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22 Unspoken Rules of Living in New York

Some say you have to live in New York for 10 years before you can call yourself a New Yorker. Others, 15 or 20 or for life. Some would go as far as to say you’re not a real New Yorker so long as you bother yourself with these kinds of social politics.

1. Never eat on the subway — the rare and mostly unnecessary exception being snacks that don’t smell nor require a utensil.

2. Move out of the middle of the sidewalk if you’re going to walk at a snail’s pace. Even better: move out of the way and pick up the pace.

3. Best not to make eye contact with people on the subway, unless you both give eye-contact consent in the form of a flirty expression.

4. Never, under any circumstances, take a selfie in a museum.

5. It’s okay to be overzealous in how you dress at the first sign of spring.

6. Never acknowledge celebrities.

7. If you must stand still in the flow of pedestrian traffic to use your phone, please move as far right as possible/extricate yourself from the flow entirely.

8. Always let the people on the train get off the train before you board.

9. It’s okay to scream at cars that nearly run you over if and when you had the right of way.

10. Always help the lady with the stroller on the subway stairs.

11. You are completely and totally permitted to use the Emergency Exit at every subway station, even in the calmest of times and even if the alarm sounds (but it probably won’t).

12. Do not ask for directions. Map it.

13. If you see someone you know on the train or the subway platform, you are allowed to either give a simple hello and walk away or not acknowledge each other entirely. Almost no one likes small talk.

14. If you live above the first floor, always remove your shoes when entering your apartment for the sake of your neighbors below.

15. Never cause a scene about a rat. It’s just a rat. You do, however, have full permission to panic at the sight of a water bug….

16 Failing to carry cash is always a mistake.

17. When transferring subway trains, hurry up the stairs or you’re dead in the minds of those behind you.

18. Never be an escalefter.

19. If you need something from a bodega but a cat is laying on said item, you must respect the cat and find your item elsewhere.

20. Have your MetroCard ready and in hand when approaching the subway turnstiles.

21. If you fail to remove your clothes from the washing machine or dryer when said machine is done, don’t be upset when you return to the laundromat and find them out on a table or in a bin.

22. Never get on an empty subway car. It’s empty for a reason.