10 Skills You Obtain Only by Living in New York City

“…what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career.”

Liam Neeson
Photo by: Reuters

I didn’t know I would need to acquire so many skills in order to survive in New York City, but I gradually learned each of them every moment I took a subway, ate brunch or hailed a cab. I still am learning more each day.

Here are the top 10 skills that only New Yorkers get by living in the Big Apple:

  1. You have memorized the best bathrooms are in any given location (hellooooo Burlington Coat Factory in Union Square and Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle).

2. You can spot a tourist miles away based on their mannerisms and fashion. Likewise, you’ve photobombed approximately 1,000 tourist selfies with the Empire State Building (by accident and on purpose).

3. You have enough grooming supplies and clothing in your purse to potentially live for 3 days without going home. Most times, you shoulder two massive bags at a time.

4. You are a pro at meeting friends underground on a particular subway car on the way to the Lower East Side.

5. You can decipher this text: “goin to smorgs on sunday. let you know when we leave UWS.”

6. You can walk like a pro. I’m talking long distances in flip-flops, zig-zagging around tourist at the speed of light and actually being able to text and walk (it’s all about those PERIPHS).

7. You can get on a subway, realize that there’s no A/C, then make the fastest subway car change in history.

8. You know the unspoken rules of Trader Joe’s – shop while you’re waiting in line, and be sure to kick your basket, don’t hold it like a civilized person.

9. You can successfully surf the subway without touching any germy poles. If the unspeakable does happen, you have emergency hand-sani somewhere in that bag.

10. You can survive Times Square. If you MUST go to the unspeakable location, you know the ways to survive without getting trampled. I’ll leave the details of this skill on the D.L. – we wouldn’t want word to get out to the masses.

Any other skills you think are VITAL to living in New York? Let me know!


  1. This is a brilliant post! I’ve only been to NY twice, but after 3 years in London I definitely noticed some transferable city skills, haha! Being able to meet friends in the tube with no signal is a must! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! This is great, I lived in NYC for 8 years and I still go back once a year… But school girl error, if the subway car is empty, it’s empty for a reason! And during the winter time, Duane Reade is your friend in the late hours when you’re waiting for the bus…!

    Liked by 1 person

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