Are you relatively new to this fine metropolis? Hey, don't be shy about it, everyone was new to New York at one time... except, of course, those battle-hardened residents who've lived here their whole lives and Know It All. One of these lifers works among us at Gothamist—publisher Jake Dobkin grew up in Park Slope and currently resides in Brooklyn Heights. He is now fielding questions—ask him anything by sending an email here, but be advised that Dobkin is "not sure you guys will be able to handle my realness." We can keep you anonymous if you prefer; just let us know what neighborhood you live in.

This week's question comes from a starstruck transplant:

Have I been here too long to get excited about seeing a famous person? At what point does it become lame & embarrassing to text your friends back home to tell them about the celebrity you just saw on street? How long do you need to live here before you're no longer excited about seeing Jane Krakowski and Philip Seymour Hoffman?

By the way, I saw Lenny Kravitz, Will Arnett, Nigel Barker and Renee Graziano (Mob Wives) on the same day last week! It was amazing!

Signed,
I'm a 40 year old man and I still get excited about seeing Elaine from Ally McBeal

A Native New Yorker replies:

Dear Ally McBeal Fan,

As a New Yorker, there is only one star you are legitimately allowed to be excited about seeing on the street: Steve Buscemi. And when you do see him, you are only allowed a restrained smile with brief eye contact. Do not under any circumstances approach him and tell him how much you enjoy his work. Seriously, keep that shit to yourself—he likes to cut people.

For everyone else, you should feel nothing: no pulse quickening, no thoughts of how you might say something clever and have Philip Seymour Hoffman invite you back to his place for a little naked shvitzing in his sauna. That's just a really weird, sick idea anyway. And what's more, it's politically wrong and just so anti-NYC to admire people just because they're rich or famous or beautiful or whatever. You could have that stuff if you wanted—but it's much more authentic to keep working at that law firm or property developer or whatever you're doing, right?

Remember: these stars are just people, like everyone else. So the next time you see John Turturro waiting for the G train, remember: he's also consumed by his fears about the future and existential dread, and if you talked to him he'd just complain about how Park Slope has gotten so overpriced and he's thinking about moving to Windsor Terrace, just like everyone else you know, so you should just put your headphones back on, turn up that Animal Collective, and be on your way.


Ask A Native New Yorker anything by emailing our Tips address here.