“Ew, is that a rat?”
It was my first trip to New York City with my then boyfriend (now husband) and we were on the 1 train when someone spotted…something. As we looked around on the ground to try to find the offending rodent we realized that the rider wasn’t pointing down, but up. After some discussion, our fellow passengers decided that it was not, in fact, a rat or a mouse hanging from the subway ceiling, but actually a sleeping bat. But even when the bat appeared to wake from his slumber to rub his eyes (it was kind of cute, actually), nobody screamed or ran away. Everyone simply…went along with their day. And when my partner and I eventually got off the train, my immediate reaction wasn’t disgust or shock or concern. Instead, I remember thinking “God, I love this city.” And my next thought: “I have to move here.”
New Yorkers are undeniably unfazed. Which is exactly how actress Naomi Watts knew she belonged.
“I had been living in New York for three years and the moment I knew I was a true New Yorker was when my water broke in a taxi cab (I left a good tip). Off I trotted to the Roosevelt Hospital to give birth to my second child,” she tells us. “Before that, I had always felt unnerved by New York’s freneticism, then I had my baby, a true born New Yorker, and somehow, I knew I belonged and became equipped to manage the city’s chaos.”