21 Ways to Tell If You’re a REALLY REAL New Yorker

Jay Ludlow Martin
Published in
3 min readMar 16, 2016


Concrete bunghole
  1. You live in a garbage can.

2. Your rent is $1900… a minute.

3. You play chess in Washington Square Park, but you recently realized the chessboard is just a guy on his hands and knees begging for the bucket drummers to stop playing.

4. You ride the subway below the touristy MTA subway. The average delay is 13 years. The trains are made out of 70s-era dumpsters and driven by the losers of every mayoral election.

5. You get a Gcal alert every day to prepare for the lightless 12-hour RAT REIGN OF TERROR AND SUPREMACY, or what non-New Yorkers call “nighttime.”

6. When you play Frisbee with your dog you use a manhole cover. Also, your dog is a rat.

7. You absolutely love the NYTimes! It’s super thick and absorbs a ton of blood.

8. You always read online guides about how to be a New Yorker, take them literally and follow every step.

9. You know every word of Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” — because the guy selling incense on your corner put a hex on you and it’s been stuck in your head for 18 months.

10. You know all the coolest food trends! Like “barffee,” a combination of barf and coffee you stepped in on the way to your third job at the artisanal bone saw factory.

11. You only watch NY1, and by that I mean the steady stream of urine constantly winding its way through New York.

12. You love going out clubbing… and stabbing and looting.

13. Your cousin is a cop or a fire hydrant.

14. You never pay more than $2 for a hot pretzel in midtown, which yes, is definitely code for a weird sex thing.

15. Your kids are named Duane, Reade, and Gowanus Superfund Site.

16. You refer to all other cities as “The Medium Apple” or “The Small Apple.” Example: “Benjamin Franklin was born in the small apple. Later, he moved to a different the small apple.”

17. Your alarm clock is a bum screaming at another bum. Also, you are a bum.

18. You’ve appeared on Broadway — inexplicably, after walking through a magic wardrobe in the back of a shop in Chinatown.

19. Lawyers are currently arguing for your acquittal based on your “Empire State of Mind” at the time the crime was committed.

20. You’ve eaten at all of the best ethnic hotspots in Little Prussia, Little Bremen, Little Abyssinia, Little Zanzibar and Little Ottoman Empire.

21. You hate gentrification so fucking much that you plan to stalk it back to its home late one night… and move into the cheap rundown apartment building across the street. Then you will redo that structure and rent it out to wealthier words at higher prices. Thusly forcing gentrification out of its long-time residence once it can no longer afford to sustainably live in the area.



Jay Ludlow Martin

Editor of Human Parts. Writer based in Manhattan. Gay Trans Pizza. Author: Death by Nostalgia (2018) and my own misfortune.