If anyone asks what my favorite city in the world is, I will immediately respond: “New York, of course!” I first fell in love in New York back in 2005, when I visited my sister. The culture and energy of the city was brand new to me, as I had lived in Los Angeles my entire life. Since then, I’ve been blessed enough to be able to travel there two more times, and I someday hope to call New York my future home.
For anyone else who may be thinking of visiting or moving to New York, I’ve compiled a list of lessons and tips I picked up on during my travels.
My New York Tips
- New York is dirty – Get over it! Yes, the streets are dirty, even in the nice, upscale areas like the Upper East Side. That’s OK. Oh, and by the way, you will see rats. No big deal!
- New Yorkers walk fast – Do NOT hold up the progress when you’re walking in New York. Also, keep to the right (imagine you’re driving).
- Apartments are tiny and pricy – That statement is probably an understatement. It doesn’t matter, though, because in New York, an apartment is really just a place to sleep and eat, so you’ll be OK. You should be out experiencing the best of the city! As for the price, get some roommates and call it a day.
- If you play the accordion, you can use your little brother to help you hustle money from subway passengers – Anything is possible in New York City. In Los Angeles, it’s not common to see someone board the Metro rail and casually start playing the accordion.
- Even if you have a reservation for the UCB Theatre, arrive early – You will have to stand in line with everyone else, and your reservation will not guarantee you a seat. You may end up having to stand to watch the performance!
- If you are at a subway stop and you see signs posted…READ THEM! – You don’t want to sit around waiting for a train at 3am that isn’t coming. Trust me.
- Do NOT buy an IKEA bed frame with a slatted bed base – OK, so this isn’t exactly a tip exclusive to New York. While on my last NYC vacation, I stayed in an apartment with an IKEA bed frame. Unfortunately, the slats kept moving around, and the mattress kept falling through the frame. Avoid the hassle, spend a little more money on a better frame.
- If you’re not used to all the walking, your feet will hurt – New York has a great public transportation system, but for all the places that the subway or bus can’t take you, your own two feet will. Some New Yorkers choose to walk over riding the subway anyway.
- If you like music, you’re in luck – New York is one big pool filled with talented singers and musicians. You can always find something to tickle your fancy when it comes to music.
- If you like to drink, you’re in luck – I feel like bars are something that New York specializes in.
- If you like food…you see where I’m going – Go to Mamoun’s at 119 MacDougal Street in the Village. Or find the Halal Guys at 53rd and 6th.
That’s just a few things I’ve chosen to write about, but there are plenty more. If you’ve ever traveled to or lived in New York, feel free to add your own tips below in the comments section.