So I’ve been here a month (I know a whole month) now, and there are some things that I think everyone coming to New York to intern/to work/to live for the first time should know…
- Its a Mani-Pedi City – ok so bare with me on this one… everyone I know here gets a mani-pedi or one or the other. To some extent I get it – open toe shoes in summer you need your feet to look good right?! And people actually look at other people’s feet… But the amount of nail places here is crazy, almost every other store front is a nail place… People go on their lunches, before work, after work – its a thing and you will join in with the thing at least once.
- The roads work differently – I’ve nearly died a couple of times… I don’t have the best road crossing abilities anyway but here people can turn on a red light – while the crossing is telling you to cross. So to put this in UK terms – the light turns green – you cross – but as your walking cars can still turn – cutting directly across where you are walking…. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, I’m sure there is a reason and I’ve just failed to see it… but roads are hard here.
- Every New Yorker can seemingly breathe easily in Metro Stations – New York is hot in summer, sometimes unbearably so, the Metro stations absorb all this heat and when combined with every unpleasant odour imaginable it creates a gross and rather stifling type of air. New Yorkers don’t seem to notice this – so when your trying not to breathe in because its so hot its burning your throat and the smell is making you queasy they seem unfazed. I need this skill.
- Salad is a thing – I’ve never met so many people who genuinely enjoy salad and I’ve never seen so many places that turn serving salad into an art form. I will admit though – its pretty good salad – and there definitely not skimpy with portion size so you can find yourself pretty full after lunch.
- Avenues run north/south, streets run east/west – Ok so this still confuses me but basically New York is a grid city – with the exception of Chelsea and Greenwich village where it gets a bit confusing. But the basic idea is that avenues are run north to south. Some avenues have numbers some names – and this can be quite confusing – but basically if you walk east the avenue number gets smaller…. Streets run across… It essentially means its quite hard to get properly lost.
- Eat Out – This seems like an odd one, but New York is one of the best food cities that I’ve ever visited, and you can pick up some really cheap dinners. Lots of places have online coupons, special offers, special event nights. Some restaurants even have random free eat nights. There are lots of sites that will have this information so follow all the facebook pages etc that you can, and check them regularly. There is also this thing called Meal Pass, and you can get lunches for $6. I have done nothing but eat since I arrived, and tip – try the Mexican food – Yelp is super useful for finding places… and so is Open Table.
- Nothing is strange here – So on the Metro the other day I saw an individual in Gold Spandex hotpants, glittery (naked) torso dressed essentially like a Unicorn… full on Victoria Secret style wings too and NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE batted an eyelid… It was great! New York is full of wondrous random moments like this, embrace them.
- People put pets in prams – I’ve seen people put small dogs/cats in bags/pet handbag type things, but never before have I seen so many pets in strollers, I saw a handful in Central Park in the same afternoon. This is something I can’t quite understand but I guess if someone wants to put a pet in a stroller than that is their business. On a similar note I have also seen a Pomeranian wearing shoes. Tiny little dog shoes. Like I said – embrace it.
- Fashion designers, celebrities come with the territory…. Its normal here – people just don’t get excited – I was super super happy to bump into Diane von Furstenburg outside her store in the village but everyone else was suitably unimpressed… its New York – they are EVERY WHERE.
There are so many more – so I’ll be sure to keep adding them on as I go…
Photo Copyright: Author, New York Sunrise.