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You know you grew up in New York when...

By Sophie Harris
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By Time Out contributors, edited by Sophie Harris

Sure, you may think yourself a real New Yorker—you're buddies with Pat Kiernan, most of your clothes are black and you can simultaneously walk, eat, talk on the phone and hail a cab. Hey, you may even have an incredible/heinous design of Gotham city inked onto your body, like the ones we've marveled at in our gallery of New York tattoos. But truth be told, human beings who live in New York and who were actually born in New York are a rare, rare breed; like pandas, sloth-bears and yaks, except better at crossing streets. Here's our list of things only a born 'n' bred New Yorker can relate to.

RECOMMENDED: The New York guide to life

1. You never needed a fake ID to buy beer when you were a teenager. You just needed to befriend the bodega guys.

2. You've had more arguments over the L&B versus Di Fara rivalry than you've had Yankees versus Mets.

3. You can tell when someone is a tourist in three seconds flat, just by looking at them.

4. You found yourself more than once among the screaming boy-band hordes waiting outside the TRL building in Times Square.

5. Your underage saving grace: All-ages shows at the Knitting Factory.

6. You're waiting “on line”, not “in line.”

7. You say “a hun,” as in, “Oh yeah, I know that bar. it’s up on a-hun-eighteenth street.

8. Your directions to lost tourists may come out a bit snappy, but they're clearer than the clearest crystal. Ting!

9. You remember when the Bowery was scary.

10. You call fire hydrants “pumps.”

11. You say “on Long Island,” not “in Long Island.”


12. Your MTA card always goes through first swipe; you are the Babe Ruth of card-swipers.

13. You don't even flinch on the train when the "It's showtime!" kids are doing their back-flipping thing inches away from your face. It's like The Matrix.

14. You know secret shortcuts to avoid traffic getting to every major bridge and tunnel.

15. You remember when Astor Place was where you went to watch people getting crazy Mohawks, not where you went to see multimillion-dollar glass castles in the sky.

16. You know and understand the ol' which-way-is-the-traffic-flowing compass trick (Traffic flows west on odd-numbered streets and east on even-numbered streets, rookie).

17. You call it "the City" (as if there's another one).

18. You're typically unfazed by people up in, beside and around yo' grill, because little-to-no-personal-space is all you know.

19. Getting your way at restaurants is a gut reflex; you were sending back soup from your high chair.

20. You've known your way around the major museums since you were a teen.

21. You've witnessed your local Deli owner pass on their business to the next generation in their family.

22. You navigate the subway system with the grace and skill of an otter. A slightly tired subway otter.

23. You bemoan that Tribeca loft that your parents sold in the '90s to anyone who will listen, and still look up how much it's worth now. They should never have agreed to sell!

24. You've tried living elsewhere, really given it a shot. But just…why bother?

25. You grew up knowing you're better than everyone and everything in the entire world, because New York.

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