How to be a local in New York
If you think London is a fast-paced, jam-packed capital where the locals work hard and play harder, New York is in a different league entirely. It's the world's epicentre of creativity, individuality and ambition with so much available around every block that it's a sensory overload.
The 'citiest' city of the States, it behaves completely differently to the rest of the country with its own set of rules that befuddles even those from neighbouring states.
So if you want to fit right in to the city that never sleeps, here's the Flexicover team’s top tips on how to keep your eyes open.
Have an attitude, but don't be rude
Anyone who says New Yorkers are brash haven't spent much time in the metropolis. Time is money and both are tight, so it's true that people are more direct and don't suffer fools gladly. But a longer interaction will make you realise that if only because of their environment, they're social creatures who care deeply for others and respect their community as much as in any village. So: call it like you see it and you'll fit right in. But forget courtesy and kindness and you'll be at the receiving end of some choice New York curse words.
Dress for comfort
TV shows and magazines depict New Yorkers as the most fashion-forward city around. They’re not wrong – they're unique both inside and out – but on the streets you’ll notice a practical element too. The attire is suited to the number of short walks they’re likely to take throughout the day, so heels are less popular than you may think. And as it’s not possible to nip back home to get ready for a night out, New York has perfected the day-to-night look, transforming casualwear to partywear with a few adjustments. Just have a few key items in your bag for the turnaround and you’ll fit right in!
It's a walking city. Sometimes.
Look it up on a map and Manhattan seems easily walkable. It's five minutes from the Empire State Building to the Rockerfella Center right? Wrong. It's 20 minutes, and if you do that a few times a day, you'll end up in pain regardless of footwear. So here’s a beginner’s guide to travel in Lower Manhattan: avenues run north to south; streets run east to west. Allow a minute for each block when going up or downtown; three to five minutes per block when going crosstown. If you decide your destination is too far to walk and need a taxi, even numbered streets have eastbound traffic while odd numbered streets carry westbound traffic. You’re welcome.
Find the free stuff
New York is an expensive place to live, which is why residents are adept at sniffing out free entertainment. From outdoor swimming pools to TV show tapings to concerts at Prospect Park, there’s a range of budget-friendly options for the well-researched. Unlike the United Kingdom, museums and galleries have an entry cost, but the world-famous Museum of Modern Art opens its doors for nada on Friday nights. And don’t forget to take the Staten Island ferry - as well as being a free service, it offers some of the best views of the Statue of Liberty.
It seems anti-holiday to consider food intake while abroad, as it's the one place you can let loose without any guilt. But if you did that in New York, you might need an extra airplane seat on your return, as they don't hold back on their portion sizes. From their famous pizza slices - one sole slice being larger than a full British pizza in many cases - to hunks of creamy vanilla cheesecake, the food is XXL and XX delicious. So with all the willpower in the world, force yourself to share some dishes with your travel bud and don't forget that it's totally acceptable to take doggy bags home from restaurants. Perfect for hotel snacking later...
If you’re planning a city break, be it to the Big Apple or to a destination a bit closer to home, it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away. |