It is an almost impossible task to pull apart New York City and create a list of reasons why New Yorkers love it. Observe a New Yorker in the wild on any given day, and you will see your subject be broken down by the city, its subway system, its often arduous obstacles, and even other New Yorkers. The relationship between a New Yorker and this city is so complicated and personal, both perfect and dysfunctional AF, and as such it's difficult to pinpoint why any one of us has fallen helplessly captive to this place.

Certainly there are some through lines connecting our communal love for the city, though—many listicles have tackled this, but the closest-to-perfect list we've ever seen comes from The NY Times circa June 1976, if only for its brutal honesty and specificity. Here are a few timeless bullet points:

  • "Being nostalgic about things in New York that never were so great."
  • "Thinking that iridescent pigeon necks are beautiful."
  • "Hating pigeons"
  • "Hating New York"
  • "Leaving New York"
  • "Coming back to New York"
  • "Thinking what New York could be, if only."
  • "New York's proximity to Montauk."
  • "The best water‐supply system in the nation."
  • "More movies, plays, and ballet than anywhere else in the world, and not going."
  • "Imagining New York without anyone in it."
  • "Bags of beer."
  • "Dead Horse Bay."
  • "Subway cars with public-address speakers that don't work."
  • "Staten Island ferryboat." (A "Why We Love NYC" list mainstay.)
  • "Firemen in your supermarket doing a week's shopping for the firehouse kitchen."

"Commuters face the usual morning rush hour crowds, at the Rockefeller Center subway station, 1976." (Suzanne Vlamis/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

The list also includes a few now-charmingly-dated items:

  • "The apostrophe missing from DONT WALK." (These were phased out around 2000.)
  • "Flipping the change tray in the plastic taxicab divider."
  • "Dialing 873-0404" (This was the Dial-A-Satellite hotline which delivered information about passing satellites.)
  • "Habitually fitting your thumbnail in the Y-cutout of a subway token.

    See the full list here.