I’m a New Yorker Now — I Think

4 min readApr 28


I’ve lost track of the exact number of days I’ve been in the city. A month from now, it will be two years officially, so I know it’s somewhere around 700 days now. Hard to believe, right?

Even though I’ve been here for a while, I still go back and forth over whether I consider myself an actual New Yorker. Do I chow down on New York staples on the regular? Yes. We’re talking everything bagels with lox and cream cheese, halal food from street vendors, $2 pizza slices. I eat all of it. Do I frequent New York establishments like Dumbo House and the Roxy Hotel? Also yes. Do I attend New York sporting events? As of a week ago, yes. I take real pleasure in sporting Yankee’s memorabilia every chance I get.

So why is it that some days I still feel as if I haven’t been fully initiated into the New York way of life? Maybe it’s because I haven’t flipped off plenty of taxi drivers for almost hitting me in the middle of the street (after dodging your 100th taxi, you get a free day-pass at the Whitney Museum of Art). I’m totally kidding, but many a New Yorker would nonetheless be eligible for that prize.

Maybe I’ll feel like a real New Yorker once I’ve bought an entire bedroom suite from Bloomingdale’s — Ralph Lauren, no less. Simply buying a cupcake from their first-floor Magnolia Bakery, though a New York staple, will not designate me as a New Yorker unless it is paired with something as extravagant as a pair of Jimmy Choo’s or perhaps even one of the well sought-after fragrances in the Tom Ford section.

Maybe I should traipse through Central Park just a bit more. In a lot of ways, this is considered the New York staple — except for perhaps the Empire State Building. Although, I will say that I have explored vast sections of the park by now — both the uptown portions as well as the more-popular 59th Street portion. And you can bet I have my iced coffee from Starbuck’s when I do so.

I’ve explored the hole-in-the wall coffee shops in the West Village (yes, the ones close to NYU and Washington Square Park), and I’ve stood on the stage with a fellow drag queen at Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street. I’ve explored every floor of Macy’s — during Thanksgiving and Christmas — and I’ve even taken the ferry multiple times through Hudson Bay.

As far as the more non-traditional local New York activities go, I’ve bought my Halloween costume from Abracadabra instead of going to Party City, I believe Katz’s Deli and Sarge’s have the best corned beef sandwiches, I buy my books from Strand Bookstore instead of Barnes and Noble, and I opt to walk 30 blocks instead of taking the subway — just because I’m used to it at this point.

I do take the subway on a regular basis (even though I hate it with every fiber of my being), I have a couple of spots in Brooklyn (Good Judy and 3 Dollar Bill) that are usually frequented by local New Yorkers, and I regularly ask myself if my wardrobe deserves to see the light of day after seeing an ungodly amount of people sporting actual Balenciaga on the street.

I realize I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m an actual New Yorker, but I don’t think that happens as a result of listing all the New Yorker-approved activities in one’s repertoire. I think one becomes a New Yorker the second they accept being a New Yorker, which, for me, happened a long time ago. It didn’t happen because I toured the Empire State Building more than once or because I know how to navigate Central Park in its vast entirety. It happened because I believe I AM a New Yorker at my core, and though I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened, it’s been true and will remain that way.

I love being a New Yorker because once you’ve accepted it, you never have to convince other New Yorkers, as they accept you no matter how long you’ve been here or what your background is. That’s the beauty of this city. That’s why I can’t see myself anywhere else.

If you made it this far, Dear Reader, thank you for sticking with me. I look forward to sharing more NYC experiences with you, as there are many. Until next time!




Residing in Manhattan, C.F. Turner is a realistic fiction author and blogger of all things sex-related.