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22 Things To Remember When in New York City

in Travel Nerd by

Hello, world. This is New York City. As everyone knows (or not), a day in NYC is always hectic and busy. People walk fast like their time is running out. Trains are always overcrowded, dirty, and if you’re lucky, stinky. There’s always something going on around this city and for sure you won’t get bored in it. Mixing in the fast-paced life is great, but it’ll be better if you’re prepared with these basic rules to live by when you’re in NYC.

1. Learn to refer subway lines by their numbers and letters.

Photo Credit: jessespector

Photo Credit: jessespector

It is confusing at first (like almost everything in NYC) but knowing this is already helpful when getting around the city.

2. When ordering something at a deli, don’t place all your orders to the person behind the cash register.

Photo Credit: Tanenhaus

Photo Credit: Tanenhaus

If you want a sandwich, ask the person working behind the station. Grab your food and head to the checkout counter to pay.

3. Do not lean on the subway poles.

Photo Credit: Spoiled NYC

Photo Credit: Spoiled NYC

You see, the train is crowded and people need something to hold on to.

4. A tip for tips

Photo Credit: Varanaus

Photo Credit: Varanaus

The bill’s 20% is the standard minimum. 15%, is a good way to piss someone off. Don’t tip at fast food places.

5. The food is great here.

Photo Credit: wallyg

Photo Credit: wallyg

There’s always something new to try in town and you can even get authentic ethnic cuisines from all over the world. So, for your sake, forget about your plan going to Olive Garden and Friday’s. Please.

6. Never trust an empty car train.

Thinking of going VIP during rush hour? Sure, if you want to get empty car train perks like vomit, a busted air conditioner, or something worse.

7. Be sure your change or Metrocard is ready before you get to the turnstile.

Photo Credit: david...richey

Photo Credit: david…richey

Avoid finding yourself searching for these things in your purse or wallet once you’ve stepped inside the bus or right before a subway turnstile. This rule also goes when you’re paying at the checkout counter – get your cash and cards out quickly, please.

8. Where do you find New York-style pizza in New York?

Photo Credit: thepigmon

Photo Credit: thepigmon

Nowhere and everywhere. You’re in New York right?

9. Stealing another’s cab ride isn’t illegal but…

Photo Credit: invisibro

Photo Credit: invisibro

If you want to be the best candidate in everyone’s hate list, going farther from someone trying to get a cab to steal his/her ride should be your favorite daily activity. In other words, don’t.

10. Learn to walk… a lot.

Photo Credit: Edwort

Photo Credit: Edwort

It’s healthy and the best way to get around the city. Don’t complain.

11. Know when you’re getting in someone’s way

Do you know how it feels like when you’re driving on a highway and the car in front of you is moving too slow? Annoying right? That’s how the people walking on sidewalks and subway feel too when you and your friends walk hand in hand around NYC like you’re in an amusement park.

12. Get to the point.

Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos

Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos

Sure, you can ask for questions, but remember the city isn’t going to stop for an hour for you. Time is running for every people you see on the streets. Moreover, scammers are everywhere in the city so don’t blame the people for being rude when you say, “May I ask you a question?” before asking the real question. So instead of telling a long introduction about yourself, just go straight to the point.

13. A rule to live by in NYC: Stand on the right side.

Photo Credit: dphiffer

Photo Credit: dphiffer

When stepping on an escalator, stand on the right side – not on the left. The left side is for those who walk up, for those who are in a hurry. Imagine the chaos you’d create when you stand on the wrong side.

14. Wait for the people to get off the train before getting on.

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Because how can you get in when the people in front of you are struggling to get out?

15. Don’t stop.

Photo Credit: Iain Browne

Photo Credit: Iain Browne

In the middle of the street, on the stairs, or in the subway; don’t stop just to look on your phone or suddenly think about your existence.

16. Close your legs, dude.

When on the train, don’t take up too much sitting space with your legs wide open.

17. Before getting out of the cab, stop and look behind.

Photo Credit: road.cc

Photo Credit: road.cc

Look behind before you open that car door to avoid accidentally hitting passing cyclists.

18. Don’t block the box.

Photo Credit: Painfully Vanilla

Photo Credit: Painfully Vanilla

You can see road signs on intersections saying, “Don’t block the box”. Take this rule seriously because if you fail to travel all the way through the direction you’re heading and pedestrians start to block you, you’ll be terrified to find yourself stuck in the middle of the intersection while cars honking and people screaming their hate at you. But in the first place, don’t rent in a car in NYC if you’re a tourist.

19. Respect others’ privacy

Photo Credit: wwward0

Photo Credit: wwward0

Privacy is precious in this overly-crowded city so think twice if you think about interfering. Don’t stare at anyone you don’t know, have fun eavesdropping, or try to chase a celebrity doing errands. Give them space and mind your own business.

20. Be polite.

Photo Credit: superk8nyc

Photo Credit: superk8nyc

New Yorkers aren’t all rude as you’ve imagined it based from the movies you saw, or based on how you felt when you had a taste of this busy city as a first-timer. People, in general, are kind enough so don’t forget to pay back with a nice “Thank you” for those who took time to help you.

21. Houston Street FYI

Photo Credit: swruler9284

Photo Credit: swruler9284

Houston Street is pronounced, “HOW-ston”, not “HUGH-ston” street.

22. New York City isn’t just Manhattan.

Photo Credit: Gary Burke.

Photo Credit: Gary Burke.

There’s also Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.


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