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17 ways to spot a Midwesterner in New York

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

It’s a fact that the Midwest breeds a different type of person than the East Coast. From friendly interactions on the street to an abiding love of gifting baked goods, when a Midwesterner first moves to New York they can occasionally stick out like a sore thumb. (I speak from experience.) Here are a few ways you can spot an expat of the flyover states on the streets of NYC.

1. They make eye contact on the street. In the case of especially fresh transplants, they may even look up when they pass and flash a quick closed mouth smile. 

2. They pronounce bagel, “bey-gull.” 

3. They ask where the buffet is when you sit down with them for brunch. 

4. They don’t wear sensible walking shoes. (In the Midwest, walking usually involves traveling from a building to a car or trying to find the bar cheese at Meijer.)

5. They love scarves more than God, and lose their shit during fall. They literally become human Pinterest boards.

6. They ask if ice cream shops have Blue Moon or Superman.

7. They ask if cocktail bars have Coors Light or Stroh’s. 

8. They show up at a party with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies or pigs in a blanket when everyone else just bought a bottle of wine.

9. They’re super excited to see places from movies and TV shows, because there just aren’t that many romantic comedies set in Lansing.

10. They ask if you want to play cornhole and they're not talking about a weird sex thing.

11. They get to things like the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival or Summer Stage 15 minutes before they start and think they’ll probably get an ok spot.

12. They ask waiters if they can split the check by what each person ordered.

13. They’ll walk to your apartment in a blizzard and be completely unfazed.

14. They'll show up at your apartment with "puppy chow," a snack that is indeed safe for human consumption.

15. They ask if you want them to grab you a pop.

16. They have a deep, infallible belief that cheese can be served with pretty much everything.

17. They apologize a lot. If someone complains to them about anything, they’ll say, “I’m sorry” even if it has nothing to do with them. If someone tackles them on the sidewalk, they'll apologize to that person.

Sorry if you don't agree with this list.

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