Full disclosure: There are a lot of questions that we, as New Yorkers, find pretty annoying. It’s not that we don’t like talking to people (we do!), it’s just that we can only be asked about certain things so many times. (Yes, we ride the subway and yes, we do it a lot.) But on the flip side, there are some questions that make our day. Here’s the list of questions that are totally okay to ask (just, you know, for your reference).
“What do you pay for rent?”
It might seem a little invasive, but not in NYC. New Yorkers love to complain about the rising cost of rent, but we also love to brag if we found an amazing deal or snagged a rent-stabilized apartment. It gives us the chance to talk up our neighborhood, which is either already very cool or “getting a lot nicer.” Plus, if you’re asking about rent because you think it might deter you from living in NYC, we see it as a personal challenge to convince you as to why the rent price is 100 percent worth it.
“Have you seen any celebrities?”
Uh, duh! Not only did we walk by Tim Gunn at Columbus Circle that one time, but we can recount every detail about what he was like in person and how totally cool we were when we saw him. We also love the idea that we share common ground with the rich and famous, so we’ll probably also mention how sure we are that we frequent the same grocery store. Celebrity sightings are common in NYC, so if our tone is a little blasé when we’re re-telling our story it’s because (even though we love bragging about it) it really is a standard occurrence.
“Do New Yorkers really drink all that coffee?”
We sure do! And we have a full list of recommendations of independently-brewed, non-Au Bon Pain java you should try. If you tell us that no coffee place here can match your favorite cup from back home, we’re certain you just haven’t found the right cup of NYC joe. We solemnly swear to never recommend a Starbucks as “the best coffee in NYC,” though we’re happy to chat about the fact that we’re confused as to how so many Starbucks in such close vicinity stay financially stable.
“Where should I get dinner tonight?”
Even if the New Yorker you speak with doesn’t self-identify as a ‘foodie,’ they definitely have strong feelings about the best restaurants in NYC. A New Yorker will always be happy to point you towards their secret, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that they can’t live without. Yes, it’s a little less cool now that more people know about it, but we love when our favorite and frequented establishments get extra business. If it means that we can keep ordering 3 AM takeout for another few months, we’ll make sure everyone we know eats at that restaurant.
“Is living in NYC as awesome as it looks?”
Of course! We can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Photos in this post by James Maher Photography.