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26 signs you’re not gonna make it in New York

Written by
Sophie Harris

By Time Out contributors. Edited by Sophie Harris

New York is the greatest city in the world, but is it the ideal place to live for everybody? With a slightly awkward grin, we're gonna say not necessarily. There are some aspects of everyday life here in Gotham that can be a little, uh, challenging if you're not cut out for the city, from the subway trains to its unique aromas. Here are the telltale signs that maybe you're not gonna make it in NYC.

1. You complain about the smell every summer. Go move near an open meadow or a forest if you can’t take it, weak-nose!

2. You think your art is so important that you shouldn’t have to have a day job, and yet you can’t support yourself with your art revenue. Portland, Oregon, awaits you!

3. You’re afraid to go outside looking less than great. If you can’t go to Key Food or Duane Reade without makeup and cute shoes, you need to move somewhere with giant air-conditioned malls.

4. You think you have a right to privacy. There's a shack in the woods with your name on it.

5. You haven’t learned how to use the subway within 30 days of moving here. If you don’t by then, you likely won’t. This is trial by fire, people!

6. You're not a natural adventurer (see above). There are five boroughs filled with amazing stuff that you’ll never find unless you’re prepared to get out there and explore.

7. You have severe claustrophobia. Why torture yourself in a crowded city, in crowded subway cars, on crowded streets, on crowded elevators?

8. You're sidewalk-shy. Not a walker? Not a New Yorker.

9. You can't handle living with a roommate. Sorry pal, but you're going to have one (or, like, three) until you get married, win the lottery or move away.

10. You actually let someone push past you and steal your cab—you're never going to make it here if you can’t fight for what’s rightfully yours. (Unless you’re upstreaming. In that case, release the dogs!)

11. You raise your voice when speaking to people who don’t speak English well, as if that will help them understand you and not just make everyone think you’re a crazy yelling person.

12. You actually take flyers and CDs from the guys on the street. Lugging around a bag full of trash is no way to live, metropolitan aspirant.

13. You regularly succumb to sales pressure and upsells. You have to be (mostly) immune to that shit here.

14. You're not into the arts. Besides the bazillion amazing events happening 24-7, there are beautiful murals on the streets and buskers on every corner.

15. You get outraged every single time you go grocery shopping. Either learn to deal with the ludicrous prices here or move on, good sir/madam!

16. You don't drink coffee. Sure we'll stray to macha or hot chocolate from time to time, but there's only one brew that truly makes us tick.

17. You think “real New Yorkers” don’t shop or eat at chains. Yes, they do. And if you don’t, you’re going to run out of money really fast. And Five Guys is really good!

18. You regularly shush people in any context. We’ve all wanted to do it (and occasionally do), but if you can’t put up with a little extra chatter at a concert/reading/movie/comedy show/whatever, you probably don’t have the focus required to live here.

19. You’re scared of screaming people on a crowded street instead of just irked by them.

20. You lose your place in the book you're reading on a crowded subway platform.

21. You can't eat and walk at the same time.

22. You complain about the weather. Yes, we have snowstorms, and yes, we have the worst humidity known to man. But it’s worth it for those blissful four days of spring and two days of fall we get every year. If you don’t like seasons, move to L.A.

23. You think it’s dirty. And crowded. It is, but the sky is also blue! People who love it here don’t mind those things.

24. You still haven't learned how to fold your pizza slice.

25. You're not a romantic at heart. That springtime blossom! Those snowy brownstones! The sight of either of our two beautiful rivers. If these things don't make your heart soar in the midst of the chaos, we suggest you move to the 'burbs.

26. You're not prepared to help out your fellow Gothamite. We may be a surly bunch, but when the chips are down, we are so there.

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