New York City isn't just a place to dwell -- it's a full-on virus that entangles itself into your system, and soon enough you're justifying a $4 iced coffee.
The city has this unique way of infiltrating the minds of its inhabitants. It's like parents who were really, really good at raising their child in their image.
You don't change NYC (despite willingly acquiescing to rent hikes); NYC changes you.
It's the common cold that no one can seem to cure. The feverish mindset that won't break until it breaks you. You might think you're immune to the city and the noise and the street pretzels, but it will infect you.
And now, for better or for worse, you've got the bug everyone wants to catch.
Here are the 21 signs you've been infected by NYC.
1. You constantly want things
Tickets, kicks (no, not Knicks tickets), the subway to come. In New York, there's no such thing as having enough.
There will always be a homeless man with a better singing voice than you, an Upper East Side 65-year-old woman with better skin than you, a college kid with a better apartment than you.
Maybe it's the overexposure to billboards and plastered sidewalk ads, but you're always wanting for something.
2. You are staying here because of your job, which also accounts for the majority of your stay
You can't hide from reality in NYC. Your job (work/ drinking/ trying to survive) is most of your life, and you're OK with that.
3. You know what a “cronut” is, the proper way to say “Houston” and that you can stop at a “bodega” on your way over
You make us so proud. That's New York City English 101.
4. The thought of being hit by a cab doesn't scare you
In fact, you would actually welcome being lightly grazed -- that means you can pay your rent this month and score a free meal in the hospital.
5. Central Park is legitimately nature
They say there are more species of bugs in Central Park than there were in Bob Marley's hair, so it's basically an urban National Forest.
6. When you go to your friend's 170-square-foot apartment, you're like, “This is huge!”
See Mom and Dad? New York City has really given you what they wanted all along: perspective.
7. When strangers are nice or smile at you on the street, you are suspicious
You think they will either hurt you or ask you for money. Or both, in some neighborhoods.
8. In any other city, you are a 10; in this city, you are a soft 4
You're Gisele in Chicago and Lena Dunham's right elbow in New York. I blame it on gym-trification (the proliferation of NYC fitness centers, messing with regular people's market value).
9. You consider those little squares of fenced dirt your “backyard”
I know it's not much, Sweetie, but it's big enough for the dog!
10. Traffic noises are ambient sounds
You can't sleep in a city that never sleeps and yet, you can't sleep any place else -- it's too quiet.
11. You get angry when you've waited for more than eight minutes
“It's been almost 10 minutes here!” is pretty much the going rate for first complaint.
12. You don't even blink paying $11.50 for lunch
Is that salad on sale?
13. You don't understand how people still eat gluten
Unless it's a slice, of course.
14. You've accepted the fact that, no matter what, it takes 20 minutes to go anywhere
Even if it's just five blocks from your neighborhood. And if you live downtown and there's something going on uptown, forget about it. It's not even on your radar. It's compromising your morals.
15. You willingly pay 2/3 of your paycheck for an apartment you are barely in because of said paycheck
Somehow you can make sense of this New York logic and fall in love with it.
16. You will run, in the pouring rain, to a random driver who will deny you a lift and then make you convince him to take your money
Congratulations, you've just helped to discover Uber's new media platform.
17. “Don't Walk” really means “Go Faster”
You have to make your own fate in New York, or something like that.
18. You are enraged when you go to a place that doesn't have soy milk
Get with the New York Times, here! (See what we did there?)
19. You are convinced they filmed the "Breaking Bad" B-roll in your trash room
There's definitely something you don't want to know about going on in there.
20. You have an automatic disdain for Staten Island
You can't give someone directions how to get there, and you don't really care because you would never go there anyway. You don't even know where it is on a map, which actually comforts you at night. You couldn't go if you tried.
21. It pains you not to recycle
But you'll still throw errant objects out the window.