In October 2013, my family and I enjoyed the privilege of “living” in New York City. We were there to set up a Myriad pop-up office, as part of our efforts to meet with existing clients and to see if opening an office there made sense. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I took away from our stay in the concrete jungle:
• You don’t look people in the eyes and you don’t ask them things politely. Get straight to the point. For instance, don’t say, “Hi, excuse me sir. Could you please tell me how to get to The Meatpacking District?” Instead, you say, “How do I get to The Meatpacking District?”
• You never split a dinner bill. Ask for check and split it up at the table, on your own. I frustrated a few waiters with this, until we asked a friend that lives in Manhattan and he explained it was only acceptable to ask for one check.
• Walking 10 blocks to go anywhere, at any time, is nothing.
• As a native New Yorker, you’ve probably never been to the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge or the Empire State Building. You also hate Times Square and all of Midtown, and don’t go there except for work.
• You gotta learn to love eating lunch standing up.
• Sometimes, waitresses will cuss at you and treat you like shit. It’s part of the charm. At least, this was the case in one joint we went to. It was hilarious, but definitely odd.
• Don’t eat pizza at night on a bench in front of the 72nd Street subway station (rats are aggressive).
• No one has a dishwasher, washer or dryer in their apartment. Yeah, we’re pretty spoiled in North Carolina.
• People don’t buy tons of groceries, because guess what? If you do, you’ll be walking home with all that stuff, and for many people, walking up 3 or 4 floors to reach your apartment. Plus, who cooks anymore? Most people I talked to just eat out, or use Seamless to order food.
New York is a big, tough city. But if you take the time to get to know your neighborhood and its residents, it actually feels like a smaller, cozy, city within a city. It has its own special charm—one that can only be revealed by spending a lot of time there. I ♥ NY.