7 Competitions That New Yorkers Secretly Have With Each Other

Katherine Ripley Katherine Ripley


New Yorkers are some of the most competitive people on the planet, even if we don’t always admit it. Every day you’re having routine competitions with friends, co-workers or even strangers. Here are seven that are pretty standard:


1. Who can walk faster

madison square garden crowd

This competitive instinct kicks into high gear when you’re walking around a bunch of slow-moving tourists, or you come upon a construction site and the sidewalk is about to get so narrow that you won’t be able to pass anyone. Better get through first.


2. Who can get the better grip on the subway pole

subway dancers
[New York Times]
Is this guy just oblivious to the fact that he’s touching your hand, or is he purposely trying to edge you out? You have two choices: stand your ground and bare the awkwardness, or surrender your territory and take your chances on the corners.


3. Who can stay at the office the latest

Only applicable in certain professions, such as investment banking, start-ups, and journalism. Don’t believe the smiles on everyone else’s faces. They’re still here because they’re trying to edge you out for the next promotion, and they’ll be damned if they leave the office before you.


4. Who can stay out later

girls night out

Even if you win this competition, you still lose. You’re out at 5am in a bar that isn’t even that fun, you get home just as the sun is rising, you sleep until 6pm when it’s dark, and when you wake up you have the worst hangover. But hey, you won!


5. Who can be the most hungover and still work

Don’t feel any pity for the people who are bent over their desks and loudly complaining about their hangovers. They’re just showing off. The only way to win this competition is to get validation from co-workers. Don’t give them the satisfaction.


6. Who can know the most people at the party (and in general)

You want to be able to greet every person with a “Hey! How’ve you been?” while your friend who you brought with you is like, “Who the fuck are all these people?” Your conversations always lead to: “Do you know Max? He went to NYU?” “Oh yeah! Of course! And do you know his girlfriend Annie?” So on and so forth.


7. Who can be the most unconventional

The criteria for this one keep on getting tougher. You no longer get points for shopping at Whole Foods and feeding your dog Blue Buffalo. You get points for shopping at food co-ops, growing your own vegetables, and feeding your dog a raw diet. No more points just for tattoos and pixie cuts. You need to shave at least one side of your head and perform burlesque on weekends to win this one.



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