5 Things to Know Before You Go to NYC

Madison Square Garden New York City

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Traveling to New York City


I just arrived in NYC last night.


Upper West Side house sit.


Plum real estate.


Although I often island hop – technically, NYC is an island – I want to deviate from the tropical jungle to dive into urban jungle etiquette. Or more appropriately, the NYC way of living.


Things to Know Before You Go to NYC


I grew up in New Jersey, across the river. But I have visited NYC some 500 times or more. New Jersey maintains a similar vibe on many levels as we have over 10 million folks in a state that can be traveled North to South in 4 hours and East to West in 1 hour. Tiny state. Highest population density in the United States.


For brevity purposes, NYC means Manhattan. Technically, NYC is Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island. But each borough holds fairly true to the same rules.


Keep these 5 things in mind when you travel to NYC.


1: Things Move Fast


Millions of people live here.


Millions of people watch millions of people move fast, being imprinted by the masses, from their childhood, or from day #1 spent in the City.


NYC is hustle and bustle.


If you hail from a laid back part of the world – or chill part of the US – simply take a deep breath and go a bit more with the flow. No need to hurry. No need to rush. Just understand that going a wee bit quicker in all you do not only feels fun and energizing, but also helps you ingratiate yourself in NYC for your trip.


2: New Yorkers Are Nice even if Folks Don’t Talk Much


On the street, most New Yorkers are quiet. Staring down at cell phones. Face forward, with blinders on, always looking toward the next place they needed to be 5 minutes ago.


A quiet, stoic lot.

But never take their silence for rudeness, or cold-heartedness.


Some New Yorkers are pretty damn jaded, having seen quite a bit living with millions of people for decades. But the split second you need help with something, 9/10 times, you get it. Sometimes the help is offered tersely from someone in a hurry. Other times, assistance is offered with a smile.


Either way, the majority of NYC folk are nice and will help you. Even if they don’t go out of their way to smile at you on the street, or to strike up a conversation on the subway.


3: Homeless People Will Ask You for Money


I have been to major cities worldwide. Pan handling is definitely most prevalent in NYC.


Never felt unsafe here though, with homeless folks asking for dough.


Here’s why: from my experience, almost every single time, NYC is a “I ask you once then leave you alone” pan handling city.


Folks know that people will call the cops or pop ’em in the face if they keep it up. Just NYC. The way it is.


New York City


Note; pan handlers are not waiting on every corner. You could walk around NYC for days before someone asks you for chedda. Just understand that if you look like a tourist, you will eventually be asked to help someone out with dough.


As a rule, do what feels empowering to you and to the homeless individual. Your call.


I smile and keep going. Being compassionate for me means not surrendering to the illusion of fear that these individuals are temporarily giving in to.


4: Tourist Areas Are OK but the Really Fun NYC Is Well Away


I get it. You want to see the Freedom Tower.


The Empire State Building? The last guy who wanted to be on top of it more badly than you was King Kong.


Ditto for Times Square. You gotta see it.


Enjoy these spots. Take pictures. Spend 30% to 50% to 100% more on events, food, etc, etc. I am not kidding. Tourist price gouging in NYC is about the most dramatic on earth.


Anyway, see the tourist spots for an hour or two then walk. Walk some more. Get lost. Or check your phone, then, walk, walk and walk some more.


Most super popular tourist spots are downtown or in midtown. Battery Park, Freedom Tower, downtown. Times Square, Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, midtown.


So…..get your ass walking to the East Side, and West Side, and head uptown, my little sweet robbins.


You will find Central Park – a big tourist spot for good reason – and by walking both west and east from Central Park you enjoy some of the most expensive real estate on earth, on the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side.


Flavor. Culture. Bodegas in East Harlem. Ritzy pads on Central Park West. Columbia University.


Or head downtown to embrace the grittiness and downright coolness of Greenwich Village. Feast on Hell’s Kitchen. Get a feel for the different textures of each neighborhood. The energy is palpable.




Explore the city. All the gems are well on the tourist path, found by explorers.


Just like it should be.


5:There Is No Place on Earth Like NYC


And it ain’t even close.