When I first moved to New York, I was the girl, that watched too much Sex and the City and wanted to see the city with her own eyes.I had never been to the United States before and didn’t know anyone. Did not even have an apartment when I arrived. One might call me naive, but with lots of optimism and a little bit of luck, I figured it all out. Not only that, I started to love New York more than I could ever imagine.
Here are a few things I discovered one after another, when living in New York. Some of them, I had to learn the hard way, and I believe, I would have loved if someone had told me before moving to New York.
- Air conditioners leak on you, when you walk too close to buildings.
- You are going to have countless of amazing conversation with complete strangers on the subway.
- You will get sick all the time. Probably due to too much contact with people on the subway, or the unhealthy eating habits.
- Always walk on the right side.
- Houston street is pronounced house-ton, not hews-ton. And god damn will people judge you, if you say it the wrong way.
- There is going to be this one night in the beginning of moving to NY: You will stand on an empty subway platform, your train is not running and as you do not know the city yet you will have absolutely no idea how to get home.
- Bedbugs are a huge problem in the city. So don’t sit on anyone’s bed and never touch a mattress that lies outside. Last but not least, check your bed to make sure you don’t have them. There are YouTube tutorials that explain how to detect them.
- Cart food is actually really good and you should not be afraid to become sick from it.
- Don’t wear Flip Flops. Never. If you don’t believe me, try it once and look at your feet. Yuck!
- People with umbrellas are dangerous. If you don’t take care, you will definitely get hit by one.
- Avoid times square unless you want to see a show. It is so busy that you can’t walk fast, the food is bad and it is full of tourists.
- You stand on line, not in line
- When you come out of the subway, look at the SW-NW-SE-NE signs, so you know where you are and in which direction you have to go.
- Always look whether the subway station has an uptown and downtown entrance before you swipe your card.
- Never. I repeat. NEVER walk into an empty subway car.
- If someone is offering you a seat on the subway, they are trying to get you on a date.
- You can save a lot of time by walking to the correct end of the subway platform. For example the 23rd station of the A and E train station has entrances on 23rd, 24th, and 25th street. Depending on where you have to go, you are closer by standing at the correct spot in your current station.
- There is a good chance that you will see someone urinating in the subway.
Getting Around the City
- Avenue blocks are longer than street blocks.
- There are some exceptions, but usually the even numbered streets go east, and the odd numbered ones go west.
- There are express busses! You have to swipe your card at a machine while waiting and the bus will only stop if you did. And those really are so much faster (unless there is too much traffic).
- The Cab lightning system works like this: When the number on top is lit up – it’s empty, when it’s not – someone is in there, and when the whole thing is on – it’s off duty.
- It is illegal for a cab driver to say they won’t take you to Brooklyn.
- Black cabs aren’t necessarily cheaper than regular cabs.
- It is absolutely okay to ask someone you met a second ago how much he / she is paying on rent.
- It does not matter where you lived before. Your old place will have the size of a castle after you lived in New York.
- Craigslist is full of scammers, and weird people. However, after going through all of that you can actually find apartments or rooms there. Just remember the saying, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”.
Things that will become normal to you
- You will pay 5$ for a box of cereal and not even question it.
- Have you heard of people traffic? So that’s when many people are on the streets that you can make it in time to work.
- There are rats in the subways that are bigger than cats.
- You’ll wait on line in front of Trader Joe’s without even questioning it.
- You will always be broke. Always. Maybe because you pay 5$ for cereal without questioning it.
- When there is a Blizzard on the News you will see lots of people buying food which you can eat raw, candles, and lighters. You’ll be one of them.
- You will see so many weird things, that at one point, you won’t even blink when a homeless man shows you his dick.