Nine Tips for Surviving in New York City

Written by Carlyle Property Management on 03.19.19

People on New York City's Times Square

New York, New York! One of the most appealing and exciting cities in the world—if not the most. Many people who arrive here are achieving the dream of a lifetime, and we hope you're among them.

The city may seem daunting to a visitor—especially in a car, heaven forbid!—but once you live here, it’s yours. 

As Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe put the point:

One belongs to New York instantly; one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years. 

All it takes is a little knowledge about the little things, and you’ll be in. So, here are nine tips to have you seasoned from the first day.

1. Be a savvy pedestrian.

In slush or rain, avoid the curb if you hope to stay dry and unsplattered. That car will not slow down. And never walk or stand in the cyclists’ lane. That bike will not slow down. The New York life is a fast-paced one. But you’ll likely find that New Yorkers do give correct street directions!

2. Say yes to that meeting in the city.

Ah, Manhattan! The perfect place for seizing new opportunities, for transformations. 

Tip: "The city" means Manhattan. It’s because Manhattan is the core of the New York City lifestyle. You’ll soon be calling it "the city" along with everyone else. 

3. Get a Metro card.

The city’s public transit system is outstanding. Get familiar with it. Depend on it. Admire its beauty.

Seriously; just look at the MTA map for the New York City Subway.

Notice how artfully it frames Central Park.

Read More: Your Guide to the Best Restaurants in the Upper East Side

4. Make plans for your car.

Parking is super expensive. If you’re bringing your car, look for a property with a parking garage on site, like The Wellesley, our 35-floor luxury apartment residence, off Third Avenue on the Upper East Side, or one of our other well-placed Manhattan apartment communities.

5. Change the way you look at income and expenses.

New York has high costs, and high salaries. Double what you are used to if you’re coming to New York from the Midwestern or Southern states. Plan carefully for all of your insurance costs as well as rent, pet-sitting and childcare, if needed.

6. Think of renting as the standard lifestyle.

In the city (yes, Manhattan), apartment communities make up the vast majority of homes. It’s one of the elements in a well-arranged city of 8 and a half million people. Buildings rely on vertical space; restaurateurs use frugal footage in remarkable ways. The geometry of life here is amazing, once you pause to look at it.

So, travel light to your new home in Manhattan. Tip: Job relocation expenses are usually tax-deductible.

7. Shop for a day, not for a week.

If you're used to filling a big cart at the supermarket, make adjustments to survive in walkable NYC. Here, it’s customary to nip into the market, tuck tomorrow’s breakfast into a brief case, and go. And locals love to go to the restaurants of Manhattan. The choices are endless.

8. Pronounce Houston Street the way locals do.

Houston Street, here in Manhattan, is HOUSE-tin. You’ll get used to it. 

Oh, and people say they’re headed "uptown" or "downtown" here rather than north or south.

9. Locals wear black—layered.

The style icons have long had a penchant for black here—it’s statistically proven. Black goes with everything and hides those splatters (see Tip 1) so it’s practical and simple. You don’t have to follow suit; but layers are a must, given the city's ever-changing weather. Hail and sunshine in the very same minute? What's new?

And speaking of style icons, you’ll see famous people here. It’s normal.

Everybody acts like everything is normal in New York. Just go with the flow!

Thrive With Carlyle Property Management

Connect with the right apartment community, and you’ll not only survive in New York City—you’ll thrive with us.

We are delighted to offer elegant apartment living at several locations in New York City, including Midtown East, Murray Hill, and the Upper East Side. 

Welcome to New York.

Check out our NYC apartments

Topics: Manhattan Apartments, Surviving NYC

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