As everyone who has ever relocated to New York City will tell you, getting acclimated to the Big Apple can be quite an undertaking. NYC is more than a place to live - it is a lifestyle, an experience...it's...a LOT. While there may be many mannerisms, characteristics, and attitude adjustments that have subtly taken place since you've became a New York resident, let's like note a few of the major adjustments transplants deal with.
1. Get Use to the Noise
"I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood." No such thing! The hour of uninterrupted peace and quiet...yeah, that doesn't exist. There will never be a time when you don't hear cars honking (literally, New Yorkers honk for NO REASON just to make sure their horns still work), people talking loudly as they walk by your window, a party next door, or police/ambulance/fire truck sirens. Gone are the days where all you hear at night are birds and crickets chirping. The noise pollution, as drama queens refer to it as, is only noticeable for the first couple of weeks. After a while, you become accustomed to the sounds, and they become eerily soothing.
2. Get out of the Way!
New Yorkers are always on the go. They move speedily and with purpose. Either they are in a rush to get to work, or in a rush to get home. Many transplants learn the hard way that walking slow, or stopping in the middle of a walkway is not ideal in NYC. Rule of thumb: Get out of the way! Yes, there is so much to see and experience while walking around the city, but stopping in someone else's way will be met with high levels of pisstivity. Be swift with your movements. Be aware of your surroundings, and try to steer clear of being that person who stops in the middle of a moving herd of people.
3. Invest in Sensible shoes
It may seem pretty cool to be able to look your best at all times, especially in the country's fashion capital (we will get back to that later), your feet AND the soles/heels of your expensive shoes will hate you if you are oblivious to just how much walking on pavement you will be doing. Wearing your best heels or sleek oxfords to work everyday is a must, for most people. This does not mean that your commute to and from your destinations requires the donning of said shoes. The obvious reason for investing in sensible shoes is for comfort. Ladies...no, this does not mean that you need to be rolling up to work with your suit, pantyhose, Reebok Classics and slouch socks. Find a fashionable pair of flats or casual shoes. The key is rubber soles. Rubber is your friend (there is a joke in there somewhere). By doing this, you will be a lot more comfortable, and you'll be saving money that may otherwise be spent at the shoe cobbler.
4. Realize that Car Service/Taxis are your Friends
Yes, New York City has one of the most efficient transportation systems in the world (believe it or not), but sometimes, you just don't feel like going underground to wait for a train. During the summer, it can be quite humid and muggy on train platforms and when you're actually on the train, you may be fighting for shoulder space, or trying your best to not get kicked in the face or serenaded by performers. This is why you should consider taking a taxi, sometimes. It's as simple as standing on the side of the street and sticking out your hand. Please do not try whistling to catch a cab...this is not the 90s.
Did you know that there are new apps to hail taxis, or even pay for them automatically, so that you are not digging through your pockets to find cash or your credit card? Two apps that I've tried are Way-2-Ride, and Arro.
Taxi drivers have earned a bad reputation to some. They may discriminate based on where they think you are going, how many people are with you, or what you look like. There are even times where they pull up to you, and ask where you are going, and refuse you service if they don't like your answer. For these reasons, many find that Uber (especially Uber Pool) are the more convenient options. Please not that NYC's Ubers aren't the same as other cities. You will always be picked up in a clean, modern car, as the standards to be an NYC Uber driver are a bit more strict than in other locations. Just hail an Uber, plug in your destination, and sit pretty until they drop you off at your desired location! Lyft, Via and Gett are great options as well.
5. Snow Boots - Get 'Em!
Self-explanatory. Your feet will thank you on snow days!
6. Beware of Slush Puddles
Speaking of snow...it's only a beautiful thing [to me] when it's actually snowing, and you are indoors! Once the snow hits the ground, it's only a matter of minutes before the road traffic and plowing changes it to a black-ish slushy mess. That very low and leveled snow bank you see where the street meets the sidewalk...yeah, it's not what you think. Many have been dooped by stepping on these and very quickly and realize that it's actually a slush puddle covered in snow. Slush puddles also have a way of disguising themselves as a wet street. Your shoes and socks will be soaked and freezing. Be careful!
7. Step your Fashion Up
Yeah...so about that time I was wearing Adidas flip flops, white socks, a hoody and gym shorts while walking to the bodega and coincidentally ran into my friends...
Some don't care, some do...whatever floats your boat. NYC, however, is home to some of the most fashionable people in the country. Their street style game is strong, and funnily enough, when moving to the city, you will find your sense of style gradually changing, even though you aren't doing it on purpose. What is New York's "signature style?" There is none. Since the city is such a melting pot, styles are adapted from all over the world, and they come together to somehow compose a non-labeled fashion wonderland. Don't be afraid to express yourself with your own sense of style. Your individuality is what makes sitting on the train and people-watching that much more fun.
8. Learn that you can get ANYTHING Delivered
Between Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, Fresh Direct, Seamless, Blue Apron, and Delivery.com to name a few, you can literally get anything delivered to your front door. You can even get your wine, beer and liquor delivered from your phone using apps such as Drizly! These services come in handy during bad weather. When it's freezing outside, snowing, pouring rain or blazing hot, who wants to be walking from the grocery store weight-lifting shopping bags? Not me! I'll tell you what, though....the delivery men from the closest takeout restaurant will zoom right over to your door on their trusty bike! Get into it!
9. Fast food? What's that? Do Better!
NYC is literally a foodie's dream. Any type of food you want can be found in New York City. Transplants learn quickly that fast food joints, such as McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell and the like are not as appealing as they may have been back in their home towns. There are many more convenient options in your neighborhood corner stores [or bodegas, as some call them]. All you do is walk in the bodega, yell your order to the clerk behind the deli, be as specific as possible, and get your order 5-10 minutes later. Don't be afraid to tell them exactly how you want your order. Trust me, they's use to New Yorkers being overly specific with how they want their meals prepared.
"Let me get a turkeybaconcheeseonwhitebreadtoastedlightly with saltpepperketchup! Don't toast the break too much, and I want Boar's Head turkey."
The only fast-food restaurants that many New Yorkers keep close to their hearts are Popeyes and the newly-built Chick-Fil-A.
10. Celebrities are just Regular People
Yes, in New York, you will sight celebrities quite often. You may be wondering why and how celebrities are able to walk the street of New York freely without crowds following them. It's simple. New Yorkers don't care! Or, if they do care, they aren't going to go out of their way to show it. Many celebrities love New York because they feel like they are treated as regular people. If you see one of your favorite celebrities, and you'd like to speak to them, or take a selfie with them, use your better judgment. If the celeb is with their family having an intimate meal, or entering a restroom to take care of their business, it may be best not to interrupt them.
What are some things you had to get use to when moving to New York City?