're through? Unfortunately, you're from a country where unless you're in before others are out, you're going to get left behind. Which is why you're slowly backing away from the tiny specimen of a human being with hate-filled eyes as you remember: always let people exit the subway car first. And will you for goodness sake take off your bag and put it between your legs? And stop making eye contact!
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5. Compare Your Acquaintance's Bagel Shop To Another Once
This one is practically sacrilege. If someone likes you enough to invite you to their personal favourite bagel shop, for heaven's sake, do not under ANY circumstances compare it to any other bagel shop you've been to. You have to realise - this is intimate! They have brought you somewhere special! This is as delicate a situation as seeing a new mother hold up what looks like a wrinkly old monkey. There is only one ethically correct move here - declare you will never eat anywhere else ever again.
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6. Confuse New York State for New York City
Of all the offenses on this list, this one is likely the least dangerous for you, only because everyone's too busy either rolling their eyes or laughing at you. It really is kind of astounding how many people don't realise that NY is the state and NYC is the city. There has literally been a whole extra 'C' staring at you in the face for your entire life. It's not there for some depressing shorthand way of saying 'Nice', okay? NYC is inside NY. See? What I did there? Metaaa...
7. Act Like You Know NYC When You've Lived There For Less Than A Year
If you're only ever in love with NYC, then you know nothing. You're still in the honeymoon phase, when everything is bright and cheery and upbeat. It's not until the day you have to move apartments because bedbugs, or get snapchatted anonymously while you're doing something embarrassing, or realize you owe more in back-rent than your next paycheck that you can really call NYC your home. True New Yorkers have a love-hate relationship with the city.
So, now that you're a little wiser about where you stand in the city, hopefully your adventure will be a little less fraught with a gross lack of etiquette. On the other hand, have you seen how hilarious YouTube videos of New Yorkers flipping out are? It wouldn't be a crime to add to that library.