Welcome, welcome, welcome to New York City!! Thanks for helping our economy and in return, we are going to help you not stand out as a tourist! Here are a few tips and trips to maximize your stay here in NYC and to help you assimilate flawlessly into our culture.
Rule 1: DO NOT EAT CHAIN PIZZA!
What do I mean by that? We are so lucky to have an abundance of local cuisine (including pizza) here in the city? Local pizza not only tastes better but it probably has less preservatives and is made fresh. With that said, try not to eat at any chain restaurants. The local ones tend to have better deals and better tasting food! Plus $1 pizza is God’s gift to mankind.
Rule 2: DON’T BLOCK THE SIDEWALK
We understand that you’ll get lost, we get lost sometimes too, especially below Houston street. But nothing makes New Yorker’s more upset than when tourists (or anyone for that matter) stands in the middle of the sidewalk and blocks the walk way. We are in a rush, a lot of people need to get to work, a meeting, a birth, you never know, we just have to go, go, go! Therefore, just stand to the side of a building, without blocking the entrances and ask us (or a friendly police officer) for directions. We would be more than happy to help you if you follow this unofficial rule. Also if you’re walking on the side-walk, walk faster!
Rule 3: BUY AN UNLIMITED METROCARD
Depending on your stay, it might seem expensive at first, but it will save you so much time, money, and hassle in the end. How easy is it for you to pay one fee, one time, and you can go on the subway as much as you want, for planned things and for last minute activities? Here for a week? Buy your $31 weekly unlimited Metrocard to freedom!
Side note: When you swipe your metrocard, don’t do it slowly and yellow side facing you. These things also work on all the busses!
We understand that you are eager to get to where you want to go, however, let us of f the train first before you get on. Because either way, we’re going to get off the train and even though we might feel bad about it, we’re still going to trample you. So to make riding the subway more efficient, let us off first and then get on the train.
Side-note: If someone is sitting in front of the subway map on the train, please DO NOT lean so close to them. It’s uncomfortable for the person sitting there. But if you absolutely need to, at least say sorry for invading their personal space.
Also, if someone is making noise on the train or acting crazy AVOID EYE CONTACT WITH THEM. DON’T SMILE AT THEM, DON’T INTERACT WITH THEM. IN FACT, JUST PRETEND YOU’RE ASLEEP.
Finally, if there is an empty subway car, during rush hour or a busy time of day DO NOT TRUST IT. IT IS NOT THE GIFT FROM GOD YOU THOUGHT IT WAS, IT IS A TRAP. DO NOT GET ON IT. THE SMELL WILL BE TOXIC AND YOU WILL WANT TO DIE.
Ah yes, the Bodega, the beautiful amazing corner stores that are basically grocery stores but at even more discounted prices. They often make sandwiches that aren’t a rip off and be sure to clarify if you want it on a roll(small) or a hero(big), you can have them with lettuces, tomato, mayo, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, whatever you please. They also are the masters of the traditional classic New York breakfast sandwich: The Bacon, Egg and Cheese. YOU CAN LITERALLY ORDER THAT ANYWHERE. They also have scratch offs, a variety of grab and go ice-cream/cold treats, and depending where you are, they also have Spanish food hot and ready to go. Just aisles and aisles of chips, soda, alcohol, soup in a can, cookies and treats, cleaning supplies, household products, sandwiches and New Yorkers.
Rule 6: DO NOT BUY ANYTHING IN TIMES SQUARE!!
We know you love Times Square. It’s the mecca of tourists and all things expensive. Stay away from the characters (like Elmo and Mickey Mouse) and leave the musicians alone! The further you go from it, the better. Do a quick walk through and then get the heck out!
Rule 7: KNOW HOW TO UNDERSTAND DIRECTIONS
Uptown and Downtown are not necessarily locations. They are directions. Uptown means north, downtown means south. To help understand certain neighborhoods, some of the names are made up of where they’re located. For example, TRIBECA is the TRIangle BElow CAnal. SoHo, is SOuth of HOuston Street. FiDi is the FInancial DIstrict. Also, we understand that the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and (yes even) Staten Island are technically part of New York City, but if you’re in one of those boroughs and someone asks if you’re going to “The City” we mean Manhattan.
Rule 8: STREET FOOD IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
Street food is everyone’s friend. We love a good coffee and bagel stand in the morning. Some will even make you a Bacon \, Egg and Cheese Toasted on a Roll (see rule 5). Then when the breakfast carts leave for the day, out rolls the Street Meat, YOU’RE NOT A REAL NEW YORKER UNLESS YOU’VE HAD STREET MEAT AND A SKETCHY $1 HOTDOG. Not to mention you can get smoothies, cookies, cupcakes, gourmet burgers and fries, tacos and lobster rolls right off the street! No reservation needed!
With all that said, we hope you enjoy your stay in the city and that this survival guide has helped make things a little easier.