15 Quintessentially New York City Terms

For the love of god — please don’t sit in that empty train car. posted on

1. Hot Garbage

1: a distinctive scent exclusive to NYC, particularly in the months of July and August
2: an odor that can be compared only to the recesses of hell or a heaping bowlful of sewage

2. Deli/Bodega/Corner Store

1: terms used interchangeably for the store at which you can buy pretty much everything you need ever
2: place you will usually find an adorable cat who is also sassy and cool

3. Plain Slice

1: a piece of cheese pizza
2: a form of miracle sustenance that works both as a respectable lunch and dinner as well as satisfying drunk food FOR A DOLLAR omg

4. Brick

1: really fucking cold
2: November through March

5. …But It’s the Law!

1: used most often in cabs that refuse to take you from one borough to another
2: what you will be yelling in a drunken haze, just outside the Williamsburg Bridge, with a slab of pizza dangling out of your mouth at 4 a.m. when the cabbie doesn’t give a shit

6. Train

1: general term for the NYC subway
2: form of transportation in which an empty car during rush hour is a clue you are about to encounter the most horrifying stench and/or sight of all your years

7. Waterbug

1: a giant, terrifying cockroach; palmetto bug
2: proof that the devil is real and it walks (sometimes flies) among us

8. Hero

1: a sandwich commonly/erroneously referred to as a “sub” in other parts of the country
2: that dude who sees you racing through the turnstile and holds the train doors open for you even though everyone else on the train is all like, “WTF, shithead, we have somewhere to be” and you’re like, “Wutevs, so do I, assholes”

9. Nutcracker

1: a delightful homemade alcoholic beverage typically sold on trains or in parks out of a suspicious cooler or backpack
2: responsible for your blackout and having your every possession stolen after you pass out on the train ride home

10. Bridge-and-Tunnel Crowd

1: fake-ID-toting youngsters from Long Island and New Jersey drowned in hair gel, teetering on 5-inch heels, clubbing and doing Jägerbombs yolo-style
2: the worst humans ever (but actually sort of fun to party with if you’re super wasted)

11. Houston Street

1: a pretty cool street on which to hang downtown
2: the pronunciation of which is the No. 1 way to spot a tourist or newcomer to the city

12. Schmear

1: a coating of cream cheese (i.e., on a bagel)
2: what you’d be wise to ask for at Russ & Daughters, Hot Bialys, etc.

13. The City

1: used by outer-borough folk to describe the borough of Manhattan
2: impossible to travel to from an outer borough on the weekends (aka when every train you need is down and/or running on another train’s line and/or running as a “shuttle” for approximately five stops)

14. Magnolia Bakery

1: place with nice enough but overrated cupcakes made famous by Sex and the City
2: where you will find every last tourist pretending to enjoy the best dessert of their entire life before their next stop at Times Square

15. Times Square

1: literally hell
2: where otherwise normal-functioning humans curiously forget that legs can be utilized for movement purposes

All illustrations by Michael Perez for BuzzFeed. You can find more of his work here.

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