When you tell people that you’re headed off to move to the Big Apple, they tell you about all the hustle and bustle, the loud noises, the city that never sleeps. However, what people forget to inform you of are all of the little things — how looking good in the middle of a summer day is not an option (sweating profusely is more like it), how Times Square is actually a death trap, how Grand Central is the last place you want to be during rush hour, and the list goes on.
So, if you’re thinking of moving to this grand city-do it, it’s amazing. But, also remember that I am about to give you full disclosure on the things that no one will tell you. And if you’re an NYC resident, you’ll feel me while reading through this list.
So here it goes:
Let’s talk subway rides. The subway isn’t bad to navigate, especially with Google Maps on your side. That’s not what I’m here to warn you of. You need to know of the other shit that goes down underground. Like one time I watched a drunk man fall into the train tracks, bust his head open, and pass out (luckily my boyfriend and others jumped down and saved the guy), but be prepared because this shit doesn’t just happen in the movies.
If you feel like you have plenty of time to reach your destination, you’re probably wrong. Trains are constantly delayed, so give yourself an extra 10 minutes.
If you are claustrophobic, it’s time to get over your fears. There will no doubt be some guy’s junk pressed up against you while you’re holding on for dear life to the one available standing spot near a pole. There are no prisoners during the rush hour subway ride no matter what direction you are going in (that’s right, if you thought the ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan during rush hour would be a breeze, you are mistaken my friend).
Now on to the people. If you’re coming from a place where everyone is sunshine and smiles, don’t expect that here. Of course there are the random people here and there that give you their spot on the subway and even a smile, but it’s rare. Ninety percent of people walking the streets are completely oblivious that there are others around them. Expect New Yorkers to cut you off, knock into you, step on your feet, whack you in the face with their umbrella (the savages come out when it’s raining), and just ignore the fact that you exist at all. Keep this in mind the next time you think you want to take a stroll through Time Square.
If you plan on taking your car to the city, you better get REAL familiar with the parking rules or be willing to pay a ton of money to get your own space. If not, have fun getting your car towed and racking up those parking tickets. The traffic police don’t care about any excuse you have so don’t even try to reason with them. For those who just walk, or want a quiet evening in your apartment — just know that New Yorkers are horn happy. I’m not talking a quick beep on the horn to get the car in front of them to pay attention. I’m talking about laying down on it for a solid 30 seconds (or more). It’s annoying, unnecessary, but happens.
If you plan on taking a taxi or Uber, make sure you know the best route to take to get to wherever you’re going. It’s a little more work on your end, but you will save you money in the long run because these nice drivers enjoy taking longer routes to rack up that meter. It’s best to know which way to tell them so you don’t get overcharged.
The Tourist Traps
And last but not least, there is more to NYC than the tourist traps. There are a million amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurants, museums, bars and pop-up shows. Do your research and don’t just hole up in your apartment because you think walking the Brooklyn Bridge is the only cool thing in the BK to do (it’s still cool. Do it but you catch my drift). Get out there, experience the markets, the food, the parks — there’s a whole world in each section of NYC that is worth diving into.
If you’re prepping for your move to this city, be prepared that it’s not all parties and glam. You’ll get harassed by drunk men in the subway, you’ll be sweaty AF everywhere you go in the summer, but at the same time you’ll also experience some of the most amazing places and people. Although there are some very minor downsides, NYC is a beautiful place to be.