New York – Lessons

I’ve been here a little over a week, and here are the things I have learned so far about New York City.

 

On the city’s caffeine habits…

Everyone in New York appears to drink coffee. However, their idea of good coffee is Dunkun’ Doughnuts. Questionable taste.

Despite the ill affects of gentrification on previously unpopular areas of the city, I really appreciate having a decent good place near my office.

People in New York don’t seem to know what Peet’s Coffee is. Seriously, I’ve asked.

 

On commuting…

Commuting to work isn’t always awful. However, Penn Station is awful- cramped, dark, humid, and smelling of fast food.

Try to get a job uptown in order to avoid the flow of traffic. Almost everyone commutes downtown to get to work, so you are practically guaranteed a seat on the subway if you are going north in the morning and south in the evening.

The subway system is challenging. I have gotten better at it, but I should really pay attention wherever I am, because it is incredibly easy to get on the wrong train and get lost.

If you are going to be riding the subway a lot, or have a propensity to get lost, buying an unlimited subway pass is well worth the nice.

If you do get lost, people in New York City are more helpful than you might assume.

People who draw others on the subway really do exist.

 

On the weather…

I can’t imagine how miserable it must be to be homeless in the rain.

When it is raining, everyone in the city seems to magically forget how to drive. Getting a cab becomes even more impossible when it is raining. Don’t even bother attempting this, especially close to a major transportation hub, such as Grand Central or Penn Station. The lines will be horrendous.

When it rains, street musicians simply move down to the subway platforms.

When it rains even a little in the city, you get flash flood warnings on your phone.

When it’s a nice day (mid-70s, breezy, no humidity) everyone in the city goes outside to enjoy it.

 

On food in the city…

You can find healthy food anywhere, if you look hard enough. You just have to be willing to pay for it. It is worth buying good quality produce, even if it is more expensive.

Sometimes the best food comes from the worst looking restaurants, delis and markets. Being adventurous pays off.

 

On getting to know a new city…

Sometimes a store that’s on a map doesn’t exist in real life. Maps applications can’t always keep up with the perpetually rotating businesses.

A lot of businesses stay open late at night, but when they close, they are really closed. The door is locked and deadbolted, and cages are secured over the windows.

Brownstones exist everywhere in New York City, and they only get cuter outside of the Upper East Side.

 

On working in a big city…

Everyone is thankful for interns. We are both willing and eager to do the miserable grunt work that nobody else wants to do, and will often do so for free.

Wearing a blazer will always make you feel more professional. This is a huge psyche boost if you are new and have no idea what you are doing.

A smile and a few choice words (please and thank you) will get you far. Everyone appreciates good manners.

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