24 Things That Are Normal Only to New Yorkers

Pedestrian road rage is a real thing, people

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As a New Yorker, your definition of “normal” is definitely not, well, normal. These 24 things prove why this city is simultaneously the best and weirdest place in the world.

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1. You have no trouble hitting 10,000 on your step counter…on a lazy day.

2. You manage to cram gym clothes, a laptop, an extra pair of shoes, a phone charger, a water bottle and a lunch Tupperware into a single tote…and carry it all around for 12 hours.

3. Paying $20 for a movie ticket is an unavoidable reality (ugh).

4. You’ve had your mail delivered to the deli/Laundromat/nail salon downstairs.


5. You’ve been on a packed rush-hour subway car…where no one says a word the entire ride.

6. And you’ve also had an “It’s showtime!” performance unfold within inches of your face.

7. If someone asks you where the nearest gas station is, you have no clue.

8. You see dogs or cats in strollers on a semi-regular basis (not that we’re complaining).

9. You constantly run into people wearing elaborate costumes and assume they’re either Times Square characters, off-duty performers or just colorful locals.

10. You’ve lived in the same apartment for years and still don’t know your neighbors’ names. 

11. But you know what TV shows they watch, what time their alarms go off, what they’re cooking for dinner and that their dog hates the sound of skateboards.

12. You’ve walked though a Law and Order shoot on your way to work without even noticing.

13. You have at least one takeout place that knows your order by heart. (We live and die by our whole-wheat everything bagel with scallion schmear.)


14. You complain about how expensive everything is, but this $16 negroni slushy on a rooftop is 100 percent worth every dollar (plus cover).

15. You’ve worn through a pair of shoes in six months flat.

16. Even when you check three different weather apps, you still have no idea whether to bring an umbrella or a tube of SPF.

17. It’s not rude or socially awkward to flat-out ask someone you just met how much they’re paying in rent.

18. You still receive mail and catalogs for the previous 15 occupants of your apartment. (Seriously, make it stop.)

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19. You know that dating someone who lives more than five miles (or two subway transfers) away is effectively a long-distance relationship, and who has time for that?

20. You’ve experienced pedestrian road rage. 

21. You’ve had distant relatives/onetime acquaintances/former elementary school classmates hit you up out of the blue asking to crash, because woo-hoo, free place to stay in New York!

22. Giant piles of garbage are just part of the landscape.


23. You definitely realize the absurdity of living in this expensive, crowded, noisy place (and maybe you’ve threatened to move to L.A./Chicago/S.F. once or twice)…

24. But you also wouldn’t trade it for the world—how do people even survive without access to good pizza?

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From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.