Official New Yorker

I hastily moved to New York in January 2007, upon accepting a job that required me to start six days after the interview. Though most people say it takes ten years to become an official New Yorker, there are a few reasons I think I may prematurely qualify…

I actually prefer NYC tap water.

I can tell the difference between a cockroach carcass, dog poop, and petrified gum on the sidewalk from a block away.

I know to never get on an empty subway car when all of the surrounding cars are packed. It’s empty for a reason.

When traveling, I can estimate the weight of my luggage based on my standard 20-pound laundry loads.

I found a cat in a workshop in Brooklyn and adopted/stole/rescued it.

I know, when avoidable, to never walk on the south side of 14th street between Broadway and University.

On two completely separate yet equally disturbing occasions, I’ve seen men pleasuring themselves in pay phone booths. Only once was the actual phone involved.

I can name at least three non-Starbucks, no-code-required public restrooms within a three block radius of any worthwhile shopping.

I calculate my travel time based on my walking speed of approximately a block per minute (including delay time for slow pedestrians, distracted texters, and crosswalk signals).

I can wear all black every day for a month without ever repeating an outfit.

I can’t recall my “best celebrity sighting” because they’re all equally forgettable at this point. Sorry, Eli Manning, Morgan Freeman, Cameron Diaz, Joshua Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Casey Affleck, Kurt Russell, David Duchovny, and Katy Perry.

I know dollar pizza counts as a meal.

I’ve had the NYPD in my apartment on more than one occasion.

Who knows how much longer I’ll be here, but I hope, wherever I go, people know I’m a New Yorker.

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