back to top

23 Things You Should Know Before You Move To NYC

Like where to buy liquor and donuts.

Posted on

1. The subway is a totally different beast on the weekend.

E! / Via

In general, trains run less frequently on the weekend. Your train might not come, or it might run on a different line, or it might randomly stop running eight stops from your destination. It will be infuriating, but you'll learn to adapt.

2. It's easy to confuse uptown vs. downtown subway stations.

Becky Johns CC BY-NC-ND / Via Flickr: beckyjohns

If you're not reading them closely, that is. Double check the signs before heading down into them — otherwise, you might swipe yourself in and waste fare on the wrong side.


4. Grocery stores and drug stores don't sell liquor.

Grocery store alcohol products can't contain more than 6% alcohol, so while they may carry some beer, places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have their own wine shops.

5. Many things worth eating will be cash only.

Jerry refuses to go to a Cash Only diner. J:"They’ve seen the credit card! They know the credit card! It’s time to accept the credit card!"

Tons of eateries all over the city will only take cash or have a credit card minimum, so be sure to carry some paper.

6. NYC is arguably the donut capital of the world.

Really, you've got some amazing options. And here's the best of the best.

7. Avenue blocks are longer than street blocks.

It's not just in your head. Oh, and the even numbered streets go east, the odd numbered ones go west.


8. That scaffolding will never come down. Ever.

Yeah it's ugly but you'll love it when it rains.

10. And on that note, see if your job will help you out with transit fare.

Find out if your employer participates in a Commuter Benefit Program that makes your transit expenses tax-free!


12. There's a slice of the city for SO many countries.

Visit neighborhoods to get in touch with your roots — or explore some new ones! Little Italy, K-Town, Little Ukraine...

13. Most city parks offer free WiFi.

Score. Find out more here.

14. Harmon's Discount is your best bet for toiletries.

So much cheaper than Duane Reade, CVS, etc.


17. You really can get cultured for cheap.

There are rush, lottery, and standing-room tickets for Broadway shows, free nights at your favorite museums, and tons of free events like Shakespeare in the Park.

18. And be a part of your favorite TV shows for free.

Check out how to join tapings of shows like The Tonight Show here. Or keep roaming the city long enough and you'll show up in the background of a movie or Billy On The Streets.

19. The best view of the Statue of Liberty is from the Staten Island Ferry, which is free.

Don't bother buying a ticket to the island itself.


20. If you want a tattoo, this is the place to get it.

This city has some truly gifted artists, and many shops host famous guest artists from around the world.

21. If you have the choice, live closer to your social life than your job.

Paramount Pictures / Via

You have to go to work, so you'll make the commute. But it's a lot easier to skip out on your non-mandatory social life because it's too much of a hassle to get to your friends, bars, or clubs.

22. It can feel like everyone is caught up in their own thing.

HBO / Via

Sometimes, even though you'll be surrounded by people, noises, and smells 24/7, you will still feel lonely and like you have nothing figured out. But you're not the only one!

23. Remember: Live your OWN ~NYC dream.~

Don't waste time comparing yourself to some ideal version of NYC life you assumed you'd be living. Just do you.