Living in New York is amazing. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
Actually, there are a lot of reasons (rats, rent, and rubbernecking tourists come to mind) but for real New Yorkers, we love our city more than any reasonable human being would.
Plenty of the people who currently call New York home hail from another hometown. But you know what? Being an NYC transplant is nothing to be embarrassed about.
No one should feel ashamed for coming to the Big Apple from a smaller apple somewhere else on the map.
Before you start lying about growing up on the Upper East Side, remember that you should be proud of where you came from, and you should be even prouder that though you might not have been born here, you’re a true New Yorker now, too.
WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED?
Yes, it can be embarrassing to take the subway the wrong direction and end up in the incorrect borough (been there); and you can feel dumb for using Google Maps, a subway map app, stopping a stranger to ask for directions, and still getting lost; it’s a little awkward if you mispronounce “Houston Street” or unwittingly order your bagel toasted—note to transplants: never order your bagel toasted…
...but who cares? You might, but the great thing about all those incidents is that the fellow rider on the subway / stranger you asked for directions / bagel shop employee isn’t going to remember.
Embarrassing yourself is nothing to be embarrassed about.
YOU CAN APPRECIATE THE DIFFERENCES SO MUCH MORE
Growing up in the city that never sleeps provides a lot of perks, I have no doubt. But do native New Yorkers actually appreciate those perks anymore?
I’ve been here three and a half years, and even though I’m slightly embarrassed every time my mom visits and she’s genuinely thrilled by all the different kinds of dogs she sees on the street, isn’t that kind of amazing?
As someone who moved here as an adult, you can enjoy the differences between this city and wherever you hailed from that much more. You know it’s not a given that public transportation is easily accessible, that 99 cent pizza is readily available, that every single concert/play/comedy show you might ever want to see tours here.
And this goes both ways—when you’re go back to where you "came from," you know to bask in the lack of street noise, to fully appreciate the size of a regular bedroom, to revel in the scope of a starry night.
As a non-native New Yorker, you know not to take either situation and each of their unique circumstances for granted.
THIS CITY IS OPEN TO ALL IMMIGRANTS
The Statue of Liberty isn’t welcoming only to transplants from overseas. She’ll also take the tired, poor, huddled masses from the Midwest, the West Coast, the South, and everywhere in between.
NYC is a sanctuary city, in more ways than the legal one. It opens its subway doors for everyone. It might also close them on your backpack every once in awhile, but Lady Liberty never said it was going to be easy.
Every person who bucks up the courage to move here—and don’t let a native New Yorker scoff at the literal use of the word “courage” in this context—deserves to be here just as much as someone who woke up for the very first time already here.
BEING FROM A "BETTER CITY" DOESN'T MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON
In my experience over the past three and a half years, the only time I’ve ever felt truly ashamed of my upbringing outside of the five boroughs is when a native New Yorker wants me to feel that way. Because they come from the most amazing city in the world and I do not, so I must be inferior as a human being.
Contrary to popular belief, most New Yorkers are not unfriendly. They may not smile at or say hello to everyone they see, but there are 8 million people living in this city. That’s just not reasonable. However, there are those entitled natives who feel their birthright claim on the concrete jungle makes them king.
To those people I say: get over yourself. Having a mother who gave birth in this city doesn’t automatically anoint you a modern day god. So get off your pedestal and stop looking down on the rest of us.
YOU BELONG HERE JUST AS MUCH AS ANYONE
No matter where you came from before, if you want to live in New York City, you do it. And if you live in New York City, you, too, can be a real New Yorker. Just not until you’ve cried on the subway and not given a flying f*ck about it.