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When moving to NYC, a culture-rich, highly diverse and congested city, there are a few tips to take on board. We don’t mean sprinting down the street with your soy latte while you try and catch the Q train downtown (although that is very NYC). It’s about acclimating to life in NYC and adopting the etiquette of the inhabitants.
The thing about the occupants of New York is that they love their coffee and know exactly where to get the best cup of joe. Real New Yorkers need direct delivery of caffeine to function in the mornings, check out Sey Coffee in East Williamsburg; here you’ll find a minimalist hotspot with lots of greenery and bitter beans. For one of the fanciest coffees in town, Felix Roasting Co. in Midtown brews specialist coffee in a quirky and fun atmosphere.
NYC is a heavily congested place that’s full of people metaphorically fighting for space. Most coffee shops in NYC offer free WiFi to customers, but don’t rely on it to be a speedy connection. The last thing you want is slow internet, reminiscent of when modems and computers made all manners of sounds. Whether you’ve got an important paper due or need to fill in a weekly work spreadsheet, it’s a good idea to find the best internet deal in the city. Spectrum, Verizon and Optimum are some of the highest-ranked and reliable Internet Service Providers (ISPs) available in the NYC area.
It affects all major cities and NYC is one of the most congested cities in the western world. If you commute by rail, you can beat the traffic on the roads, at the expense of facing the onslaught of commuters. Rush hours are roughly between 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM and from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Monday to Friday. Although in the summer months, evening commutes start even earlier as you get closer to the weekend.
New York City is home some of the best pizza in the world with its big slices of thin-crust pizza pie. A good old-fashioned slice of pizza is great for a quick bite at lunch or quickly grabbing something on the go. True New Yorkers know all of the best pizza spots, hit up 99 Cent Fresh Pizza in Midtown West for one of the best slices in the city. Most dollar slice pizza places only take cash, so have your bills ready.
The subway can be grueling, especially during the summer months and after a long day at work. If you’ve ever been in an NYC subway, you’ll notice that it can go from calm to chaos real quick. Get yourself a MetroCard from the ticket machine and keep it topped up so you can smoothly go to and fro out of stations. Subway rides paid by MetroCard at $2.75 and if you use a SingleRide ticket, it’ll set you back $3.
The cost of living in NYC is expensive in comparison to other cities, which means tipping in bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs can leave you a little out of pocket. In NYC, expect to tip between 15% – 20% of the total bill in pubs, bars and certain restaurants. For way fancier establishments, you’re supposed to tip anywhere between 20% – 30%. The sales tax in NYC is 8.875% and it’s still considered good etiquette to calculate the tip before alcohol and sales tax in restaurants. It’s a great way to save yourself a little coin.
When buying groceries in New York, you’ll notice a few different things than what you’re used to outside of NYC. First off, like any major city, groceries are a lot more expensive. Whether you’re buying from smaller stores or Whole Foods Market, expect to pay a bit of a premium. The next thing that you’ll notice is that grocery stores are smaller with smaller aisles and more compact environments. Be prepared to shop around in grocery stores to find all of the items that you’re used to buying, a lot of NYC stores won’t have all of the brands and products that you want. The final thing to note is how you’ll get your groceries back home. If you don’t drive, be prepared to either carry your groceries, take a cab or hop on the subway.
Cramming yourself into a subway carriage isn’t always an option in NYC, especially if you’re new in town and want to get home ASAP. No matter how much of a hurry you’re in, never get into an unmarked cab. In Manhattan, NYC taxis are clearly identifiable from their distinct yellow color and the light on the roof. You should also be able to see the cab driver’s medallion number and an ID number on the hood. Uber, Lyft and Via are also available to use in NYC with their official apps.
After living in New York, you’ll learn to adapt to the city and figure out what you should and shouldn’t do. If you are just moving to NYC, the tips above should help you adjust and fit into the city culture easier.