How To Be A New Yorker

5 Tips To Fit In

Relocating to a new city is always full of challenges, but NYC can be especially difficult. The real estate market, like the city itself, is fast paced, ever changing, and expensive. A good Relocation Expert will walk you through the entire buying or renting process, but there is still more to being a real New Yorker than just living here. When you move to NYC, you don’t want to still look like a tourist. You are paying NYC real estate prices and you want credit for being a local! NYC residents have a reputation for being rude, but a city of 8.6 million people has its own culture and set of rules. On any given day, there are over 3.1 million people in Manhattan alone, not counting any of the over 61 million tourists who visit the city each year. You are only polite in NYC if you don’t inconvenience others. Here are the top 5 ways to act like a New Yorker:


1 – Always Know Your Order By The Time You Get To The Front Of The Line

NYC is fast paced. We’re all in a hurry. If you get to the front of the line and you don’t know how you take your coffee, you’re inconveniencing everyone behind you. If the line is short, or you are slow to make decisions, don’t get in line until after you know what you’ll order. The caffeine fiends behind you need to get back to work before anyone notices they’re gone. Starbucks is everywhere, but these are the best places to get coffee in NYC.

2 – Slow People Keep To The Right

NYC is a walking city. If you really want to be a New Yorker, treat our sidewalks like highways – slow movers to the right, no sudden stops, no more than 2 or 3 across. This includes escalators. The right half is for those who want to stand still to ride the escalator, the left is for those who will walk up. Most importantly, do NOT stop at the top or bottom of an escalator when you step off. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know in which direction you need to go. If you don’t take several steps away from the escalator immediately, you are going to have a human pile up. Here are some great places for a stroll when the fast pace gets to be too much.

3 – Umbrellas Aren’t For Drizzle

Unless you’re headed to a job interview, save your umbrellas for when it’s really raining. NYC sidewalks are just too crowded for umbrellas unless absolutely necessary. If it is raining heavily and you are using an umbrella, you have to be mindful of those around you, as usual. If passing on a crowded sidewalk, taller people should raise their umbrellas higher so more can fit without crashing into each other. If you walk under scaffolding, fold your umbrella up so there is room for everyone to pass. Jumbo golf umbrellas are never acceptable in a city as crowded as NY. Instead of just staying home, here are some great rainy day activities.

Umbrellas Aren't For Drizzle

4 – Don’t Be A Jerk On The Subway

 Taxis and ride shares (Uber, Lyft, Via) are everywhere, but congestion pricing is making them expensive, and traffic can be awful. It is usually faster to get where you need to be underground. That means you will be using the subway to get around often. Here is NYC Subway 101 for those brand new to subway travel. Now that you know the basics, here’s how to ride like a savvy New Yorker:  Step to the side and let everyone exit the train before boarding. When everyone starts shoving their way in, it slows it down for everyone.  Move to the middle of the car instead of blocking the doors so more people can fit.  Your bags don’t get a seat. Do not lean your body against the pole. It’s intended for many to use at once. Also, give up your seat to the disabled, elderly, pregnant women, and people with small children. Don’t pretend you don’t see them – that is rude everywhere, not just NYC.

5- Be Helpful

Hold the door for the delivery person. Give up your seat for an elderly person. When you see someone who looks lost, ask if they need directions. If someone is being harassed on the subway, speak up. You’re now a member of one of the most vibrant and amazing cities in the world. The best way to be a New Yorker is to be an ambassador for NYC. We have our own set of etiquette rules and we’re in a hurry, but New Yorkers will have your back. Welcome Home.

Allison Deutsch