NYC: Dos & Don'ts

Taken off the Highline

Aww -- New York City. I first visited in High School when my aunt and uncle took me. I remember feeling so overwhelmed by all the people, tall buildings, and food options. After my sophomore year and junior year of college I took an internship in NYC. I hated this city! I was unpaid and sooooo broke. That definitely could have contributed. 

After I graduated college I moved to the city permanently and have been here ever since! I have had such an amazing time it's like a 360. I first lived in Astoria, Queens (amazing), and then I moved to Williamsburg, where I currently live. Both parts of the city had their ups and downs but I have enjoyed residing in each! Overall living in NYC is great so you should move!

While living in New York I have definitely learned how to act. I have created Dos and Don'ts for living and visiting in this city. There is a sort of etiquette that we New Yorkers practice and now you can know it too. 


1. Walk on the far right of the sidewalk.

This allows for faster walking people to pass you on your left. 

2. Check out Drunk Shakespeare

Skip the box office lines and try something a little more chill. This is something my friends and I tried recently. IT IS ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS! You can book online (we used Fever). There are four actors and one of them drinks shots and can break up the script and have the actors perform strange acts. This adds a funny twist on Shakespeare plays. Will definitely go again!

3. Dollar pizza is actually amazing!

As a tourist, I avoided dollar pizza but as a New Yorker I love this! My personal favorite is 2 Bros. I think it is 2 slices of pizza and a drink for like $5. Seriously get this.

4. Museum prices are suggested

Most NYC museums have a ticket price listed that says $20 or something along these lines. Did you know that this price is not required? All you have to say is "today I would like to give $5" and the teller will say okay. DO NOT FEEL BAD! These museums make bank. Save a little money and go spend it on food.

5. Carry an umbrella everywhere

This is a tip I will stick to. Even if the forecast has no mention of rain -- bring this! The weather is unpredictable and rain can come out of nowhere. I am not sure what type of rain you are used to but here it is like a shower here!

6. Download Venmo

This app is seriously amazing. It allows you to send money through an app to people. NYC does not let you split checks at restaurants often so if my friend pays for me I send them my portion through Venmo. But also just to be able to pay someone back so easily without needing cash is a lifesaver.

7. Walk the Highline

The highline is an old railroad track that has been turned into a park. It is pretty touristy but it has amazing views of the city and is free. Highly recommend. The park goes from about 11th street to 30th street. If you do not feel like walking the entire thing I recommend starting at 11th street and exiting around 23rd and walking around Chelsea. If you feel like getting something to eat exit around 14th street and heading to Chelsea Market.

8. Watch out for bikers

Bikers are more dangerous than cars in this city in my opinion! They come out of nowhere and are crazy risk takers. I have seen people get hit by bikes at least three times and nobody by a car. Do not walk in the bike lane and look both ways before crossing it. Be careful!


1. Walk in large groups across the whole sidewalk.

This is one of my personal pet peeves along with all New Yorkers. This makes it impossible to pass a slow walking group. 

2. Stop in the middle of the sidewalk or make any quick stops.

Walk off to the side to stop out of the way. Ugh, so annoying! Since there are so many people walking, if you stop too quickly, people will run into you and it will create a domino effect.

3. Play music out loud on the subway

You would not believe how common this is on the subway. Please buy some headphones. The subway is a relaxing space. Most people don't talk or make too much noise. Everyone is exhausted from the day and uses the subway as quiet time. Hahaha there aren't many places for quiet in NYC but the subway during the week definitely is.

4. Don't eat in touristy areas

The prices are often so much higher and the food is so bad ahhaha! I would avoid Times Square for sure. I recommend asking a local (ask someone who doesn't look busy) or try Yelp. I am a serious Yelper ahhahah. 

5. Get in the taxi at the airport without the cab line

Seriously, I have tested this many times and the cab line actually takes the shortest amount of time. Every terminal exit has a cab line and it looks daunting but it moves so quickly. 

6. Wear uncomfortable shoes

On average, every day I walk around 5 miles. That might not sound like a lot but it will feel that way if you wear shoes that give you blisters. Bring an extra pair of cute shoes but I would rather look ugly and not be miserable. Your feet will thank you!

7. Forget sunscreen

Unless you want to be a tomato that is. The sun is hot here and you WILL get burned. Even if you don't feel the sun it is peaking through the clouds and it will find you.

8. Groupon

Don't forget to download this! This city is expensive and Groupon has so many discount pages especially for groups. They even have bar and entrance fee discounts.