I am not a real New Yorker. And I'm ok with that. And if I live here for 50 years (ugh, please no) and I'm still not a real New Yorker, then I'll be ok with that, too.
I never aspired to live in New York. When Evan told me there was a chance he'd work in New York one day, I said, "That's fine!" because 1) I was madly in love with him and at the time I thought I could live anywhere as long as I could be with him and 2) I didn't really believe that we would actually live here. Not that Evan couldn't get a job here, just that we'd find a better job in a more awesome (and suburban) place. So being a "real New Yorker" is not something I really care to be. In fact, I kind of like being very un-New Yorker.
So what makes a real New Yorker? Here's a list I found on gothamist:
1) You've seen Woody Allen. [Note: or substitute whatever celebrity you see around your neighborhood.]
First off, maybe I don't count because I live in Brooklyn. Maybe I could never be a real New Yorker because I don't live in the city. Still, Brooklyn is "New York" enough for me. Secondly, there are no celebrities in my neighborhood. Unless you count the stars of the reality show based in Bay Ridge (eye roll). I don't. The only celebrity I've seen here is Natalie Portman. I totally stared at her as she walked toward me. Rookie.
2) You've stolen a cab from someone who needs it more than you do.
I've never been in a cab. Cabs are expensive. There are virtually no cabs in Brooklyn. And if you are in the city and you need a cab to Brooklyn, they won't take you even though by law they are supposed to. I once saw a guy hail a cab in the city and the driver wouldn't let him in until he told him where he needed to go. He locked the doors and everything! My plan to trick a cabbie into taking me to Brooklyn (if I ever needed it) was going to be to get in the cab first and then tell him where I needed to go. Those cabbies are smart.
3) You've cried on the subway and not cared what anyone thinks.
I have cried on the subway. But it was on a Sunday morning with very few people around, so I don't know if that counts.
4) You've killed a cockroach with your bare hands.
I've killed my share of cockroaches while living here. Not with my bare hands, though. I would die if I had to kill one with my bare hands. The only scenario where I can imagine myself actually touching one of those foul creatures with my hands would be if it was on or near my child. Any scenario other than that, and I've got a plan (strategically placed cans of Raid and always wearing something on my feet).
5) You don't pronounce Houston Street like the city in Texas.
I only know that it's pronounced "House-ton" not "Hues-ton" because Evan told me.
6) When you know better than to enter an empty subway car.
I used to get so excited when I saw empty subway cars. And then I got stuck on a few with a less than clean person and I quickly realized why people were avoiding them.
7) When you know how to walk around tourists.
I will say that living here has helped me develop the ability to ignore everyone else around me and focus on getting to where I need to be. Go with the flow. Just go with the flow.
8) You can nap on the subway and play it cool when a rat scurries across your face.
If you hate rats (Lindsay) don't watch the video. Small rodents don't gross me out nearly as much as roaches do. I don't want either in my home, but I am far less likely to be reduced to tears if I see a mouse. That being said, I don't care how long you've lived anywhere, if a rat crawls up your leg and makes it to your face, you better freak out. That's disgusting. And if you're ok with that then you might need to seek professional help.
9) You don't even notice the pee smell in the subway system anymore.
I still notice it.
So I'm not a real New Yorker. That's ok. Sometimes I even try to be extra courteous so as to teach real New Yorkers, "See, this is how people are in the rest of the United States."