10 Things I've learned Already in NYC
Wow, I can't believe that I've been in New York for a little over a week. Time has definitely flown by because it seems like yesterday I was taking the 10 hour drive up from Charlotte. Well, I've taken countless train rides, witness a brutal fight in the subway, got cussed out by a homeless man and ventured into a back alley off canal to find a faux leather book bag. So, it's safe to say that I am a real New Yorker, right? Yeah, I know I have a few more months, honestly a year, to go till that statement can be true. However, in the short amount of time, I can say that I have definitely learned some valuable tips that anyone can use if planning to move up or visit for a long period of time.
1. Transit App is Your BFF.
If you're here 9 times out of 10 you won't have your own car. Public transportation will be your main means of getting from point A to point B. Well, if you aren't a true native, it can be super confusing to know which train can get you where you need to be. Transit App is honestly the best thing that was ever invented. All you have to do is put in your destination and it will tell you what train or bus closest to you will get you there. It will also let you know how long it will take you to get there by train, bus, car, uber or if you decide to walk. It's super easy to navigate and FREE! I highly recommend downloading it!
2. Invest in a Messenger/Book bag.
Majority of the time when you leave your house, you won't be back till the end of the day. So, you have to remember to bring everything with you in the morning. Now, unless you want to look like bag lady and risk the potential of getting robbed, investing in a messenger bag or book bag is definitely a must! After people watching for a while, I notice that most people use messenger bags. But, according to my cousin who's currently in therapy for her shoulder, it's best to get a book bag if you have a lot of stuff. I was able to find a good knock-off bag off canal street for $20!
3. Get at least 2 Battery Packs.
Between using the transit app and surfing social media, your phone is bound to die before you make it home in the evening. Now, if you have a job where you can keep your phone plugged, then you're good. But if you are constantly on the go and not always near an outlet, you should definitely get a battery pack. If you want to be frugal and get one for $5 off the street while you're here, just know it won't work as efficiently. So be sure to get at least 2. My mother bought my PNY Batery Pack last year for Christmas and I love it! I'll be buying another one soon for backup!
4. Comfortable Shoes are Key!
Being that you most likely won't have a car, it is imperative that you wear comfortable shoes when you know that you'll be walking around a lot. Trust me, it's nothing worse than having to walk for miles and your feet hurt. Now, I'm not saying for you to buy some orthopedic shoes! Some ome cool, supportive sneakers will do the trick. I recently bought some Classic Old Skool Vans from Urban Outfitters and I can't wait to break them in out in the city streets!
5. Don't Waste Your Time Getting an expensive Pedicure.
During the summer months, it's hot, so of course you'll want to wear flats. Well be warned, the city is dirty! So, every time you come home you will be greeted with black feet. Yeah, it's pretty gross. Anyhoo, I say that to say don't spend $50 on a gelly pedicure because you will be mad the next day when you're feet are looking like you traveled through the highways and the byways. Make it more of an every other month thing to treat yourself. In the meantime, in between time, make sure to put Vaseline on your feat once you get out the shower to keep them soft! When you are looking to get your every other month pedi, defintiely try Honey in Brooklyn, they are amazing!!!!
6. The Price Can be Negotiated.
This is the city of a thousand of the same stores. So before you give in and buy the first thing you see, look around. I can guarantee you that there is another store that has that item you're looking for at a lower price. Now, this can not be done at any stores off 5th ave. But, any other place, mainly street vendors and local shops.
7. Give the Homeless Prayers, Not Money!
When I was in Charlotte, every time I saw a homeless person on the corner with a sign, I felt compelled to give them a few dollars. While I didn't know what exactly they would do with it, it was more so just the act of being nice that made my day. Well, here, yeah.... no. The homeless population in NYC is over 60,000 people. So, not only will you go broke trying to help everyone, there is also a possibility that you could get harassed, chased or cussed out. I've seen it happen with my own eyes and I actually got cussed out for not having a $1. So, to eliminate any of the above from happening, just say a prayer, keep your headphones in and walk right by! Trust me, it's in your best interest.
8. Weekly Unlimited MetroCards are a Better Investment.
One ride on the metro is $2.75. Getting off and on at least 5 times is basically $14. So, if you'll be using public transportation on a regular, it will make more sense to get an unlimited card. They have weekly ($30) or monthly ($125) options. Right now, till I can fully trust myself not to lose the card, I am going to get the weekly unlimited MetroCard. The good thing about the card is that you don't have to keep getting a new one, which also costs. All you have to do is refill your current one and you're good to go! I would definitely also invest in a easy to get to card holder or be sure to keep it in your wallet so you won't lose it!
9. Keep Hand Sanitizer at All Times!
There are millions of people who live in the city and thousands who travel in and out each day. From the subway to opening the doors at stores, germs can lie everywhere. Be sure to keep some hand sanitizer in your bag so that you can eliminate as most germs as possible throughout the day. No, I am not a germaphobe, but I hate getting sick. So, I will try anything and everything to prevent me from catching any NYC germs!
10. Use every opportunity to Network!
Remember why you came here. Whether it was to visit or to advance in your career, you're here for a reason. This is the city of opportunity, so be sure to take full advantage. Be eager, not desperate. Be confident, not cocky. And most of all, be ready! The opportunity of a lifetime can be sitting next to you on a train, in front of you in line at Starbucks or walking right pass you on 5th ave! You never know, but to me that's the fun part!
Hope these few things I've learned so far are helpful for your next trip to the city. I'm sure I'll learn more things as this adventure continues and I will be sure to share! It's still surreal that I'm actually writing to you live from NY!!!!
Till next time loves,