The Time Out Chicago and Time Out Los Angeles teams are in New York this week, joining our East Coast brethren for a few days of good, old-fashioned strategizing. We definitely love a good visit to Gotham, but we like irritating our friends who live there even more. After all, New Yorkers are a special breed of folks. They're straight-up hustlers who tend to lack patience for inefficiencies, and it's surprisingly easy to get under their skin. With that in mind, here are six simple, surefire methods that any Chicagoan can employ when deliberately trying to piss off a New Yorker.
Ask them how to take the train to the airport
Chicagoans are spoiled by the Orange and Blue lines' speedy access to Midway and O'Hare airports. New Yorkers do not have such a luxury. Getting to and from LaGuardia all but requires a cab, and while JFK is accessible by train, you'd probably be better off yanking the teeth out of your skull than enduring that ride.
Tell them you'd like to set them up with your friend from Jersey
"Snake people," "human garbage" and "the sleaziest life form" are just a few of the kind phrases our New York friends have used when describing the inhabitants of the Garden State. A lot of New Yorkers get anxious at the idea of breathing the same air as a New Jerseyan, and the thought of dating one is nearly enough to send a Manhattanite into cardiac arrest. If you really want to upset your New York friends, pretend you know a "sweet guy from Jersey" (use the name Mike or Tony) and insist on setting them up. Your friend will probably turn into an uppity nightmare, which is hilarious because they know little to nothing about the horrible creatures from Chicago's Jersey: Indiana.
Go to Central Park and say, "That's it?"
Central Park is a glorious place capable of snatching the breath away from even the most jaded, born-and-bred New Yorker. So if you really want to mess with someone who lives in the city, start dumping on Central Park. They'll probably respond with a fiery tirade about its history, and if you continue to goad them, you can almost definitely make them cry or punch you in the face.
Remind them that our Trump Tower is shinier, bigger and better looking
Our Trump Tower has a big sign on the front and a big 'ol spire on top—and it's "yuge." If you want to get your New York friends all riled up, be sure to explain how Chicago's Trump Tower is a winner and, upon its completion, "made Chicago's skyline great again."
Tell them how much you pay for rent
There's hardly a more sensitive subject for New Yorkers than rent. It's hard justify living in a 150-square-foot apartment for $1,500 per month, but people in New York manage to do it by insisting "the quality of my city makes up for my quality of living." But when you tell them you live in a delightful apartment with a walk-in closet and jacuzzi bathtub, you might see them tear up.
Claim that Chicago's theater scene is "more authentic"
New York is the center of the theater universe, and everyone knows it. But it's too hard to resist saying things like, "Chicago's theater scene is better; it's more of a community." This sort of sentiment can be used when talking about pretty much any aspect of New York or Chicago's art scenes, and it's a great way to make yourself less welcome than a nasty rash.