Ten Things You’re Entitled To Feel Smug About When Visiting New York


  1. Managing to get on the correct Subway train every single time. The folks who designed the New York underground system seem to believe that most New Yorkers run on a subtle blend of native instinct and hard-learned habit. The humble station sign/route map/direction indicators favoured by the London Underground and just about every public train system I’ve ever stumbled upon, (Brussels being the only exception), are few and cryptically far between in this neck of the woods. Riding the Subway involves a lot of guess work, some running and a fair amount of squinting at extremely small station signs as they fly past the train window.
  2. Not flinching when the third crazy person of the day gets right up in your face and yells very loudly for no apparent reason.
  3. Locking yourself in a toilet cubicle before consulting the Lonely Planet map section so no one will ever know you’re not a seasoned local.
  4. Eating three square meals for less than twenty bucks.
  5. Having at least one of the afore-mentioned square meals be something that is not a slice of pizza.
  6. Leaving Manhattan, (even if it is just en route to the airport on the way home).
  7. Managing to fall asleep whilst the entire building vibrates each time a train passes beneath and the televisions on all four sides and above are still blaring some pseudo-Jerry Springer type shouty show at 1am and, outside the window, what sounds to be a particularly violent episode of The Wire is just gathering pace.
  8. Maintaining a stony-faced disregard of the squirrels. They are not cute. They are not photogenic. They are basically just giant rats with tails.
  9. Hailing a cab in the street and persevering despite the fact that approximately two hundred of the little yellow bastards have driven past, pretending they don’t see you. Not taking this personally and wondering, with a mounting sense of insecurity if you’re holding your arm out the wrong way.
  10. Fighting people bigger and scarier and more-business-suited and glarier than you will ever be to get an actual seat in Starbucks because you don’t want to drink your Americano standing up at a bench or striding between skyscrapers or perched on the edge of a step in some downtown park where you will be constantly approached by slightly crazy people who want to sign you up for charities you’ve never heard of/convert you to religions not available in Northern Ireland/give you some fake pearls in exchange for your shoes, (really this happened).

One thought on “Ten Things You’re Entitled To Feel Smug About When Visiting New York

  1. As a long time NYC resident let me say that, with the exception of leaving Manhattan (even if it is just en route to the airport on the way home), that’s a fine list and all good reasons for the non-Native to be smug.

    You really, however, shouldn’t be smug about leaving Manhattan just when it’s en route to the airport on the way home. Conversely, if you DO leave Manhattan for other reasons, you should feel VERY smug since most Manhattanites rarely do that.

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