As you might have known, now I live in New York to continue my master degree. This 1st month feels like I’ve been living for more than 3 months. Things here move lightning fast. Even tough 1 month is a very short time to conclude how’s it like to live in the big apple, but here some that would happen to you when you live in NYC.
1.You walk..and walk..and walk a lot.
That’s what you’ll realize when coming here people are just trying to move – fast, fast, fast. It seems there’s this rush feeling that you cannot miss anything. Good thing is you pretty much exercise every time.
2. Talking with stranger is normal
In the city people used to be with everyone. You would encounter them everywhere. Bus and subway is a really good chance you somehow would strike a random conversation. They mean no harm. It’s just us being human. The common knowledge that a New Yorker is cold and mean is not true, they are just busy. They don’t need to know everything about you but they welcome an occasionally “hi” or “how’s your day”.
3. There’s no signal on their subway system
One word: old subway. There is several stations where you can find Wi-Fi but for the most place you have to really on the billboard map.
4. New Yorkers are helpful
On my 2nd day I got lost in the subway. To read a map of where I’m going is too time consuming and confusing. Suddenly, someone just offered to help and really quick I’m back on track. The people are very helpful. You would see someone opening up door, helping your stroller get on the bus, or just be patient to never cut a line. It’s hard to live in the big city where you do everything, and New Yorkers understand that a helping hand is really matter.
5. We love our chat in a bar
Try sit on a bar. One way or the other someone would start talking to you. They would strike a conversation and they would share about anything. It’s a practical way to find network.
6. Tips, tips, tip.
Yes! Tipping is big. Do not forget you need to give restaurant tip. People depend on it. Don’t curse the system. Remember every city has different custom. You’re not getting cheated. Most of the time, your restaurant bill will show suggestion on how much you should tip and I suggest you stick to it. Unless your experience is really bad its ok to give 10% tip. Normally 15% -20% tips for good service.
7. We love our pets
It struck me that it is normal to bring your pets everywhere, even to store and restaurant (and yes, most people would see that as normal). What can you say? New Yorker love their pet.
8. There’s always random stuff going on everyday
9. New York is expensive but if you know where to look, there’s lots of cheap and bargain deals to look out.
Before shopping I always research whether I could get a good deals online. Several site to check for coupon deals are Ebates, Coupon Cabin, Groupon, and Slick Deals. For purchasing groceries, I like Jet as they give cash back and savings price when we order in bulk. Most of my book shopping comes through Amazon. Check todaytix.com to save more than 40% on Broadway ticket.
10. Cash Only restaurant
Restaurants and bars that do not accept debit or credit card would always put a Cash Only sign out front. People here tend to pay everything with card, even for a $2 water bottle. It is convenience to not need to worry bringing cash but you never know when you need to split a bill with your friend.
11. There’s always an acronym to everything
You would learn at least 10 different acronyms when you move here. TriBeca, NoLita, DUMBO, FIDI, The Village, and many more. You’ll get used to it.
12. People actually stay away from Times Square to avoid the crowd
13. Manhattan is not New York
Manhattan is really cool yet New York is made up of 5 boroughs; Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Try to stay away from the center and you would find that the area with the most selection of Asian food is not Chinatown but Queens.
14. Staring is ok
When people stare at you for 2-3 seconds it’s nothing and does not mean they want to do something bad. As you bound to encounter many people in a day, there will be some staring happen. Simply ignore it.
15. Very International
This city would give you different sets of people. Everybody comes from around the globe and fills this city. In one block you would see many different faces. It feels like you’re in an airport.