How To Be A New Yorker The Right Way
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Politics and Activism

How To Be A New Yorker The Right Way

Saying thank you isn't that bad.

How To Be A New Yorker The Right Way

If you’ve ever lived in New York for any period of time or even just visited, you’ve probably noticed that New Yorkers can pretty much be the worst. I know I shouldn't make a blanket statement like that and I have met some nice New Yorkers, but they are the exception, not the rule. New Yorkers can be abrasive and blunt, pushy and confrontational, and just not very friendly. I know they see these things as good qualities -- they know what they want and they get it, but really, saying thank you isn’t that hard.

So when I first moved to New York (and not just anywhere in New York, I might add, freaking midtown Manhattan) from Pittsburgh, I experienced quite the culture shock to say the least. I had to not only learn how to maneuver the streets, but the people as well. I’ve been in the city a little over a year and I think I have adjusted well. I like to jokingly call myself a New Yorker, but I know anyone actually from New York would laugh in my face. I think that I have picked up all the good traits from New Yorkers while still keeping my small town charm.

I have learned that the only acceptable pace to walk on the street is fast. There is no leisurely strolling and taking in the view, everyone has somewhere to be so let’s just get there and be done with it. From this has stemmed an irrational dislike of tourists. They walk slowly, take up the whole sidewalk taking pictures in front of the Empire State Building, and don’t know where they’re going. But as annoying as they are and as much as I try to weave around them with that signature New York weave, if they stopped me for directions or to take a picture for them, I always would help. I know what it’s like to be lost or be excited by something touristy, so I indulge them in the least New York fashion.

Similar to the fast pace of the streets, I have learned the no nonsense attitude that comes with living in the city. There’s no messing around, if you want something ask for it, if you need something go out and get it. But this no nonsense attitude does not mean all manners and civility should be thrown out the window. When I go to my favorite coffee shop or Duane Reade, I always order and check out with a smile and a please and thank you. Or when I’m running to the subway and see someone with a stroller struggling to get down the stairs I always offer to help. We’re all in a rush, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop and make someone’s day a little easier, because isn’t that what we all want?

I don’t blame New Yorkers, they have lived here for a long time and this city definitely has a way of hardening you. But all of those small quirks that so clearly make me an out of towner are things I definitely plan on holding on to. Because as great as it feels to think of and call myself a New Yorker, I will always first and foremost be a small town girl from Pittsburgh.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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