Some friends from college were in town and while navigating our way to my favorite crepe place, one commented on my becoming a New Yorker. I laughed and was secretly pleased with myself. But ever since then I’ve been consumed by the question what makes someone a “New Yorker”?
I’ve lived in NYC for over a year, but I still have my PA driver’s license.
I have changed my mailing address on all cards and subscription services, but I still have belongings in my bedroom back in my childhood home.
I refer to my Harlem apartment as “home,” but I also still call the house where I grew up in PA my home. (See above.)
If I go by How I Met Your Mother standards (a show that interestingly enough isn’t even filmed in NYC), I’m definitely not a real New Yorker.
I don’t think the Woody Allen wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s counts. I’ve taken three cabs while living here and each time I was the rightful customer – I’d like to think that I could never steal a cab from someone in need. I have cried on the subway and not given a damn what anyone thought, but to be fair I am a very sensitive person who is quite in touch with her water-based emotions – read as: I am a huge crybaby. Not to mention I’ve cried on public transit both in Pittsburgh and Rome, and I don’t consider myself to be citizens of either cities. So that leaves killing a cockroach with my bare hand. I couldn’t even type that sentence without shuddering. Nope. Not going to happen.
So I guess I haven’t earned my rightful spot in the HIMYM booth at the fictional Maclaren’s. Damn.
Maybe my New Yorker status is tied to my subway expertise? I’ve taken all of the subway lines, except for G. But being that I plan to only return to Brooklyn for the beaches and maybe the fantastic discount stores at the Atlantic Terminal, I doubt I will ever use the G.
Still, 21 out of 22 lines is what, 95%? (Note: I actually did the math before posting this to change my answer so I would appear not nearly as math-handicapped as I truly am, but the actual answer is .95454545 so, moral of this math sidebar is that I finally learned how to roughly estimate fractions that don’t have a denominator of a multiple of 100. So I have the math skills of a 7th grader. I suppose that’s something.) That’s pretty good. Still, that adage about learning new things every day is annoyingly true. For instance, my 95% subway experience allowed my hubris to show itself when a man came up to me for directions one day. And that’s a story for tomorrow. Come back tomorrow for part two!