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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/WNYC

17 sketchy things that all New Yorkers do

Written by
Ben Lerman
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You have to be willing to cut a few corners to make it work in this town. Playing exclusively by the rules in New York will make you poor, tired and late for dinner. We’re not saying you should go out there and Bernie Madoff your way through a pyramid scheme. Far from it. New Yorkers are generally good, honest people who operate by the Golden Rule, doing unto others as they would have done to themselves—until it comes into conflict with that other guiding New York principle, “You snooze, you lose."

Spending all your time being an upright citizen is a noble and worthy endeavor, but New Yorkers know their limitations. Too much time in the sun, and you can overheat. It's cooler in the shade. Here are 17 sketchy things that all New Yorkers do. 

1. Catching a cab half a block up the street from where you saw other people trying to hail the same cab. (And they know you saw them and you know that they know. And they know that you know that they know.)

2. Charging your roommate who isn’t on the lease more than his or her fair share of the rent.

3. Accidentally shoplifting and avoiding the walk back to the store to return the merchandise.

4. Helping yourself to a double feature, hopping from one movie theater to another. (Films are expensive here!)

5. Ordering at the bar before the nice guy ahead of you, who has been waiting patiently but is less attractive.

6. Pretending not to recognize a celebrity, then gossiping about how bad they look in person.

7. Using your rent-controlled apartment as an excuse not to move on with your life.

8. Saying you live in Bushwick when you live in Ridgewood

9. Complaining about how long your commute is to get out of social obligations.

10. Saying your train was delayed when you're late for work, when you really just woke up late.

11. Airbnb-ing your apartment in complete violation of your lease.

12. Owning a dog in complete violation of your lease.

13. Hanging out on your roof in complete violation of your lease.

14. Not picking up your dog’s poop when you forget to bring bags.

15. Balancing a water bottle on top of an overflowing trash can and hoping for the best.

16. Blatantly littering and blaming the city for not providing enough trash cans.

17. Loudly complaining when other people do the same things. 

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