It's an Empire State of mind.
By Lillie Zakin
Growing up in one of the biggest cities in the world, there are going to be some defining things only born New Yorkers do and understand.
Native New Yorkers are unique people. They can cross the street without looking, they can figure out the subway and they know the difference between good bagels and average bagels.
Here are some things that only happen if you grew up in New York City.
Not all bagels are created equal, and New York City bagels definitely prove that. A bagel in a college town has nothing on a New York City everything bagel with cream cheese, lox and tomato.
Growing up in the city that never sleeps, you get used to walking pretty fast. Other people's idea of speedwalking is your idea of a stroll down the street. Once you walk on a street that is not in New York CIty, you realize people walk way too slow.
3. Times Square
If you grew up in the city, you probably avoid Times Square like the plague. If you visit a native New Yorker and ask to see where the ball drops, you will probably be met with a dirty look and handwritten instructions on how to get there alone.
Nothing makes a born New Yorker cringe like the idea of walking through 42nd Street, going to M&M World or Hard Rock, and being asked if they watch the ball drop in-person on New Year's Eve. We don't, and we never will.
4. Gossip Girl, 30 Rock And Other NYC Shows
Watching any NYC show with someone who grew up in the city is basically one big memory lane. New Yorkers can spot the location of where it was filmed and were probably there watching them film it.
Pizza is a New York staple. If you grew up in New York, you probably have a favorite place and are not willing to change your mind.
There is always something going on in the city, but growing up here, you develop a skill for zoning it all out. Mariachi bands on the subway, somersaults on the street, step teams in the park, dancers who almost knock you over ... you're unfazed by it all.
Chances are, you developed the ability to multitask at a young age and are now able to text, listen to music and hold an iced coffee, all while crossing the street and not getting hit by oncoming traffic. It's a skill that those who grew up here think of as normal but seems like a superpower to out-of-towners.
People who grew up New York usually don't get their license until an embarrassingly old age. There's no reason to get your license when you have buses, subways and trains everywhere.
9. It's "The City"
You refer to NYC as "The City." Forget LA, Chicago and any other city ... New York is The One.
New Yorkers are worldly people, and not just because we order Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Italian food from Seamless all in one week. We love to travel, and when we do, we don't say we're American—we say we're New Yorkers.
And no matter where we go abroad, we'll always come back home.
This article was originally published at Guest of a Guest. Reprinted with permission from the author.