Wednesday, December 10, 2008

how to pass for a new yorker

in my brief visit (and gleaned from my previous week here 3 years ago), i have figured out how to pass for a new yorker. here is my incomplete list (i'll add as things occur to me):

1) don't wear bright colors. black, dark brown, navy, and an angry expression are the standards for wardrobe.

2) don't smile. it automatically gives you away as a non-new yorker. strive for a look somewhere between sullen indifference and sneering cynicism. a cigarette really helps. if you don't smoke, talk angrily into your cell phone. and loudly.

3) while waiting for the walk signal at each block, DO NOT stand on the actual sidewalk. those who are not from new york stand on the sidewalk. stand about 6 inches from the sidewalk, actually in the road else you'll just look like a noob in the big city. if cars and cabs are blocking the intersection and you have the white walk signal, weave through the cars to cross. if someone inches forward as you walk in front of them, gesture angrily OR cut them down with a freezing glare. alternately, if you're feeling bold - hit the hood of the car with the palm of your hand and use an expletive such as a$@hole.

4) do not make eye contact while walking on the street. EVER. PERIOD. there is no getting around this rule.

5) this is an addendm to rule #3: while hailing a cab : stand IN the road, raise one hand, and look really impatient. when a cab with its light on drives right past you, throw your hands up in the air to exhibit your utter exasperation with the whole of new york city cab drivers.

6) walk very fast. if you see someone coming toward you, do not - under any circumstances - deviate from your path. if this involves playing chicken with the oncoming traffic, then by god - play chicken. you're not moving out of anyone's way.

7) if a cell phone is lacking, have headphones on. this way, you won't ever be mistaken for showing ANY interest in the seething mass of humanity around you.

new york is composed of the loneliest mass of humanity i have ever seen. more to come later after my dinner in chinatown and my shopping excursion for christmas gifts.


Tayaki said...

hahaha and that is why i love being from boston. (i really wanted to add "yankees suck," but felt that may be a tad cliche.)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like eye contact = you've given me a reason (or I've adopted a reason) to pay extra attention to you, so your hackles go up. I wonder if the rules change with time of day or location.


Anonymous said...

Do you think that the lack of concern, respect, and disregard for "consider others more important than yourself" may be correlated to the masses of lonely people? Perhaps more people (including New Yorkers) should try not blending in as New Yorkers.
Mom 2