.. references in pop culture that kind of click once you've actually been to New York. This is in danger of being a really cheesy dumb tourist post, but then I'm a bit of a cheezy dumb tourist, and it was the subject of conversations while walking around the streets of Manhattan...
Billy Joel - Up town girl (she's been livin' in her uptown world, now's she's playing with a downtown guy... ). Oh so every address comes with "uptown" or "downtown" attached... clearly it was a class thing, but it is also a fundamental part of working out where the hell you are.
Marylin Monroe, late night cop dramas, gritty 80s relationship movies, Madonna in "Desperately seeking Susan" ... yes there really is steam coming out of those fucking subway vents. Ew.
"No soup for you" (Seinfeld)- everywhere sells soup! About the cheapest thing you can get at lunch, that isn't a toxic hotdog - I suppose its an ecomonic way to make a lot of servings.
Coming to America (Eddie Murphy)/ Bright Lights Big City (Michael J Fox)/ Big Business (Bette Midler) - those opening scenes where the newcomers stare goggle eyed out of the window of a yellow cab at the skyscrapers - yeah, that was us too.
Sex and the City exteriors - uniformed doormen and those marquee-like shelters over the front entrance. Definitely an uptown thing.
Woody Allen. Oh is, like everyone in this town an artist/filmaker/performing arts manager or what? The ones I met were.
Sesame street. I don't think this needs an explanation - but my, there is a lot of Spanish spoken in the neighbourhood - even to most major subway advertising campaings, being done bi-lingual.
This post is officially open to additions from recent numty travellers like myself...