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I <3 NY

I  <3 NY

How to become a New Yorker

Photo taken by Anouk Torsing

Photo taken by Anouk Torsing

New York City: the place of movies scenes, the city that never sleeps and, as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys put it, “the concrete jungle were dreams are made off”.

Having lived in the Big Apple for over a year, I can say that even these colorful descriptions do not match up to the real experience of visiting The City. Unique in its kind, New York is a city that cannot be described in words. However, after being a New Yorker for over a year, it gave me some insight into those fancy lives of New York women. So if you want to add some Upper East Side class or West Village nonchalance to your own life (and let’s be honest: who doesn’t) the next few tips will definitely come in handy.

 

The Coffee Habit

Did you know an average inhabitant of New York City drinks almost 7 times more coffee than people from other cities? Massive Health recently revealed this. So if you want to be seen as a true New Yorker, you will need to start your coffee addiction right here, right now. Apart from that, you will have to take your coffee-to-go with you anywhere, anytime. After a run in Central Park, on your way to work and while running down the stairs of the NY subway. This does require some practice, as you might not be used to balancing on your high heels, surrounded by hundreds of rushed people, while holding your stash of papers and your double shot skinny vanilla latte

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Photo taken by Anouk Torsing

from Starbucks. But no worries, you will get there, just put some extra money aside for your now weekly visits to the dry cleaner.

 

Start The Dream – ‘Big lights will inspire you’

There is indeed nothing you cannot do in New York City. Alicia Keys already mentioned so in her song Empire State of Mind and is the personification of the phenomenon herself. Born and raised in Hells Kitchen- Manhattan, the R&B singer went from scratch to major success inspired by the big lights of Times Square and Broadway. But she is not the only one; according to IMDB many other celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro all find their roots in the Big Apple. Not that ambitious? Just follow Mark Twain’s advice: “Make your mark in New York and you are a made man”.

 

The Cab Code

Essential in becoming a true New Yorker is managing your cab hailing techniques. Fail and you will make a clean breast of the fact that you are not from The City. The first thing to remember is to always stand on the right side of the road; those cab drivers do not like their U-turns and why would they? Making you pay extra is their mission. Next you have to watch the whether the taxi light is off, hailing a taken cab is just a beginners mistake you do not want to make. Furthermore, screaming “TAXI!” is not going to help you, even though this is what they make you believe in every single movie. Did you really think you could be heard above all those sirens that do exist in real life? Right. Finally it is essential that you clearly tell the driver where you need to go (aka mastering The NY Cab Code), in which the word ‘street’ is dispensable: it is West 16th or Bleecker (not W 16th Street or Bleecker street). Stating the house numbers is rather unusual as well, it is better to choose a corner or say for example that you want to be dropped off on 5th Ave between 57th and 58th.

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Photo taken by Annemijn Dijs

 

Run baby run

The running phenomenon should especially be taken into account when it is raining cats and dogs, resulting in a lack of cabs. The solution? NY subway: A New Yorker’s best friend and worst enemy. However, rush hours make these subways chockfull so the art is to always be the fastest and squeeze yourself between those doors. Do not be scared, it only kills a few people a year; with a little bit of luck you are not one of them. Sometimes it is faster to just walk, because even though Manhattan might have a huge reputation, its actual area covers only 23 square miles according to Wikipedia. You can already walk from West to East 45 minutes, meaning that you must always bring your sneakers; anywhere. These NY women might seem all classy, but they have to be practical in order to keep up with the rush of the city and are thus not embarrassed to switch their 6-inch high Manolo’s into a pair of flats, or even into a pair of typical American trainers when the situation demands it.

 

But start small: earplugs

Obviously you cannot become a New Yorker overnight. Speaking of which: you first need to make it through your first night. Indeed this city never sleeps, but that is not only because of all its 24/7 stores and restaurants. Sirens, noisy neighbors, next door clubs and occasional construction sites will make sure you are not able to do as much as even close one eye. So, the best thing to do on your first night in NY is visit one of the 24/7 stores, such as Duane Reade, Walgreens or CVS, and buy the best pair of earplugs you can find. That is in case you wanted to sleep in this vibrant city, which I suggest you do not! And if you do not want to take it from me, take it from Simone Beauvoir: “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless”.

 

 

 

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