6 Tricks for Surviving New York City When You’re a Newcomer

Matt Lawler
Last Updated on May 8, 2024
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Every place has its own set of common sense values and tricks for survival.

In Canada, it’s common sense to put your beer outside in the snow to chill it, and saying “hi” on the street is customary in the Midwest. Both of these things will get you nowhere in New York City.

New Yorkers are nicer than you think, but they have their own set of social rules and sometimes it feels like you’re supposed to know everything from the jump. Be patient with yourself when you move into the city. There is a lot to explore and discover, and the rhythms, weather, and prices associated with New York City will take some getting used to. We’ve revealed a few tips and tricks to help you navigate New York City in the meantime.

1. Don’t Be a Sucker.

If someone bumps into you on the street, drops their eyeglasses or sunglasses on the ground, and yells at you to pay them money because you broke them… Don’t. It’s a scam.

2. Stick Together.

Getting friends to travel across the city to hang out will be the most difficult struggle of your young adult life. If you can, live in the same neighborhood as your pals.

3. Be a Multi-Layered Person.

Wear multiple layers in the winter. The temperature fluctuates rapidly and bundling up on a semi-cold morning could save you when the storm rolls through in the afternoon.

4. Pizza is Life.

$1 Pizza is about to become your favorite meal, and those slices are accessible pretty much anywhere.

5. Have a Good Time Without Blowing Through Your Life Savings.

If you’re looking for a cheap night out, head to the Lower East Side. Set yourself around Bleecker Street and wander amongst the shops, sculptures, affordable restaurants, and bars.

6. Spend a Day in the Park If You Are Feeling Stressed.

Central Park is always a nice time. If you’re looking to rent a bike you can get on for 2 hours for the low price of $10, just make sure you bring water with you to avoid any extra costs.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 8, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Matt Lawler

Matt is a contributor for the SpareFoot Moving Guide.
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