NYC 101: 20 Things You Need To Know About The Big Apple


Thinking of moving to New York City?


Getting a job here? 

Well you’re in luck; because I’ve taken my knowledge of living in this great complicated city for five years — plus working here for ten — to compile a little list of the 20 basic things you need to know.

A little New York City 101, if you will. 

Let’s get started, shall we?  There’s gonna be a quiz after this.

1. Empty subway cars are empty for a reason.  There’s probably a horrifying stench coming from a horrifying person, some kind of rodent wandering around, no working air conditioning or bodily fluids on the floor or on a seat.  Don’t fall for the trap: you’re better off in the overcrowded car one door down.

2. Any train station (Penn Station, the subways) after 11:00pm is an absolute horror show.  If you can avoid stepping foot in one during or after this time, I recommend you do.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

3. Yes, cops are going to search your bag at a checkpoint.  No, you [probably] don’t look like a terrorist.  

4.  A “B” rating outside a restaurant might as well be an “F.”  Keep walkin.

5. The squirrels and pigeons in this city are SUPER ballsy.  Go ahead; sit on that park bench — as long as you don’t mind them crawling all over you like you’re some kind of Disney Princess who’s all “one with the animals.”

6. Stay away from Times Square.  If an epileptic seizure could be a place, this would be it. 

7. Someone WILL masturbate in front of you at some point.  On the street, on the train, somewhere.  It will happen.  At least once. 

8. You’ll never get a seat in a Starbucks.  Ever.  Just stop trying. 

9. Everything is comically expensive.  My dad still talks about the time we went shopping for cleaning supplies and Windex cost like, $37.

10. Cabbies drive like absolute maniacs.  Yes, all of them.  You’re probably *not* gonna get in a car accident, but… you might.  Wear a seat belt

11.  You will see rats everywhere.  So. Many. Rats. you guys.

12. Prepare to be “city juiced.”  Unsuspecting passerby’s in New York will often have some kind of mysterious substance dripped on them from above.  Is it air conditioning fluid?  Is it someone spitting on you from a balcony?  You will never know.

13. Celebrities are hidden everywhere.  They’re like beautiful and tall ‘Where’s Waldo’s.”  You just have to pay attention.

14. You pretty much never have to leave your home because you can get almost anything delivered to you.  Takeout, groceries, dropoff laundry service, hookers, etc. 

15. Avoid NYC in the summer at all costs.  The heat of the season intensifies the bus fumes, garbage smells and other people’s body odor on trains.  It’s unpleasant. 

16. Everything will look like a terrorist attack.  Nothing funny about this.  Every time you see smoke/a fire, weird activity, an abundance of cops/military/etc. or anything suspicious you may immediate think TERRORIST ATTACK.  And you’re not alone.  We’ve all got 9/11 on the brain, always.

17. Some of the best musicians, singers and dancers you’ll ever encounter in your life will be performing on a street or subway platform.  Throw ‘em a buck if you can.

18. Yeah, that’s probably human feces.  Don’t look at it or go near it; just walk away quickly.

19. People on bikes are dicks. You’re more likely to get hit by a bicyclist than a vehicle here.

20. It’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s weird and it’s overpopulated.  But it’s the greatest city on earth.

Don’t you think? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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