To my surprise, a few NYC-focused Facebook groups are actually useful portals of top-notch info I can’t find anywhere else. Now that’s a good use of crowdsource!

On one of those groups in the discussion section I came across this list, written by Mark Manne who recently moved to Boston. With his permission I’ve reposted it in full. I’ve bolded the lines I especially like or find true, and my comments are in italics.

Fifteen Years in Manhattan: The What I Learned List
By Mark Manne

After 15 years of living in Manhattan, I recently moved to another state. During my drive away from the city that I love, I composed this note and sent it to my friends.

Some things will make your time in NY easier, some you may know already, some not, and some are just fun things to do. Hope you enjoy this list and thanks for the good times!

1. Walk fast.

2. Faster than you think.

3. If someone is not walking fast feel free to say something to them about it.

4. When a subway pulls into a station, stand to the sides of the doors, wait till everyone walks out, and then enter.

5. When you are on a subway that pulls into a station if people do not stand to the side of the doors, feel free to throw an elbow at them. When they look at you say, “Excuse you”.

6. There are several free things to do in NY. Shakespeare in the park, the philharmonic, and going to the main post office on tax day. All free, all fun.

7. If you have friends from out of town, they will use Time Out NY to figure out fun things to do. Feel free to laugh at them. HEY – I love Time Out NY! I was actually in an issue last year. See it here:

8. Yes, the subway stinks, but people with cars in NYC stink more (outer boroughs excluded)

9. If you are walking and a car honks at you to go faster, always stop right in front of the car and just pause for as long as you can. When they honk more, look at them and pantomime that you can’t hear what they are saying. This is amazing.

10. If you are walking against a light and a car is coming at you, just ignore it. Worst-case scenario is you have a great lawsuit….well that and a stay in the hospital.

11. When you take a taxi, tell the driver that in your home country you were a taxi driver, but here you are a doctor!

12. If you are uninformed about something, feel free to have an opinion about it anyway. The less you know, the louder you should be.

13. Hotels have the best toilets and are free. I have learned something.

14. Based on looks alone, you never know who is going to ask you for a quarter.

15. Never give out money on the street.

16. If you think it is a scam, it is.

17. Don’t make fun of bums; they got a hard enough life. Give them some food if they ask you for money.

18. No matter what, never try to pet a police dog.

19. NY is about choice: if some place does not meet your expectations, walk a block and you will find another place.

20. If you are rich, don’t flaunt it.

21. When leaving a bar, an exit shot is never a bad idea.

22. If approached by a livery cab, negotiate the price before you get in.

23. Stay out of Times Square. It is not for you.

24. You pay too much for your place, everything is dirty, people are loud, and yet millions of people all over the world want to live where you are right now.

25. Women hate walking on grates. So move over, douche bags! I want these heels I bought on sale at DSW to last more than a night out.

26. Men should walk on the street side of woman.

27. Don’t take a date to a sports bar.

28. If you see someone fall and get hurt, don’t feel bad about laughing at them.

29. Living in New York without a pair of binoculars is a travesty.

30. Stand in front of your window naked as often as you can. Scratch when needed.

31. At any given point in time you have five friends inviting you to see their “show” this weekend. If you go to one a year, you are fine.

32. Feel bad for Mets and Jets fans, they think with their hearts not with their heads. Also, it is very easy to borrow money from these fans and never pay it back.

33. NY is at it’s most beautiful right after a snowstorm everything is white and quiet. Five minutes later it will be a slushy crap grey. Enjoy it while you can. If it snows enough to close the subway, it is a snow day. Proceed to your favorite bar.

34. The Boat Basin is great the first three times you are there.

35. The Upper East Side is great until you turn 29.

36. Ride your bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, scream obscenities at tourists walking in the bike lane. It will relieve stress, and give them a good story to take home.

37. People who roller blade with headphones on are crazy.

38. When you see a tourist looking at a map, give them the wrong directions. It is a shitty thing to do, but you will laugh about it all day.

39. I have no clue how those shoe repair places stay in business. Ummm…from people such as me, who ruins her shoes by walking on street grates.

40. Drop off your laundry; you will never do it yourself again. That depends..

41. Try to find a bodega that does not have lotto. Trust me on this.

42. Join a sports league. There are tons of them in NYC and you will meet some cool folks.

43. If someone says, “NY is nice but I wouldn’t want to live there,” tell them we wouldn’t want them there anyway.

44. NYC is the cultural capital of the world; make sure that not 100% of your friends look like you. Shout out to mah Indians!

45. It goes in this order: The New York Times, The Daily News, AM NY, Metro NY, The New York Post. (The NY Post goes up to the top if all you read is the sports section).

46. You will never get a cab on Friday at 7 PM in the rain. Word.

47. If a taxi driver has there off duty light on, hail them anyway, you never know.

48. Take the LIRR to Jamaica, then the air train to JFK. The subway takes forever. Another thing I have just learned. Thank you, Mark!

49. People come and go from NYC all the time. Especially if they’re from India.

50. The last 15 years of my life have gone by in a New York minute. Fifteen years! At least I have thirteen more left by Mark’s standard…

What are your NYC tips, or nuggets of truth?

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vnssa906 said...

LOL i love this! I've lived in NYC all my life and found this hilariously true :) ... just dont do #9 in front of a yellow taxi cab. they will press the gas pedal! :)

jolie jamie said...

Love number 4 & 40!
Great re post! :)

Annette said...

I learned to stand on the right, the left is for PASSING only on escalators!

You can walk faster to your NYC destination then taking a cab, unless you are wearing DSW heels and want to avoid men on grates :)

When someone asks you for directions, look them in the eye and tell them the truth (sorry not for your rule), it is all about karma when you go and visit other places and I truly believe it makes NYC look good.

When someone in a restaurant (you know one of those places) gets an attitude, gives you poor service or seems annoyed to have you at their place, get up, walk out and find someone who wants your money. Never let service be s*%$, you will make it better for the next NYCer.

Never, ever give up your cab...this shout out goes to that old lady who took your cab, laughed and drive away while you are in a monsoon with no umbrella.

Stay away from 34th Street at all cost, this is not shopping people's. Stay away from the San genaro festival, we really know where to find good Italian food, dont we.

Look up a class....and finally just take it. Learn something new from another culture...

One must, at least once run in Central Park, aorund the loop or the reservoir. We are a fit town and this will show you how unfit you really are, NYC is a running town.

Anonymous said...


I guess this is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but all the same, it's not an encouraging or accurate portrayal of the city for those who are looking to learn from veteran New Yorkers. Why perpetuate stereotypes or encourage jaded or rude behavior?

I much prefer the real version of New York, and this list ain't it.

ricebird said...

sarah - this is one guy's perspective on his real new york. i don't agree with everything either, but i think overall it's a fun list. it's not comprehensive, nor does it pretend to be! however, if you want to send over a list you think is more accurate, i'll happily post it as a rebuttal :)

Alan said...

I have something very special to share this is really great taxi service in nj

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