August will mark 4 years of living in New York. I moved out here right after college and have been here ever since. A year in New York is like a lifetime anywhere else, so I FEEL like a real New Yorker, even though I have been told repeatedly that I am not. I have actively sought the criteria that will tell me when I have achieved that coveted New Yorker status. Here’s what I’ve found in my scientific research:
1. Buzzfeed Quiz of random trivia that is mostly from the 80s and 90s. This was a terrible and forgettable experience. Just leave it.
Status Achieved: “Pretty New York-ish”
2. On TimeOut‘s 51 Reasons You Know You’re a Real New Yorker, I lost count after agreeing to 30. (Yes, I do get uneasy in remote locations! No, I’ve never been on a sightseeing bus! Yes, I’ve seen someone take a dump outdoors in broad daylight!).
Status Achieved: Definitely a New Yorker
3. According to the New York Times, a New Yorker is someone who has the “dexterity to be open to strangers as your default emotional position, while nevertheless being able to shut down immediately if and when you recognize that someone does not mean you well.” (That’s me!) but also, “Oh, please, you wish. Not born in the five boroughs, not a true New Yorker.”
Status Achieved: Maybe? I’m confused.
4. Angry, crazy man on the train ranting about the days before the city was overrun with transplants, while simultaneously spitting and picking a wedgie.
Status Achieved: Never a New Yorker
5. My cousin, Lydia, says 10 years. This seems the most quantifiable. I’m going with 10 years.
Status Achieved: 4/10