Eleven Mondays in NYC
It was love at first sight. We met four years ago and I was undone. It was winter and her streets were slippery and muddy from snow, ice, buses, and humans. It was dreary and beautiful.
Her buildings and lights made my heart race the way a boy I like does when our eyes meet across a room.
I never imagined that four years later I would not only visit NYC again but live and work in the greatest city in the world for four weeks, which then turned into eleven.
This time I not only had a job to pay for things like food and transportation but I had friends with couches and spare rooms to surf on for free during my stay. I couldn’t have lived there any other way.
Like many non-New Yorkers, I was prepared to be treated like a tourist. I was ready to be yelled at and possibly mugged. I knew for sure I would get lost finding subway platforms and figuring out which way is north, south, east, and west, which New Yorkers seem to just… know.
But eleven Mondays in NYC showed me how wrong I was about the city I was in love with.
New Yorkers aren’t rude; they’re just in a hurry.
I’m used to driving everywhere but you just don’t need a car when you work in Manhattan so you either spend on cabs or ride shares or do the more cost-effective and efficient way of getting around — trains and buses.
But you gotta know where to take your train or bus before you hit the sidewalks or you’ll be in someone’s way who does know where they’re going and could be late because you’re in the way.
I gave myself two hours to commute my first week in Manhattan so I had a “dummy commuter buffer” built in. And I asked my friends for their tips and insights.
Stand on the right side of an escalator so people who want to run or walk can use the left side.
You’d think it’s a universal escalator rule that all commuters are aware of but no. You can spot tourists or non-commuters by the way they take up the entire width of the escalator.
If you don’t know where you’re going or you’re not in a hurry, step aside and let the people with places to go get to where they’re going.