Fake It Til You Make It: Simple Ways to Act Like a True New Yorker While Visiting NYC

by Julia on January 2, 2019

As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do…” The meaning behind that saying is that when you go to a different place, you should follow the ways and interactions of the people who actually live there.

You definitely want to follow that same logic when it comes to surviving your visit to New York. Whether you’re from the South, Midwest, East Coast, or West Coast, things up North are just unlike any other location. The people, the food, the atmosphere, and the overall vibe of the city is one that you have to experience for yourself.

When you do visit New York, especially if it will be your first time visiting, you’re of course going to be taking pictures of everything. Taking pictures of everything you see while visiting anywhere is a dead giveaway that you’re a tourist, but that’s ok. To be a “New Yorker,” you have to experience New York first. Maybe during the first two or three days of your visit, you can be in tourist mode, but on your last couple of days in the city, you can go Carrie Bradshaw and Jerry Seinfeld on everyone, and blend right on in with the locals!

To get the most out of your New York City trip, you indeed will need to explore the city, and follow suit of the locals, so in doing that, here are some simple ways that you can blend in with the New Yorkers and become a true Yankee.

Eat Where the Locals Eat

If you come to visit New York, one of the deadliest sins you can commit is eating at a chain restaurant. Just because you might see a Sonic or Olive Garden, that doesn’t mean that’s where you should go to New York to get a hot dog, or Italian food! When in New York, do as the New Yorkers, and eat local!

It’s the little mom and pops places that you want to go to for authentic New York style food. In the town that you live in, there are probably all kinds of chain pizza places that have “New York style” or “Brooklyn style” pizza… they’re all blasphemy! There is no New York style pizza better than eating a pizza in New York!

When people in New York eat pizza, you know what they call it? They call it pizza. That’s because the way they make their pizza is a way of life; there is no tweaking or changing of a recipe to make it “New York styled” like pizza places that are not in New York. So if you want to portray that New Yorker image, eat like a local, and leave the chains alone.

Learn the Lingo

Every city or town has their own form of slang or verbiage. Depending on where you’re from, and possibly your age, the lingo of New Yorkers might be a little harder to understand for some, more than others. That’s all the more reason to do your research on New York verbiage before you take your trip. Let’s take a look at some of the verbiage you might hear from a New Yorker during your visit:

  • Schvitz-Common Jewish word meaning sweat. “That exercise class had me schvitzing my buns off!”

  • Pie- New York word for pizza.

  • Whip- An expensive or luxury car. “Did you see Johnny’s new whip?”

  • The City- Manhattan. “I would go with you, but I’ll be in the city all weekend.”

  • Yous- plural version of the word you, referring to multiple people. “Which one of yous guys ate the last piece of pie?”

It only takes a minute to get yourself acclimated to the New York verbiage… once you figure that out, you’ll be looking like a New Yorker in no time!


Rarely will you find a New Yorker driving a car. Even Mr. Big had a driver for his car! But New Yorkers either walk or use public transportation, but for the most part, you see everyone walking.

Since walking is the common form of transportation among New Yorkers, you have to treat walking like you would driving. The sidewalk is the equivalent of the interstate. Even though New Yorkers don’t typically drive, they still know the rules and etiquette of driving.

One of the rules of walking, is to not stop walking in the middle of the sidewalk! If you were on the interstate, would you just stop in the middle of the road? Absolutely not! If you’re on the interstate, and need to stop for whatever reason, you would simply pull over to the side of the road. You would use that same exact process with walking. When walking the crowded New York streets, and you need to stop, walk your way to the side, so that you can safely stop, and not ruffle any feathers in the process!

Share the 411

Now that you’ve eaten like a local, learned the lingo, and learned the rules of walking, you can now share the wealth of knowledge you’ve acquired during your visit to New York with other travelers. One way to share your New York experience, is to blog about it!

From the time you arrive to New York, you need to be taking pictures, and keeping a video diary of every single experience. One you learn the lingo, you should make a video of yourself using the lingo in conversation with a New Yorker. That will show your followers, and fellow travelers, that the proof is indeed in the pudding!

With your travel blog, you really want to take your followers on the adventure with you. Even though they may not physically be there with you, you can still make them feel like they are. Feeling the experience is essentially what you want your readers to do. Pictures, videos, and just overall being interactive with your readers is what will make your blog stand out.

If nothing at all, your travel blog is a great outlet for you to express yourself, and all your experiences. You of course will tell all your friends and family about your adventures, and misadventures, but your blog will be a digital imprint for you to cherish always.

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