Advice for a New New Yorker

Things I figured out on my own that I wish someone would have told me, and other useful tidbits.

  • Consolidate your bags into one tote bag whenever possible.
  • A nearly empty subway car during rush hour usually means one thing: sleeping homeless person (often smelly and usually with his or her belongings in piles of bags surrounding said person).
  • Always, always carry an umbrella.
  • Never wear high heels to and from the office. Never.
  • OkCupid is a viable way to source dates for approximately two months — and only two months.
  • Do not get stuck walking or climbing stairs behind someone dragging luggage.
  • Similarly, do not get stuck walking or climbing stairs behind someone carrying a little extra baggage (around the midsection).
  • Also on the topic of luggage, when carrying your own luggage, ensure it goes through the turnstile before you — not after, not under, not behind. Always ahead of you.
  • You can say or text “No, I’m not interested in hanging out with you.” to a guy (or girl) and nothing more.
  • Pack your lunch during the week, even if it’s “so PA” as I was once told.
  • Spare yourself the guilt and avoid making eye contact with those poor souls asking for money on the train or street — unless of course you can afford to or want to make a contribution.
  • Brooklyn bars love the whole Cash Only thing. Stop at an ATM or your bank (to avoid outlandish ATM fees) and grab some cash before a night out.
  • Avoid puddles and walking too closely to the curb during and after storms and rainy days. Chances are, you will end up with dirty splotches on your just-pressed pants.
  • During the spring and summer months, it’s imperative you wash your feet before going to sleep after wearing sandals. Imperative.
  • As much as you desperately want to, do not — I repeat, do not — make eye contact with the big, buff, shirtless black guy on the Brooklyn-bound G train. I know, I know. His flashy gold sunglasses, giant belt buckle emulating something from the WWE and pecs are irresistible…
  • Everyone knows you’re reading 50 Shades of Grey even when you conspicuously fold the book around front-to-back so no one can see the cover.
  • Grocery shopping is the pits. Employ/bribe/persuade/ask a handsome, strong dude to carry your bags home. Then cook him dinner.
  • Purchasing a new full/queen quilt and sheet set from West Elm in Chelsea on a hot summer afternoon and attempting to transport it home via the L at Union Square during the Friday evening rush hour commute is so not a smart idea.
  • DO smile, nod and/or make eye contact with neighbors and strangers at least once a day.
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This applies to almost all facets of life especially dress code.
  • You will probably forget to wear deodorant one morning so keep a travel size in your bag or at your desk. The same goes for a toothbrush. Just sayin’.
  • Although not recommended, it’s OK to show up to the office still drunk from the night before — just once.
  • On the contrary, it’s not OK to show up to the office still drunk from the night before wearing the previous day’s outfit. (Note: To clarify, I never experienced this. I just imagine it being highly frowned upon.)
  • Pay attention to the MTA conductor’s announcements. Sometimes they provide important notifications.
  • Every now and then, it’s exhilarating to throw on a fancy dress and drink a fancy cocktail served at a fancy bar and pretend to be someone else.
  • People love to read books while walking, and it’s something I’ll never understand.
  • There’s a good chance you might be out at a club/bar and someone will ask you to partake in illegal drug activity. Unless you’re into that sort of thing, just say no.
  • My laundromat doesn’t accept quarters. It’s always an adventure on laundry day.
  • People will often ask you for directions.
  • When it’s late and you just want to go home, don’t wait for the train. Hail a cab. It’s always worth the extra few dollars.
  • You’re going to end up lost in a scary-ish part of Brooklyn (or wherever) at the most inopportune time. Take a deep breath and find your bearings before traveling deeper into that scary part of town.
  • You will learn a new life lesson — no matter how large or small — each day.

Do you have advice to add? Leave it in the comments section.

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