35 Things You Have To Know Before Moving To New York



There are actual runway supermodels around you. They will be in stylish dresses and perfect blow outs, even if it’s dripping with humidity or rain outside.


Shoes stay outside of the home to keep city muck outside. So always wear your best socks (read: no holes) and be prepared to take off your shoes if you go over to anyone’s home.


You won’t find the perfect apartment. You’ll have to decide if living near a Trader Joe’s is worth sacrificing a dishwasher, for instance.


The shops around your neighborhood are called bodegas. Many of them are open late, if not 24 hours, and sell lots of random things you might never knew you needed.


Trader Joe’s will always be crowded. And they have a separate shop just for their wine and beer. (Liquor licenses are hard to get here.)


Things you can’t do without an address: get mail, open a bank account, apply for a job.


There’s a definite tension between Brooklyn and Manhattan. And New York and New Jersey.


Laundry and A/C in your building is a big luxury.


There is no cell service on the subway, so bring earbuds for music, or a book.


Avenue blocks are long. Street blocks are short.


Uptown means the street numbers are going up (112th St) and downtown means the street numbers are going down (14th St).


You cannot control your environment here. There’s no rolling up your car window and blasting the A/C.


People move to New York all the time, but not everyone gets to move to New York.


The super is the handyman who will fix things in your apartment.


The street food carts are cheap, delicious and quick. (Try not to worry about the dirt under the guy’s fingernails.)


Co-ops are considered the cul-de-sacs of NYC.


Trouble spotting the nearest metro? Ask someone, or look for the giant green bulb posts.


Sometimes you will wait 15 minutes for a train that you will only spend five minutes on.


Duane Reade is the best drug store for stationary, groceries, last-minute gifts, and electronics.


Always check the weather before you leave your apartment. And carry an umbrella.


There’s something called Cuffing Season.


When you’re dressed in layers, you will constantly be dressing and undressing.


Because of #22, when you are out in public, save space by doing the following: stick your scarf through the sleeve of the arm of your jacket, put your jacket on the stool, sit on the stool.


Express buses have machines at the bus stop in which you put your Metrocard in (all included in the Unlimited Monthly) to get a ticket. This makes it faster than everyone swiping on the bus one by one.


The turnstiles in the subway are the same for exits and entrances.


Always hold your bags above you when going through the turnstiles (you will get stuck). If you have bigger items (like luggage), ask the attendant to open the gate for you.


When choosing which neighborhood to live in, you should consider what places deliver to you, how far Trader Joe’s, a bar, and a laundromat are, if it’s safe to walk there alone at night, and how close to a subway you are (with hopefully with a short commute).


There are something called CSAs, Community Supported Agriculture, in which you can get local produce delivered weekly to your door in case you can’t make it to a farmer’s market.


At the 59th Street subway station, you will see a religious group posted up every single day with a table full of literature and signs telling you: “How to slow aging… caused by SINS!”


People eat out and/or order in all the time. This is supported through ads by Seamless, a food delivery company, that declares: “You don’t drive anymore. Why cook anymore.” Or “Cook when you’re dead. Or living in Westchester.”


You will get on the wrong train when you are running late. You will realize this when it’s going into Brooklyn and the next stop isn’t for another 7 precious minutes. There’s nothing you can do about (see #9, no cell service), so just chill.


You will see people begging for money. Some will seem more sincere than others, like a veteran, a 9/11 volunteer, an old men with a mental illness, a burn victim with painful, obvious scars, a woman going through cancer treatment, young vagabonds with scraggly dogs, older women with a box full of kitties. It will be hard to try and ignore them as a Tough New Yorker when you walk by.


NYC has different lingo:
Step down = next in line
To stay = here
Skim milk = nonfat
Black cab = unregulated, possibly-cheaper-but-not-worth-becoming-a-Dateline-special-for, taxi
Spread = cream cheese
on line = in line
Bridge and Tunnel = people you don’t date (aka New Jersey folk)


You can’t just go down the stairs of any subway station. You need to know which line you need first.


If a cab driver tells you his credit card machine doesn’t work, it’s illegal. Don’t get in, and take an Uber instead. See above mention of being a Dateline special.