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27 Things You Need To Know To Survive In NYC

Inspired by this Quora thread.

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1. The order of the avenues.

It's First, Second, Third, Lexington, Park, Madison, Fifth, Sixth (aka Avenue of the Americas), Seventh, Eighth (aka Central Park West), Ninth (aka Columbus), 10th (aka Amsterdam), 11th (aka West End), West Side Highway.

3. That most of the pizza tastes the same, and even the dollar slices are good.

4. There's more than one Chinatown.

If you haven't eaten dumplings from a Flushing mall, get your act together.


5. Where to get your nature fix.

Have you seen the Bronx River?

6. Houston is pronounced "Howston."

7. You should get in the cab before you tell them where you're going.

(Especially if you're leaving the borough.)


9. Oh and also: You can't hail a green taxi in Manhattan.

Those are limited to the outer boroughs, though you can take one into Manhattan.

10. How to get the most out of the MTA's free bus-to-bus or subway-to-bus transfers.

"I take one bus line downtown ~20 blocks to my favorite grocery store, do my shopping, and then catch a different line uptown back to my apartment. As long as you complete the trip within 2 hours from the first swipe, the second fare is a free transfer." —Mich Novak

11. That you can take visitors to see the Statue of Liberty for free on the Staten Island ferry.

12. Which buses and trains go to which airports.

E train or A train to AirTrain for JFK, M60 bus to LaGuardia, PATH to Newark.


13. How the PATH train works and where to get it.

(Info here.)

15. Where to stand on the platform so your train drops you off at the optimal location.

16. Which trains don't run on the weekends.

You can stop waiting on that B.


17. To walk like you're a little car.

"That means you 'drive' on the right and when you change lanes, you look over your shoulder to make sure you are not about to crash into someone. And don't try to outsmart cars making turns, especially. Texting and talking on the phone when crossing the street is a particularly bad idea." —Margaret Ost

18. And if you're walking while looking at your phone, don't count on other people to not crash into you.

20. That there are free days for almost every museum.

Check them out here.


22. That, actually, there are a lot of free events around the city.

23. Which attractions are worth the hype.

Central Park: Definitely.

Times Square: Hard pass.

24. You should make friends with the people (and cats) at your local bodega.

25. How to install an air conditioner.

27. And that, ultimately, you can assume everyone is just doing their best.

"Every good New Yorker should know, and behave like, they are just one person in massive and diverse community of millions. To remember to regard others with respect, compassion, and understanding. Every good New Yorker knows they're probably not the most important person in the room." —Alex Cannon