I recently wrote about the actual worst parts about living in New York City that no one ever tells you about. On the flipside, here are 10 things that DON'T actually happen in New York City, despite what movies and tv shows seem to constantly believe happens there:
In movies and tv shows, almost any time a character hails a cab in New York (and it doesn't blow past them while cartoonishly splashing them with a puddle), it will somehow result in two strangers viciously fighting over it, with both people angrily claiming they got there first and hurling insults at one another and all the other stuff you totally do to random strangers in a huge dangerous city.
In real life New York, there's almost always tons of cabs (plus there's Uber and Lyft), and even when someone does take the cab you were trying to hail, it's usually an honest mistake, and rarely if ever results in you and some strangers getting into a heated face-to-face debate that also somehow ends with the two of you sleeping together (because the secret is you're actually a perfect match!)
Ahh, New York apartments -- in tv and movies, you're gonna end up living next to a slightly goofy (or super attractive) neighbor who ends up being integral to your life, especially when they come over for parties and end up puking their homemade moonshine all over your CEO-crush (dang!!!)
In real life, your neighbor's either going to be a normal calm regular person who you nod at while getting mail, or someone totally crazy who you want zero interaction with (and you're never forced into any, because it's real life and strangers don't, like, run into you at a restaurant when you're on a date and insist on sitting with you.)
My current upstairs neighbor (no joke) is the 102-year-old uncle of the landlord and frequently throws his cane at his live-in nurse at all hours of the evening. My previous neighbor was a guy who once emailed me asking me to steal his subletter's guitar out of his apartment and hold it for ransom until the subletter paid him. Needless to say, I did not spent much time partying down with either of these individuals.
When I first moved to New York, I was under the impression that there were things called "New York Delis" at every corner where you'd walk in, be greeted by the warm elderly owners who know you, they'd ask "the usual? One SOUPY SALES, hold the mayo??" and you'd nod, and they'd make you a delicious hand-made "only in New York" style sandwich with house-cured meats and house-pickled pickles and house-everything'd everything-else and you'd eat it while laughing at other dumb cities that think they can make sandwiches.
In reality, there's like, 5 of these delis. And the best ones are super touristy and expensive (though legitimately great). And the best one near me just closed (shit).
The "Delis" on every corner are actually just bodegas, which are (extremely-convenient) mini convenience stores that will make you sandwiches, but they're just Boar's Head cold cuts thrown on bread and sometimes grilled or whatever, and they're all identical and cheap and fine. Convenient, for sure, but nothing special.
(You can read more about bodegas in this super-official guide.)
If you're not a professional theater critic or literally the New Yorker Guy, you can't afford to go to Broadway shows with any sort of regularity. Unless you're one of those shady Russian businessmen who keeps buying the $76 billion Manhattan penthouses, but even then, I can only assume you're some evil movie villain who thinks The Arts equal "weakness" or some shit.
I was a theater major in college, I love going to the theater, I live 20 minutes away from the best theater district in the world, and still have to constantly remind myself like twice a year to actually make an effort to go see shows, then immediately give up when I realize the 2 shows I want to see are sold out until 2027 (except three obstructed view seats available on Thanksgiving Day for $280) or laying out $80 to see an old movie acted out worse with songs in it now.
Y'know, NEW YAWK hangin'! Just sittin' on some stoops, holding a basketball, drinkin' some brews, watchin' the kids playing double dutch in the gushing open fire hydrant, holding a second basketball, getting winked at by the leggy neighborhood sexpot, discussin' basketballs and how cool it is to hold 'em, trading your basketball for your other friend's basketball and holding each others' basketballs for a bit.
Man. Stoops are where it's at.
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