Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do's and Don'ts for the NY Newbie

I realize that I completely fell off the Earth. I'm sorry! I found not one, not two, but FOUR jobs in Manhattan from June to August and I've been very busy. I had an amazing time and I learned a ton, here's just a sliver of some things I picked up.

  1. Wear the ugly sneakers you own, as long as they don't mess up your patterned tights. You shoes are going to go through hell whether you take the subway or hit the streets walking. "What if I want to wear my heels while I commute?" haha. No.
  2. Find a copy of the MTA subway map Iphone cover (the best five bucks you'll ever spend on Broadway/Canal). You're going to get lost. Your phone is probably not going to work underground, and your phone is even more likely to die when you need directions. 
  3. Be a little adventurous, there is tons of things to see and do. Get out of your comfort zone, go to Chinatown and eat at a hole in the wall ramen place. (I ended up in the middle of a marketplace somehow and scored a sick tea set for $10).
  4. When you see that someone is clearly lost, and you have a map, or if you know where you are, help that person out. Karma, right?
  5. Lend a hand every now and then. Don't forget to be kind. There are so many homeless in NYC, you have an extra pb&j sandwich, why not let that hungry little girl have it? 
  6. Follow your gut, if you're unsure about walking down that shadowy dark alley, turn around and go another way. Better safe than sorry, always.
  7. Buy mace. Self explanatory.
  8. Say yes! To lunch, to shopping to drinks or whatever a new friend invites you to come along to. You were just going to go home and go on the internet anyway. Wouldn't you rather explore SoHo "best smoothie ever!"?
  9. Always try to look your best. You could meet anyone in one day. Out of the blue on a Tuesday, I was invited to go to an interns mixer. Important people were also there. Thankfully I had a nice enough outfit on.
  10. Be polite, mind your p's and q's and all that basic stuff that your mother taught you. Unfortunately, it's not always common sense to be professional. No matter how much you dislike it you probably shouldn't tell your boss that "that tie is disgusting". Um, rude?
  11. Buy a wristlet if you don't already own one. Nobody appreciates the women holding up the rest of the world while they dig through their purse to find their Metrocard. 

  1. Don't panic if you get lost! There are millions of people living in NYC, most people are more than happy to tell you that you're in South Ferry and you are at the bottom of Manhattan. (Yes, this also happened to me).
  2. Don't assume anything. Just because you can't see the building you're looking for, doesn't mean it's not there. It's probably hiding behind another building! Ask for help!
  3. Don't wear heels on your commute. Carry them in a bag and toss them on later.
  4. Don't feel weird about your body touching someonelses body. You're going to be crammed on the C train. It's not a big deal. 
  5. Don't be closed-minded. If your friend takes you to a super sketchy place just try to remind yourself that she knows where you're going!
  6. Don't miss out on museums, the Metropolitan of Art is donation only. I got in for $3, it's worth it. In fact, take a whole day to just walk around museums.
  7. Don't be afraid to go to that random bloc party in Williamsburg. As long as you have a friend with you!
  8. DON'T go to Tasti D Lite, don't waste your money. If you want a vanilla fro-yo to taste (and look) like milk, then just go buy milk. It'll be cheaper. Seriously though, don't bother.
  9. Don't leave your phone at home! You are going to need that thing. Don't forget to also bring a charger, google maps takes up pretty much all of your battery. 
  10. Don't think that because you're new that you should be given a get out of jail free card. Whether you have an internship or a job, be on time. Preplan your whole commute a few days in advance. Or if you're unsure of where you are supposed to be, physically go and find the place.