10 Manhattan Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate
If you think everyone in Manhattan is a street-smart, bagel-eating know-it-all with a bit of an ego… well, you might be on to something.
1. Manhattanites Know They Aren’t The Center Of The Universe, They Are The Universe
Everyone thinks Manhattanites act like the world revolves around them. But that’s where they’re wrong. You see, there is no world outside of Manhattan.
Even when they travel to major cities like Chicago it just feels like everyone is playing a large scale game of make believe. And while that makes Manhattanites seem pompous, it’s just the way it is. There’s no reason to ever leave and most people rarely do.
They’re also onto everything before everyone else, too. What the country is wearing the people in Manhattan wore six months ago. Can’t stop raving about the new Crumbs Bake Shop in your mall? They opened up shop in the Upper West Side over a decade ago.
2. Which Is Probably Why They’re All So Territorial
New Yorkers in general are extremely discriminating when it comes to borders. It doesn’t matter if you live two blocks outside of city limits – claiming to be from the city when you’re not is pure blasphemy.
It takes a lot of gumption to live in Manhattan, what with the weird smells, big crowds, rude people, insane cabbies and homeless people who don’t even attempt to hide their schizophrenia. They’ve earned the right to call themselves New Yorkers.
But Manhattanites are even pickier. The other boroughs might technically be a part of NYC, but let’s face it: They’re not Manhattan. Staten Island might be New York City, but only to the people in Staten Island.
Admit it, no one thinks of The Bronx when they hear “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night.”
3. Everyone In Manhattan Has Seen Pretty Much Everything
You’ll have your work cut out for you if you’re trying to shock anyone in Manhattan because they’ve seen it all, and most likely walked right passed it without stopping—because seriously, another guitar-playing underwear-clad cowboy (and stop calling him naked unless you don’t know what naked means) or a photo op Batman with a beer gut? Tourist crap.
Complete strangers breaking out into random dance sequences on the train? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
You saved a bunch of orphans from a burning building? That’s cool, I guess. Was it on Gawker?
Don’t come to Manhattan expecting to be a big deal or even something special, because you’re not. And don’t take that personally, because it’s true for everyone. The people here are just desensitized to basically everything.
4. Manhattanites Judge Everyone By Their Neighborhood
The biggest thing that defines you in Manhattan (by people who spend a lot of their time defining others) is your neighborhood.
In reality, your neighborhood is almost always primarily dependent on your income, since one month of rent in the West Village costs the same as a two week vacation to Antarctica. But you can’t escape the judgment.
If you’re in SoHo or TriBeCa or NoLIta, you’re probably a granola crunching, yoga-loving hippie who spends more money on Piperlime and Lululemon than rent.
If you’re a suit in the Upper East Side or the Financial District, everyone secretly wonders if you have an American Psycho alter ego.
If you live in Greenwich you’re probably an NYU student who spends your precious spare time with the Columbia pre-med students in Morningside Heights. Just kidding, you would never hang out there.
5. Sightseeing For Manhattanites Means A Bagel Joint And The World’s Best Food Truck
If you’re planning a trip to meet up with your friend in the Big Apple, here are a few tips:
For the love of God, don’t call it the Big Apple.
Don’t ask for them to take you to any of the following: The Empire State Building, The Statue Of Liberty, The Rockettes or Time Square. Even Broadway is questionable. They might be iconic sights of Manhattan, but a true native knows know they’re nothing more than a tourist black hole of gridlock and cheesiness.
The only way to see The City is to let your Manhattan guide take you to their favorite spots. You’ll experience The City the way it’s meant to be enjoyed: With the world’s best bagels and fusion food off a truck, the hippest bars and galleries, the most amazing art (inside and outside), and feeling the energy outside of the bright lights and photo ops.
But really, it’s all about the food.
6. Everyone In Manhattan Keeps Up With The Crowd—Or Gets Plowed Over
Everyone in Manhattan is in a rush, all the time, whether they have something to do or not. You really have no choice when you live here. And most people don’t realize just how big Manhattan alone really is.
Public transportation can be a crap shoot, but it’s infinitely better than a cab ride and driving can be slower than crawling, so folks in Manhattan are experts at trekking it on foot. And they’ve developed their own pace, which falls somewhere between Flash Gordon and Forrest Gump.
If you’re walking the streets of Manhattan, you must adhere to the unwritten rules or be prepared to get bumped around a lot. Single-file walking at a brisk pace is the preferred method. If you plan on updating your Facebook or Instagram while walking, you better be an expert multitasker or you’ll make enemies fast.
7. Manhattanites Know On-Screen Manhattan Is Not Like The Real Thing
It’s really difficult to live in Manhattan and watch TV shows or movies that take place in The City, because so many of them are completely full of it. If the screen is to be believed:
Serendipity III is spacious (ha!) and you don’t have a two-hour wait at any given time of the day.
Felicity’s downtown loft (complete with spiral staircase, fireplace and huge kitchen) is easily affordable for a 22 year-old.
Let’s not even get started on Seinfeld’s Upper West Side pad.
Everyone knows that at least two of Jack Bauer’s 24 hours in season eight would have been spent sitting in traffic. So much for saving the day.
It can be so unrealistic and maddening for residents, some shows actually wrote in episodes to justify how their characters pulled it off. Both “Friends” and “Sex And The City” revealed that two of the major characters’ apartments (Monica’s and Carrie’s, respectively) were only possible thanks to rent control.
And everyone knows that a good rent controlled apartment in Manhattan is like Bigfoot: Hotly pursued but rarely seen.
8. People In Manhattan Aren’t in’t Afraid Of No Ghosts… Or Anything Else
Sure, people who grow up in any city develop a certain level of street smarts. But when you live in Manhattan, you become the Doogie Howser of street smarts. That’s because living in Manhattan is an experience in culture, common sense and toughness.
People in The City meet others from every background and with every personality. They lived through 9/11 in their backyard. They know how to get anywhere using the ridiculous subway and when they don’t, they figure it out with a shrug.
They know when to keep walking and not look someone in the eye when they’re screaming that they’re the resurrection of Michael Jackson. They know when to follow the crosswalk sign and when to ignore it. Despite laughing, they feel deep empathy for anyone they see trying to brave Midtown out in five-inch heels.
9. Manhattanites Never Talk Like You Think They Do
“Oh, you’re from NEW YAWK!” is something everyone in Manhattan has heard from someone outside of the area at least ten times in their lifetime, if not more. Everyone has this idea of the New York accent and that everyone here says things like,
“I went to the bah where they pawed me be-ah.”
“Whe-ah should I pawk the cah?”
Seriously, no one talks like this in Manhattan. It’s much more prevalent in the other boroughs, especially in areas like Staten Island and The Bronx. Maybe you’ll catch a lazy R-sound here or there, but that’s it. So the New York accent thing can die already.
10. You Hate New Yorkers? No One In Manhattan Cares
New Yorkers will generally get pretty vocal against the New York critics in defense of their city. Tell someone in Queens that New York sucks and trust me, covering your ears is not enough to shield you from the fury. But the people in Manhattan don’t even bother, mostly because they don’t care. They don’t need to.
They live in the most exciting, energetic city on the planet. They’re ahead of times for everything and get better food off of a truck than most cities do in five star restaurants. They’re in the middle of it all – the good, the bad, the geniuses and the questionably sane.
They have strong identities and opinions but know how to adapt in any situation. Living in Manhattan has made them who they are. It’s like the song says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. But why would you want to make it anywhere else?