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7 Ways Newcomers Can Pass as New Yorkers

Being in New York is a dream come true for many people. But the harsh truth is that if you aren’t a local, you will probably have a difficult time adjusting to the significantly different culture and environment.

However, you’re not out of luck just yet – for we know a couple of ways how newcomers can pass as New Yorkers.

  1. Know the New Yorker Dress Code

Just like a picture paints a thousand words, your attire will say tons of things about you – and that includes whether you’re a New Yorker or not. For example, anyone who’s not from the Big Apple is more likely to wear shirts and blouses with the word “New York” on it.

Also, fashion statements won’t make you look like a newbie in New York because New York is all about the fashion. Call it redundant, but a mishmash of patterns can be daring and fashionable at the same time. Layers and layers of clothes is also a thing New Yorkers like to play out, so remember to fill your closet with clothes that you can easily coordinate.


  1. Study New York City Boroughs

New York City is composed of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Knowing what these boroughs hold and their specific “identities” will definitely be a huge help when you’re trying to pull off the pretense of being a New Yorker.

  • Manhattan – This is the first borough that comes to mind when it comes to New York because it houses several of the city’s most popular tourist spots. From the Empire State Building to Central Park, you’ll have a great time exploring this charming neighborhood.
  • Brooklyn – Brooklyn is known for trendy restaurants along Williamsburg as well as the regular sporting events that happen at Barclays center. It is the most populous of the five boroughs since it offers apt attractions for different types of people.
  • The Bronx – You probably learned about the Bronx because J-Lo sang about it. If this is the case, you’re missing a lot because this NYC borough has a rich culture. Here, you can also find the New York Botanical Garden and Zoo as well as the Wave Hill and City Island. It is also filled with Victorian homes that are absolutely stunning.
  • Queens – Queens is where Peter Parker a.k.a. Spiderman lived. But more than that, it is home to gorgeous parks, eccentric art, and a union of different international cuisine. It also often hosts world-class sporting events.
  • Staten Island – Although this is the borough that often gets mentioned last, Staten Island is equally stunning as its four siblings. It is where the biggest forest preserve in the Big Apple is located. The Staten Island Ferry also attracts guests as much as the tourist spots.


  1. Avoid Tourist Traps

Tourist traps are everywhere, but they are more abundant in New York. From eating at Times Square to paying overpriced cab fares, it is best to know what things New Yorkers absolutely avoid for you to pass as a local.


  1. Know All the Trendy Food Stops

Although eating in Times Square is a tourist trap, there are specific food stops that New Yorkers absolutely love, including the Meatpacking District, Greenwich Village, Williamsburg, Harlem, and MacDougal and Bleecker Streets.


  1. Never Look Up

Marveling at skyscrapers screams “I’m a tourist,” so make sure to avoid looking up. No matter what, you should keep your head level. This is because genuine New Yorkers are always moving forward. Also, they have already marveled at the skyline since they were in grade school. Locals won’t find it as impressive as tourists do.


  1. Know the Subway Etiquette

Subways are a staple in New York. Because of this, every New Yorker has engraved the subway etiquette in their minds that they no longer need to think and just act. For example, when a pregnant woman or someone carrying an infant is having trouble standing up, you should absolutely offer your seat.

However, if you see a grandma who appears to be joining marathons like clockwork should not feel like you’re imposing your chivalry on her by forcing her to sit down when she’s perfectly fine standing up.

The bottom line is that you should have a feel of the situation first before assuming you should offer your seat or not.


  1. Never Fawn Over Celebrities

Since you’re in the Big Apple, chances are you’ll bump into a celebrity or two on a regular basis. Although you may be starstruck, you should absolutely refrain from showing it. That said, remember to treat them as if they’re average citizens who just happen to have a show or movie.

The best thing you can do is acknowledge their performances but never let them steal your spot in line at the cinema or table at a crowded restaurant.

Now that you know certain ways to pass as a New Yorker, it is time to try them out and see how effective they can be.

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