New York City, The Big Apple, The City of Dreams! Does anyone call it the city of dreams? No, unless you consider sitting on sweaty subway cars, walking fifty blocks a day and being catcalled while you walk down the street a “dream.”

Anyway, when I say New York I’m talking about the city. The heart of New York. If you’re a New Yorker, you’ll totally know what I’m talking about:

1. That special New York “fragrance.”10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

 It sticks to your clothes and it’s probably being absorbed into your pores. You know, that smell, the smell that’s an artfully crafted blend of cigarette smoke, moldy cheese and B.O.? Classic New York.

2. Having to dodge tourists (and silently judging them).10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

 Why are they taking pictures of pigeons? Is that a selfie stick? They’re busting out the selfie stick. Please move, you have to catch a train. No, no, don’t take a selfie with the bus. Have you never seen a bus before?! You don’t get why pigeons excite them…but you find it charmingly amusing.

3. Memorizing almost every public transportation schedule.10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

  If the R train comes at 3:45 and the transfer to the x1 comes every twelve minutes, you could make it back home at around…. nothing’s more powerful than knowing the schedules.

4. Avoiding Times Square like the plague.10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

 *Cough* Overpriced tourist trap. The magic of Times Square disappeared when you realized how much you hate crowds. And when you got sick of those creepy knock-off Elmo and Hello Kitty mascots who want to take pictures with you. A dirty “Elmo” grabbed my arm once in front of Times Square Toys’R’Us and I can’t go back there again, I’m traumatized.

5. Knowing the places to go (and to avoid).

10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

You know that if you get your morning coffee at the Dunkin’ down the street from your building, you’ll avoid the crowd that’s in the Dunkin’ across from your office. New Yorkers know where to get the best of everything and which places have a super long wait.

6. You’ve gotten used to having zero personal space on public transportation.10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

 My favorite is when the entire bus is empty and someone decides to sit RIGHT next to you. Classic NYC. If you’ve never been on a subway car and had someone basically sitting on your lap, an armpit in your face or someone’s arm awkwardly brushing against your chest, you haven’t truly lived.

7. You’ve literally seen it all.10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

 I’ve seen men cutting their toe nails on buses, guys singing the opera on subways, pigeon ladies straight out of Home Alone 2 and drug deals happening before my frightened eyes. You’ve probably seen the same. There’s nothing that surprises us anymore.

8. You know not to take the “free” CDs.10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

You know what I’m talking about–those dudes who are always handing out their mix tapes and albums. We know it’s a scam and they’re going to charge money or start yelling that we stole something. These men are commonly found in Times Square (another reason to avoid it).

9. You’ve become a pro at walking down the street.10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

You can weave through slow walkers like no one’s business. You know exactly when to cross the street to avoid waiting at lights. You’ve mastered the art of speed-walking and you’re proud.

10. But despite everything, you wouldn’t change a thing.

10 Things Only New Yorkers Understand

Maybe it’s kind of smelly and public transportation sucks, but there is no place that’s better than NYC. Where else can you walk through Central Park, try a new coffee shop every day and always have somewhere new to see? Nowhere.

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Are you a New Yorker?

Paige DiFiore is a Journalism and Graphic Design student at Marist College. She owns enough makeup products to feed a small country (well, if they ate makeup) and she will literally drop everything just to pet a dog. When she isn't daydreaming about owning a pug and making it Instagram famous, she is ruthlessly playing board games and aspiring to someday be the goddess of a religion that's yet to be discovered.

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