10 Tips for Moving to New York City

Manhattan at night from the Hudson river

If you’re moving to New York City, and you’ve never lived here before, here are some helpful hints that will get you acclimated quickly. If you follow these, it won’t be long before you can proudly stop feeling like a tourist!

  1.  What do you call your new home town?  Never call it “New York City,” “Manhattan,” or even worse, “The Big Apple.” It’s “the City,” but you can call yourself either a “New Yorker” or a “Manhattanite.”
  1. Fastest public transportation If you’re in a rush, take the subway. It’s faster than a taxi or bus. And always give yourself at least 15 minutes extra to get anywhere by subway (much more than that is needed on the weekend). It’s a great idea to get a subway app for your phone. A local’s guideline is that if you’re traveling less than 3 subway stops and the weather permits, walk!
  1. Parking  in NYC – the struggle is real. Another transportation tip: Parking in the city can be difficult and expensive – unless you can afford a parking garage, you may seriously consider getting rid of your car.Going car-less not an option? Fortunately, there’s an app for that! Try one of the parking apps like SpotHero or ParkMobile. These can help you find or reserve a space, and offer discounted rates at some parking garages.
  1. Learn to tip like a native New Yorker!
    • If you expect to frequent a restaurant or bar, tip around 20% for table service and $1 to $2 per drink at the bar.
    • For food delivery (use seamless.com), tip 10%, but never lower than $2.
    • Taxi drivers should get 10 to 20 percent.
    • Hairdressers, manicurists, and other spa treatment providers expect around a 20% tip.
  1. Speaking of tips, make friends with your building super! It’s customary to tip him or her between $100 and $200 around the holiday season.
  1. Finding your way around town: Street numbers increase as you travel north. But never refer to them as north or south – it’s uptown and downtown. Avenue numbers increase as you travel west (with a few named avenues in the middle). Once you master this, you’ll probably only get lost occasionally if you venture into the Village or Downtown.
  1. Don’t buy a street-vendor umbrella. In an emergency, open it first pointed away from your clothes. You might find it’s got a tear or it’s soaking wet inside. You’re better off paying $5 more in a Duane Reade, CVS, or Rite-Aid.
  1. Avoid shopping in tourist areas! If you need a bottle of water or a quick bite to eat, you’ll likely pay much more than you need to in Times Square, Central Park, the Theater District or Rockefeller Center.
  1. Hire a professional moving company that knows the city. Various quirks of the city, including very old buildings, picky building codes, heavy traffic and parking restrictions can make moving a challenge – even for seasoned movers – if they don’t know the area well. Local movers know what to expect and are prepared for everything, increasing your chances of an efficient and hassle-free move.
  2. And finally, Houston Street is pronounced “HOW-stun.”


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