To say that moving to New York City is tough is an understatement. It’s actually the most understated understatement of all understatements. However, most, if not all who migrate to this monstropolis think to know what they are in for.
I know this because I thought I did until reality slowly hit, bump, after bump, after pothole, and after bump in the road. It wasn’t until month 6 that I finally said to myself “HOLY SHIT. WHY IS EVERYTHING HERE SO F($%$^&^)&*F&^%(^&)&*^ HARD?!?” Everything is a battle uphill. From finding a damn public bathroom, to getting from one place to another, to scrounging enough change to buy A BEER; not even a full six-pack….I mean just a damn 40!
Here is why we are all fooled: Because of Sex and The City, and their swanky, stress free brunch frolicking. Not a care in the world besides fending off or sleeping with devastatingly gorgeous sexy men who night after night fall into their beds. Or the Mary Tyler Moore Syndrome, which causes most women to believe moving here is as simple as throwing your chic little hat in the air and screaming “I am here New York! I’ve made it!”. Ladies. Trust me. You haven’t even made it into the stratosphere of the NYC world when you set foot here.
I’ve always felt sympathy for the bright-eyed-star-struck-hopefuls who are on their way to the Jungle (or as I prefer to call it…The Amazon) and have gone out of my way to provide cautionary warnings disguised as advice, in hopes I can help them avoid the grievances I suffered when I was in their shoes.
On that note, I have compiled a list of “wisdoms” learned with blood, sweat and tears over the past two years. Also some not-so-common-sense observations that can help survive good ol’ New York City.
In no particular order of importance:
- WALKING – Learn to walk. This sounds very rudimentary, and anywhere else in the U.S. I would agree. Not here. Walking is an art in The Big Apple. If you can walk here, you can walk ANYWHERE.
- When crossing the street, lights mean NOTHING. Use your eyes/ears and look BOTH ways no matter what direction the traffic is supposed to be coming from. There will always be an asshole who tried to beat the light, make an illegal turn, or a biker to whom traffic laws don’t apply to.
- Walking is like driving on the expressway. There is a slow lane and a fast lane. If you are looking up in awe at the buildings like an idiot or texting, be prepared to get bulldozed over. I once had a friend tell me she wanted to kick the back of people’s legs at Time Square (mainly people with knee high socks and fanny packs)….I can relate to that feeling. If you are on this “Sunday Walking Mode” move to the inside of the sidewalk.
- When crossing the street, again, lights mean n-a-d-a. If you see the red hand, but no cars coming, and the rest of the crowds crossing, just cross. Otherwise, EVERYONE leaving you behind on the sidewalk like an 80-year-old woman will collectively think you’re a retard. Or a tourist. Not sure which is worse.
- No matter how cute your outfit is and how the shoes “pull it together”, wear a pair of equally cute flats and change them to the stilettos a block away from your destination. There are more podiatrists in NYC than anywhere else. There is a reason for that, and the reason is idiots who wear high-heels to and from work. 35% of you will listen to me and the others will have corns and back pains and finally get the point once it starts snowing.
- TRAINS (the bus is sooo passé)- If you don’t have a car brace yourself for plenty of underground adventures!
- All the leftover stairs in the world got dumped in the MTA. All of them. It’s a giant, hot, sweaty, urine-stained, stair-master. Love it or get a bike.
- Don’t take the Drunk Train Express. Anytime after 10:30pm that’s what it is. Do yourself a favor and pony up for a cab or prepare yourself to missing your stop (and getting lost) or getting picked on by some drunk (juuuust like you).
- Same as the walking thing….wear flats. Heels get caught in the million grates or stairs and the last thing you want to do is chafe your knee on a subway floor.
- Rats. ‘Nough said.
- If you are one for wearing short and flowy skirts, be VERY aware of wind down there. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve flashed my holey grandma underwear.
- THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE SO PAY ATTENTION. DO NOT STAND IN THE FRONT OF THE TRAIN DOORWAY LIKE A BOUNCER IF YOU AREN’T GETTING IN OR OUT OF THE TRAIN. It’s a HUGE train. Unless it’s packed to the rim or you weigh 300lb get the fuck out of the way and let people in and out of the train!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don’t, one day you will get shoulder slammed by an average sized Latina and that will be me, you RUDE BUTTHOLE!!!
- CABS – Cabs in NYC are GANSTER. And so this is how you have to behave. Like a tough, aggressive, ruthless, brute bastard. Here are some golden rules to live by.
- DO NOT tell the cab driver where you are going until your ass is solidly planted on the seat. To them you are one in a million options and if they don’t feel like driving in the direction you need to go, they will just drive off before your hand is even on the handle. They don’t give a sh*t.
- If you’ve managed to climb in the car and THEN got refused the ride, you have two options: A) Get out of the cab, defeated or B) Stand your ground and remind them that BY LAW they can’t refuse you the ride because “they aren’t going in that direction” and glue your self to the seat until they get on the road. Threatening to call 911 may come into effect sometimes. I prefer B.
- If the roads look like a parking lot, take a Gypsi Cab, for they have a flat rate, which means the meter from a Yellow Cab won’t become $60 for just ten blocks.
- Don’t hail a cab by sticking your fat thumb up in the air. It looks stupid.
- FRIENDLY VISITS – Welcome to your second job as an unpaid Big Apple Tour Guide. Why? Because everyone you’ve ever met in your entire life will come out of the woodwork, decide they miss you, and book a trip to see you. NOTE: “You”, may sometimes stand for “New York City”…after a while you’ll be able to tell the difference.
- Be prepared to see the Statue of Liberty, the MET, Empire State Building, etc, multiple times.
- Also be prepared to magically be on the same “vacation budget” your long lost friends and relatives came with.
- And oh yeah, you will be expected to offer your couch as an alternative to a hotel.
- All of the above will eventually begin to grind on your nerves and your finances unless said visitors are people you truly love and have been a constant staple in your life through the good, the bad, and the ugly. These people will be your lifeline and you will long for their visits, because as crowded as NYC is, it can be a very lonely place sometimes. Give these people the couch, the 5th tour to the MoMa, and all the attentions a cherished friend deserves.
- HIPSTERS – If you are one, stop reading this blog immediately. I don’t like you and would rather not give you my hard earned advice. So take you, your fedora, your mustache, your PBR, and your salvation army raggedy clothes to American Apparel where you and your breed can talk about bullshit art and music like broken, vapid, records. If you aren’t a hipster, read on…
- In case you don’t know what a hipster is, I found this site that gives a remarkably good and accurate description: http://the-opt.com/?p=425
- Now that you know what they are be prepared to find them everywhere. E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. Very much like rats, and bedbugs. Unlike rats and bed bugs, you can’t kill them because it isn’t legal…yet.
- I’d like to back track on the EVERYWHERE part a bit…they tend to avoid neighborhoods in which minorities and true culture truly exists. I guess if they stay too close to it they will be found out for being the brutally pathetic, boring, simple, sad non-individuals that they really are.
- Don’t be fooled into thinking these odd-looking “individuals” that look like homeless people or drag queens are from New York City. The opposite is true. Real city folk look like normal human beings; they don’t have the torturing need to go above and beyond to fit in or be “cool”. Hipsters, 9 times out of 10 are from the country/suburbs/another planet. Hence their desperation to disguise themselves as clowns.
Some of you veterans of war are nodding and shaking your heads, as vague recollection of horror creep into your heads. Those of you who are in the process of growing the balls to move here are thinking, “Oh, that’s it?!?! Pfffft…”. No, Little Retarded Grasshoppers….That is NOT it. I figured I would just pop your NYC-Whimsical-World-Cherry one push at a time. This is just the tip of the dirt-ridden iceberg you are about to collide with. Stay tuned for the next Blog-pesode of “New York Bites”.
And btw – I wouldn’t leave it for the world (that’s because I’m a sick, sick masochist).
Smell ya later!