There have been things that I keep noticing since I am here, about what is typical/different about people in NY. So just for fun, I decided to put them in a little list, that can help you to not look like a tourist or just give you a bit of insight of this great city, accompanied with pictures of my second homework – theme is “lights”, so it’s mainly New York by night.
1. Don’t stare. It will happen – there will be people on the subway that are reciting poems to themselves; wearing tiger costumes; shirtless puertorican guys; 55-year-old women who wear head to toe pink; someone wearing leggings with pattern of bare muscles, like in the “Body” exhibition; ultra beautiful individuals, or someone with a navajo blanket and bathing suit – and you cannot stare! Here it’s ok to have personality – from wearing your hair afro or dancing on the street, to wearing crazy make-up, or minimalistic shorts on your fatty bottom – it’s all ok! Seasoned newyorkans are used to it, and always look like they’re neither curious not bothered.
2. Keep your head down and walk fast. Newyorkers don’t stop to look up and enjoy the skyscrapers, they have a place to be at, and they need to get there, fast. If you’re stopping to admire a new architectural miracle or take a picture, go to the side of the sidewalk, where you won’t disturb the flow of passers-by.
3. Have a pedicure. Ok, so here’s the thing – I’ve never seen a nation where your toes are equally, if not more- improtant than your fingers. It’s perfectly ok to have clean bare nails, however, if you want to look like a real newyorkan girl, make sure your pedicure is impeccable – your soles are pretty and soft, and toe nails bright and cheerful, peeking from your flats or sandals. I am so happy here – since I always have a pedicure, but never a manicure – I am a nail-biter, so I fit soooo well.
4. Have an iPhone and wear Beats by Dr Dre headphones. Everyone here has iPhone, it comes free with most major companies’ phone plans, so it’s really crazy – you’re different, if your phone is not Apple. And the b-branded headphones are a fashion craze – everyone wears them. I personally don’t like the super bass-boost they produce as sound.
5. Be super kind. I am in love with the patience and kindness of people here. For either asking for directions to a nice cupcake bakery, subway stop or giving money to homeless or beggars – people here are amazing! I’ve had a number of times where a newyorkan will whip up their phone out, and search google directions for a place i need to go to; walk with me to places that I can’t find to make sure I am ok; even giving me their phone numbers to call if I have other questions or get lost. They’ll even ask if u need help if they see u with a map and confused face. Totally awsome!
6. Look like a newyorkan.
If you’re a girl – have great skin, good makeup and messy hair. Girls here look great – they take really good care of their skin, and are really good at putting make up on – even if it’s just smooth hydrated face with a red lip and messy bun – 5 min effortless style, reminds me a bit of girls in Paris, only with better looking skin. Bedhead is totally acceptable. Google “top messy bun” or click here to see a tutorial for the most popular hair style around. I also plan to make a post about my fav make up products you can buy here.
If you’re a regular guy: have a great body, buy Tom’s shoes, and don’t shave your armpits. If you’re a really good-looking guy – be gay. Honestly, guys in the US have pretty good bodies – it’s not ok to be skinny, slouchy or soft – big, toned muscles rule, and I haven’t seen a better slew of sexy shoulders, arms and six-packs anywhere in the world. Wish Bulgarian and Belgian guys were more like this too, though one thing I love about guys in BG is that they shave – goodness, I cannot get over unshaved armpits here, it’s making me nauseous!
7. Do yoga. Yep, yoga is the national sport of New York. Guys and girls – everyone does it, and every third door in Manhattan is a yoga studio.
8. Be cool about roaches and rats. Yesterday I went to do my laundry, on the floor, in the middle of the corridor there was one of the huuge flying ones – around4 cm long and pretty saucy and big. I had to take my clothes, so I tried to run as fast as the wind past it, hoping it won’t jump me. I guess you just get used to it – I still can’t, though. I still mainly eat outside because I cannot bear the thought of cooking where i see cucarachas. Thank god I am not too scared of mice, though rats are disgusting, – my mom almost dropped the phone when I told her it’s kind of common here to see them running around subway stops or have one at home. Horrible.
9. Spill your drama on the bus. Since I am here I witnessed on the public transport: a) a woman and man, in their 40s, fighting about 80 usd that the woman owed to the man. She kept on screaming she doesn’t have the money, and she was trying to throw a 20 at him, he kept saying he needs the full 80; b) a phone conversation between a girl and her boyfriend, where she said to him “I told you not to rob my grandma and grandpa’s house, and you still went ahead”; c) a conversation between teenagers about which of their friends was shot and died and why d) a fight between a man and a woman – the woman was obviously pregnant, and sobbing in tears, and they had a little girl together with them – and the fight was about …. the man not wanting to keep the baby in her belly, and wanting her to abort….
10. Cross on red. New yorkers cross the street even if the light is red and a taxi is quickly approaching a block away. Red or green – doesn’t matter, as long as you can cross more or less alive.
11. Fold your pizza. The usual street snack here is a quick, thin, tomatoe-and-cheese slice of pizza on the go, usually $1. NYers fold their pizza, as it’s thin and the cheese is runny. See a full description here: The fold hold
12. Get the lingo. Call the 1 dollar bills “singles”, not “ones”; order a “slice”, not a “piece” of pizza; the metro is called subway; and the pizza with tomatoe sauce and cheese is called “plain”, not “cheese”.
13. Have a bad rent/landlord-related story. Eveyone here has a shitty “rental” story – either they were evicted from their home; paying an exuberant rent; or had their restaurant closed because of landlord issues. The rent/landlord topic here is like the weather topic in Britain – you can always get people talking with it.
Hope you enjoyed my quick guide. Don’t forget to check the photos, and let me know what you think.