New York City has always been a world unto itself, but for visitors, mastering the lingo beloved by city residencies can be an intimidating proposition. Here are just a few important terms to know on your next visit to NYC, and why learning the right lingo can help you better navigate the most fascinating parts of a world-class city.
Prounounced “gren-itch,” this area of downtown Manhattan became famous as an artistic and countercultural center in the 1950s and 1960s. Everyone from Jack Kerouac to Bob Dylan has called “The Village” home at one point or another.
You might be forgiven for being confused when you hear people referring to a part of the city as DUMBO; while an image of Disney’s famous cartoon elephant might spring to mind on hearing the name, the truth of the matter is that DUMBO is actually an acronym for a part of Brooklyn that is located “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Confusing name aside, top-tier restaurants and art galleries make this part of the city a must-visit for fans of true New York culture.
The MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) runs the city’s unique and easy-to-use subway system.
Like Greenwich Village, SOHO has long been a major force in the city’s artistic community. Over forty years ago, everyone from Andy Warhol to Philip Glass used the once-cheap and readily-available lofts here as artistic home bases; those lofts are now multimillion dollar condos, of course, but SOHO’s artistic and bohemian vibe remains. The name of this area refers to the its location south of Houston street.
New Yorkers love giving neighborhoods hip portmanteau nicknames; near SOHO is Tribeca, for example, which derives its name from being the “Triangle Beneath Canal.”
In New York, pie refers to the unique style of pizza favored by many of the city’s residents.
Watch out when you’re ordering your favorite hot beverage in NYC. To New Yorkers, a regular coffee includes two sugars and milk.
Above all else, enjoy yourself on your visit to New York City. While the slang used by local residents takes some getting used to, a bit of time in the city’s unique environs will soon make you an expert. And that is what New York is all about!