Express-Pleated-Shirt-YSL-LipstickI realized that I had (finally) become a real New Yorker when I started to enjoy taking the bus. Prior to that Ben and I had a couple of conversations where he tried to explain why the Fifth Avenue bus is better than 6 train, but I didn’t listen. The selling point for me was that I can wait for a train “inside” and not to get cold on the street. In other words, I’ve been taking the subway to work for more than a year. And suddenly something has changed… 

I am not sure whether it was a super hot summer or my new addiction to Instagram, but I’ve been faithful to my M-1 bus for quite some time now. Ben was right: indeed, having access to my cell phone and the internet helps me to organize thoughts and to-do list even before I get to the office. I can also get engrossed in my reading without being afraid to miss my stop.

Among other unexpected benefits of the New York City bus riding that I have recently explored are:

I can enjoy the view of Central Park and relax;

Since the bus stops a couple of blocks away from my office, I take an extra 2,000 steps a day and thus stay active;

While on a bus, I can see store ads for sales and take mental notes to check these deals online;Don’t-Even-Think-Of-Parking-Here

There are no homeless people on the bus and thus no weird smells that distract me so much in the subway;

If there is traffic and I am getting late, I can always get out of the bus and take a cab;

I can see  people running in the morning around Central Park and it keeps me motivated to workout later in the day;

Every time I pass by the Plaza Hotel I think about my shoes that need some repair work at the Leather Spa and thus take good care of my shoe collection;

Riding a bus helps me to be more organized in terms of social media promotion of my blog: I have a rule of thumb to share at least one Instagram photo on my way to work;

I have time to give a quick call to my mom, ask how she is doing and promise to call back over lunch;

I see the sign “Don’t Even Think Of Parking Here” every day and it always makes me smile!

After my “A-Ha I’m Finally A New Yorker” moment passed, I started to think about additional “symptoms” of becoming a proud member of the Big Apple crowd. Here is the list that I came out with:

I’ve learned how to cross the street on a red signal and jaywalk without having a heart attack;

I freak out when I see people dressed as Mickey Mouse, Spider Man, and Elmo in Times Square;

I can put my eye makeup on in every situation: in a subway, in a moving cab, in the elevator full of people — I bet I can do it even hanging upside down (but I haven’t tried it yet);

There are some restaurants that I’ve been to more than five times; I can find a restaurant that I’ve been to on every five blocks section in Manhattan;

People running in a Central Park do not remind me of dog racing anymore; actually, I became one of these running dogs myself!;

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I’ve downloaded the Lifebooker app and now can book a facial at 3:00 am on Saturday night (it would sound more dramatic to add “drunk” here, but I am not a “drinker”);

I’ve learned how to give people directions and not think afterward “OMG, I’ve sent them the wrong way!”;

I feel that Pat Kiernan is my old friend and check Jamie Shupak’s outfits for inspiration every morning (ok, she is recently married and is Jamie Stelter now!);

I’ve seen or heard about 17 out of 31 BuzzFeed’s post 31 “Celebrities” Who Are Only Famous To People Who Live In New York;

No matter where I travel, I always miss New York.

Do you know any additional “signs” that define real New Yorkers? Please share your observations and join the conversation!

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