10 Ways To Be Like A New Yorker On The Streets Of NYC

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,

1. Buy a coffee, then buy another one

You can't walk more than half a block in any direction without coming across a coffee shop. And, I'm not just talking about chains. There are specialty cafes all over the city, and you will rarely see a New Yorker without a coffee in hand.

2. Walk everywhere

Traffic in Manhattan is basically never-ending gridlock, which means that it is usually faster to walk, well, pretty much everywhere. Plus, it gives you a chance to scope out restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and get in some great people watching. 

3. Don't wait at crosswalks

Better yet, unless you are on a main road, don't even use them. In NYC, it seems that the red hand telling you not to walk is more of a suggestion than anything else and, unless a car is speeding through an intersection right at you, someone will be walking across it. 

4. Invest in comfortable shoes

Since you are going to be walking everywhere, there is no point in wearing high heels or shoes that pinch. So take them off and throw them in your bag to change into at your destination, or forgo them altogether and invest in some stylish, comfortable flats.

5. Wear headphones with a microphone

Drown out the noise of the city with your favourite tunes, while also being ready to answer your phone on your morning commute. With space on the sidewalks limited during peak hours, there is actually a huge benefit to being able to keep your arms by your side rather than having to hold a phone near your ear. 

6. Carry an umbrella

Being so close to the ocean means that weather changes fast in Manhattan, so making sure you have an umbrella with you will save you from having to jump in a cab or spend time in a cafe to wait out a storm.

7. Don't be startled by noise

Drivers seem to talk to each other through the use of incessant honking, there is construction every few blocks, and throngs of people chatting on their phones surround you. There is no escaping it, so embrace it and get used to it. (And try not to jump every time someone honks their horn.)

8. Wear what you want

Don't let fashion blogs or past episodes of Sex and The City trick you (I got tricked), the streets of NYC aren't swarming with incredibly fashionable people that look like they stepped out of the pages of Vogue and will make you feel like an ugly troll. They are actually filled with people wearing what they want, whether it's a velour tracksuit, a vintage dress, or a power suit (though, there did seem to be a disproportionate amount of businessmen wearing blue shirts the last time I was there).

9. Take advantage of every inch of outside space

Coffee carts set up shop on medians running in the middle of the road, the smallest of spaces are turned into parks, people perch on the edges of fountains, and tiny patios appear outside of restaurants in the warmer months. On an island where space is at a premium, every inch of it is used, which means that there are some pretty cool spots for you to stumble upon while walking around the city. 

10. Give Zero F#$ks

Now let me clarify. This doesn't mean that New Yorkers are rude and don't care about anyone. What this means is that they don't seem to take anything personally or be too judgemental of the people around them. You're walking down the street and someone bumps into you? Who cares. Is a cab honking when you're in a crosswalk? Don't speed up, feel insulted, or get annoyed, just keep walking like you heard nothing. Wear what you want, be who you want, walk where you want — as long as it directly preventing anyone from living their lives, no one cares!