So you’re visiting New York, maybe for the first time or the first time in a long time. You have been living in the relative comfort of your California lifestyle; all sunshine, cruising with the top down, wide open spaces, relaxation. Here are a few things you should probably prepare yourself for:
You’ve got legs, now use ’em!
You are going to walk A LOT. To minimize the pain make sure to pack comfortable shoes. Don’t make the mistake of buying new shoes for your trip, you want ones that are well broken in. If you don’t want to stick out as a tourist, try not to go right for the sneakers. Flats for girls are a good option and there are all kinds of stylish street sneakers.
Prepare yourself for a brisk walking pace. If you want to avoid the white hot rage of the New York commuter, stand aside to gawk at the tall buildings and pretty lights. If I’m with you, please let me know if I’m walking to fast (sometimes I get into a zone).
You Will Get Lost
Manhattan is set up on a pretty good grid system. It doesn’t help much though when you pop your head out from the subway and have no idea if you’re looking north or south. I still get lost sometimes, and I remember visiting and walking block after block only to realize I just walked 10 blocks in the wrong direction. If you have a phone with apps it would be a good idea to download google maps and a subway map before heading out, it will help in a pinch. The quickest way to get your bearings though is to just ask someone.
Things are Expensive
That’s a picture of a $25000 sundae, it is also served here in NY. I want to estimate that the average mark up for stuff in Manhattan is $5. Want a beer? That will be $8 a cocktail $14-17. Dinner out in California would cost me about $20-30, here in New York it’s easily $35-50. I regularly shop at Whole Foods for groceries, my monthly rent check could easily rent me a nice sized CA condo.
NY is Dirty
Towering stacks of garbage bags, dog poop smeared on the street, rats on the platform, these are average sights on my morning commute. New York is a city with lots of people who produce garbage, with dogs that also produce their own special type of garbage and rats that like to sift through said garbage. Is it gross, absolutely but what are you going to do? My suggestion plug your nose and just keep walking, carry hand sanitizer & get over it.
This isn’t actually true, most people living here are pleasant, bright people. They are also incredibly busy and therefore generally don’t have time for B.S. That being said, there are also plenty of people in New York who are just bat sh*t crazy! Most of them are harmless, so just ignore them and you should be fine. If they can’t be ignored, then record it and put it on the internet
There are over a million people living in Manhattan, this doesn’t include the tourists and commuters who come in from the boroughs to work. They are all vying for space on an island that is approximately 23 sq. miles, it’s going to get crowded. My morning commute always reminds me of worker ants on an ant farm, there are just so many people trying to get to their individual jobs. My advice is to be patient. If the train is too crowded and the idea of being pressed against a total stranger freaks you out, wait for the next train it’s coming in the next 5 minutes. Streets too crowded? Take a break, sit down, get your bearings and work up the courage to brave the wave of people again. Many of the big tourists spots (Times Square, Union Square etc.) have plenty of seating for the weary tourist.
These are the things i hear the most complaints about so I thought I’d get them out of the way first. There are just certain things that come along with a big city, that gets a lot of tourists. If you get over them now you’ll have a more pleasant experience when you get here.