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Tips for an NYC Newcomer

If you’re preparing for a move to New York City, or even if you’ve already arrived, there are some things you probably already know. You probably know that Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island are boroughs in the city and that each one has its own flavor.

But even if you’ve read articles on living in New York, living in the Big Apple is going to be different than living anywhere else.  Here are some tips for newcomers from long-time residents:

1. Get familiar with the New York City Subway.  

Few New Yorkers own cars (parking is expensive, and city traffic is equally as bad), and the subway is usually your best bet for cheap and efficient transportation. The New York City Subway has been ranked as one of the best subway systems in the world for a good reason:  it’s efficient, on-time, and can get you where you want to go faster than above-ground transportation.

Be sure to pick up a Metro Card rather than pay for each ride to save time boarding the train.  Get a subway app for your smartphone such as the New York Subway MTA Map to view the map and check for outages and delays.

2. Relax in a park.

New York City has more than 1,700 parks in its five boroughs, and an afternoon in the park is a great way to save money in one of the most expensive cities in America. For a complete list of New York parks check out the official website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

3. It’s called “The City that Never Sleeps” for a reason.

It’s easy for newcomers to the city to get overwhelmed. The constant bombardment of noise can be hard for anyone, and especially for those new to the city. There are quiet neighborhoods (Little Neck, Queens, for example), but most of the city and Manhattan is a cacophony of noise.

4. Don’t skimp on shoes.

Every New Yorker will tell you that you’ll be walking – A LOT.  Whether you need to walk to your office from the subway or go to dinner, you’ll be walking far more than you might have expected.  

Walking is usually faster than taxis for short distances, so make sure your footwear is sturdy, in excellent condition, and built for comfort, not just style.  If you must go to dinner in those expensive designer shoes, take them with you if you must walk and change when you arrive. It’s more common than you think.

5. Weather is unpredictable.

New York City has four distinct seasons, but when it rains, it pours.  Make sure you check the weather before you go out, and bring an umbrella with you even if there’s only a slight chance of rain.

6. Explore New York’s Museums.

New York City is home to some of the best museums in the world, from the Guggenheim to Madame Tussaud’s and everything in between. Whether you have an hour or a day free, a New York City museum is an excellent place to spend some free time.

7. Avoid the bus if you need to get someplace on time.

The New York City bus system can take you anywhere you want to go to the city, but if you need to get somewhere quickly, avoid it.

Busses are cost-effective and efficient, but they take the same busy city streets that traffic does. If you have a good book you want to catch up on, that’s fine, but if you need to get somewhere in a hurry, you’re better off taking a taxi or the subway.

8.  It takes a LONG time to get anywhere, so plan ahead.

Distances in the Big Apple can be deceiving, and a trip that might be 10 minutes in any other city can take you three or four times as long in New York.  Avenues are longer than streets, and traffic is (as we mentioned) horrific, so plan ahead.

9. Take a ferry.

Ferries are an excellent and picturesque way to travel. Waterways are far less crowded than city streets, and boats are the only way to get to, say, Staten Island from some places in the city.

A Tip to Get There

Good luck with your new life in New York!

If you need help with your move to New York contact us. At Liberty Moving & Storage, we know how to take the stress out of your move.