What makes you a true New Yorker?

We asked notable city dwellers to share their recommendations and advice.

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Soraya Darabi

Soraya Darabi Photograph: Elk Studios


Soraya Darabi, digital brand strategist and cofounder of Foodspotting (foodspotting.com)
“A trip to the Apollo Theater (253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. [Seventh Ave] and Frederick Douglass Blvd [Eighth Ave]; 212-531-5305, apollotheater.org) is a must for any true-blue New Yorker. A friend and I went the night Michael Jackson died, and danced with about a thousand locals to Thriller in its entirety.”

“I also suggest spending a summer afternoon walking from Jackson Heights, Queens to Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s not so hard and, in fact, my sister runs a walking tour called GoldNight (facebook.com/goldnightwalks), that she leads each summer. You begin by eating authentic samosa chaat in Jackson Heights, shop for saris and end up near Sahadi’s (187 Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Court Sts, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn; 718-624-4550, sahadis.com) for quality hummus or at the Red Hook Ball Fields (155 Bay St between Clinton and Henry Sts, Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-722-3211, nycgovparks.org) if your feet are up for it. Finish the day with a cup of fresh squeezed watermelon juice, watch kids play soccer or jump in the Red Hook pool. New York extends far past Manhattan, and I encourage friends to visit the outer boroughs as much as possible.”

“Honestly, I’ve felt like a New Yorker my whole life. My parents moved to the city in the ’60s, and I grew up listening to stories about Studio 54 and Palladium. According to my father, this city hasn’t been any fun in more than three decades. I spent junior high and school in Minnesota, and I went to college in Washington, D.C. I moved back to New York six years ago.”

“As an adult, I solidified my love for New York with short road trips to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for quality cannoli; to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (900 Washington Ave at Crown St, Crown Heights, Brooklyn; 718-623-7200, bbg.org) during its cherry blossom homage in April; to Central Park for the annual outdoor New York Philharmonic (nyphil.org) performance; to the Met Opera House (Lincoln Center Plaza at 65th St; 212-362-6000, metoperafamily.org) for the opening night of the American Ballet Theatre (abt.org); to the High Line the week it opened; and to the Columbia University Library steps any day, week or month. Those are some of my fondest, true-blue New York memories of recent years.”

“To be a New Yorker, you don’t need to be born and raised in the city; but you do have to feel like there’s no other place on earth you’d rather live.”

Users say

11 comments
nicnere
nicnere

Right. Of course, you're not going to publish that comment about fact checking the racial demographics of NYC. Great to be white and rich in NYC.

occupy TONY
occupy TONY

So, I suppose TONY now censors comments that do not agree with this offensive article. You'll just leave the one from the one profiled here to make this article palatable. That's ok, I have the screenshot of the unpublished comment. You're not the only one who has access to the internet and a blog.Welcome to Syria.

Soraya Darabi
Soraya Darabi

Hey guys, I'd like to jump in here to quickly thank the TIME OUT crew - who did an amazing job working with those who were interviewed. Lauren and their copy editing staff were professional throughout the wrangling process. Thank you to them for reaching out in the first place, for coordinating several busy schedules, and especially for taking the time to fact check. @Midwester Transplant Poster - Not that it matters (much) but I was born in Harlem and lived there until age 6, across from The Cotton Club. My father kept his NYC apartment until I was 14. He drove an NYC taxi cab - 1A57 - for over 25 years. I spent every Summer in the city until the age of 21, when I moved back permanently the day after college ended. AND, the best part of Minnesota is that locals are welcoming. I promise if you visited a friend there for a week and wanted to call yourself a Minnesotan, they'd let you.

OC
OC

I think this is an interesting list. However, as a native New Yorker, I am offended that there is not even one person of African descent on this list. This is not the first time I have experienced feeling excluded from Time Out. The selections you make are repeatedly geared towards white, middle and upper middle class New Yorkers(many of which are not "native New Yorkers". I suggest that Time Out reconsiders the demographic of New York City. It's a majority minority city. However, when people come to your website, they would think it is a predominately white city. It's not and it would be greatly appreciated if you represented and also catered to the tastes of NY's diverse population.

JOR
JOR

@ Peter even if Lauren gets fired, she'll just land another "journalistic writing " gig at either The Awl, Village Voice, or GothamShit -- blogs/publications about NYC written by non-new yorkers. Good to be white and beautiful in the insular world of NYC media. Kin Ying Lee said “Visit Brooklyn. You can’t call yourself a New Yorker if you have only seen Manhattan and not explored the other boroughs. This neighborhood is especially important to me because I live there with my family. Uhmm. have you explored other boroughs aside from Brooklyn? and "It is where we landed after moving here from Ohio." O.hi.o -- that.is. all How are the people profiled here notable city dwellers and true New Yorkers? You need to give yourself a timeout, time out New York.

not a mid westerner transplant
not a mid westerner transplant

"I spent junior high and school in Minnesota, and I went to college in Washington, D.C. I moved back to New York six years ago." If I were to say this same thing about having attended college somewhere else and then moving back to Minnesota, does not make me a Minnesotan. Definitely written by a New York transplant who thinks NYC is comprised of only rich white trustafarian yunnies transplants, and most likely Lauren is one.

Peter
Peter

Whoever wrote the article should be fired immediately

Peter
Peter

This article is a Joke... Nothing New York is mentioned here... Nothing neighborhood mention or how it was when I grew up (26) or when my parents grew up... This article is from a trendy dirty hipster wrote who makes it clear the know absolutely nothing ab real newyork....this is PATHETIC