From the outside, New York City just looks like one giant mess of chaos and people, and to a certain extent, that's accurate. But to a New Yorker, that chaos is "home" and with it comes some pretty specific things.

There are things that only a true New Yorker would agree are on the "most New York" list, things that are telltale traits of the city they consider their favorite. To navigate the chaos is to know it and in the city, that's just how life works. There are just certain landmarks and things one does as a true New Yorker that mark their way of life, such as eating certain foods at certain places, knowing public transportation like they were born with the underground knowledge, and even knowing that around the holidays, there's only one place to be.


There are stereotypes, and then there's the true New York experience.

Food, Of Course, But There Are Staples

This stereotype is true - and the greasier, the better. Chances are, if you're a New Yorker, you're walking so much that you don't care how many calories you're eating because they're being burned so quickly. Starting a morning off with an uber cheesy egg sandwich (bonus points if it comes with turkey or bacon), heavy on the S&P is the only right way to do it. The sandwich should come in an aluminum paper wrapper and feel like a warm promise of a good day in your hands.

Alternatively, a slice of pizza is a great way to break into lunch or dinner and also a city staple. Don't order a "cheese slice", order a "plain slice", lest the pizza comes back with extra cheese. Toppings are personal just like the way a slice is eaten, but everyone knows that folding is only for those who are eating while walking.

Not Only Riding The Subway, Knowing Every Aspect Of It

The subway is a rite of passage for those new to the city, but it's a daily occurrence for those who live there. Dirty and grimy as it may be, New Yorkers have built up such a tolerance to it that they don't even flinch at the cat-sized rats crawling around the subway tracks. If you're lucky, you might see one eating some pizza.

Good luck grabbing a seat at rush hour - and good luck to anyone who doesn't have a great sense of balance. If someone starts singing or dancing in the middle of a subway car, don't worry... It's perfectly normal.

Tourists Aside, The Magic Of 5th Ave During The Holidays

Christmas is simply magical in the city, at least, if you don't live there. For city natives, it's a time when getting past Rockefeller Center is nearly impossible due to the sheer crowd that grows with each passing day closer to December 25th.

The true magic, however, is not high up in the city's tallest tree - it's a few blocks further on 5th Ave. Store windows are a big draw when it comes to the holidays and as soon as this street comes into view, it's nothing but bright lights and big statements.

Department stores spend a tremendous amount on being one of the best displays in the city, and honor that has become the proud badge of NYC at Christmastime.

Apartments Big Enough For Half A Person

This is common in New York City, considering how insanely expensive it is to live there. It also allows New Yorkers to get creative with their living arrangements and honestly, most of them are lucky if they don't have a fire escape blocking their window so they can have an AC unit.

Related: 20 Photos That Change The Way We See New York City

Playing Handball At The Closest Court

Handball is a time-honored tradition in the city, especially for kids. However, it's gotten so legitimate over the last few years that it's not uncommon to find tournaments dedicated to this face-paced sport. In the concrete jungle, it's rare not to find a court that's full on weekend days. And if a newcomer can manage to not get nailed in the face, then they might even be invited back the following weekend.

Next: The Biggest Mistakes Tourists Make In New York City (And How To Avoid Them)