17 Unspoken Rules Every New Yorker Should Know

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After living in New York City, there are certain things we do not even realize we know. Listed below are 17 unspoken NYC rules everyone knows without necessarily realizing it…


1. In Manhattan, the simplest way to get around (even if you don’t know where you are) is to just realize the direction you are facing: north, east, south, or west.


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[via tumblr]
The next thing is knowing that streets ascend in number, and avenues descend from left to right in number (this is not including named streets and avenues, of course).


2. Do not get on the subway before someone gets off.


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3. Delivery is great. The only downside? Tipping.


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Even though the food only cost you $4, it’s customary to tip at least $2. So you might have well just visited the restaurant that, let’s face it, was probably only five blocks away. At the end of the day, a generous NYC tip is just the right thing to do. And as anyone who has worked in the service industry will agree, it’s VERY important to the livelihoods of many.


4. You don’t see celebrities everyday, but when you do, you act nonchalant about it.


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[via teen]
You act nonchalant and then realize, you actually do feel pretty nonchalant about it. They are, after all, just regular people– like the rest of us.


5. Duane Reade is secretly kind of expensive.


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They are around all over the place, and may seem like the most convenient and affordable option, but then the cashier says, “That’ll be $21.50.”

And you’re left wondering, “How much could those dips have really cost?”


6. To hail a cab, just stick out your hand when you see a lit-up cab.


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[via weareallinthegutter.blogspot]
They will stop for you. People make too big of a deal about how difficult it is to grab one. And please, please, please, do not whistle.
How on earth is the taxi driver going to hear you with all the hustle and bustle of this wonderful city?


7. In the winter, you better own a pair of warm, water-resistant boots, because you WILL be wearing those everyday for the next 3 months.


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[via photobucket]
Beware of that puddle, yep – it’s a deep puddle, we told you so. Throw away all of that glimmering hope that the shiny grey surface is just asphalt with a thin layer of rain water.


8. Parades are great in spirit, but the ideal time to get a peek would be at the very end.


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[via viagemmundo]
Best go towards the end of the parade, where many of them host block parties, like the 2014 People’s Climate March did.

This allows you the chance to see the festivities without being surrounded by thousands of determined activists.


9. Do not go to a museum or any other tourist attraction on the weekend.


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[via brasilpost]
It’s nicer on a random weekday morning or mid-afternoon, without the crowds.


10. Saying that you’re looking for an apartment will get the immediate sympathy of anyone having tried the same.


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[via reactiongifs]
It’s a tough game. You either decide on that “affordable” apartment ASAP or you lose out and don’t get it.


11. Online dating is so NOT weird anymore.


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[via twittercomhumor]
It used to be a forum for older people. But in this day and age, with apps like Tinder, OK Cupid and Happn, it’s become a not-too-surprising way for your friends to have met their significant other.


12. Do NOT go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.


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[via wowhuntershall]
Times Square on New Year’s Eve may sound exciting, but it’s more like trying to squeeze into old jeans: the harder you try, the more frustrated you’re going to get. The last thing you want to feel on New Year’s Eve is anger and frustration, although the theme of disappointment is not too universally uncommon on that night.


13. Wearing heels in New York is so NOT recommended.


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[via glamourmagazine]
Boots, sure, but pointy heels? No. Especially on a night out on the town. For all the walking you’re going to do, your feet will thank you in the morning.


14. Swipe that MetroCard with the yellow side facing you, and the words facing up.


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[via commons.wikimedia]
Don’t swipe it too fast… just nice and swift. It’s that simple.


15. Do not continue to talk to that creepy guy who starts to follow you.


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[via allthosedaydreams.wordpress]
There is absolutely no need to continue that conversation. No need to say bye either. Just keep going, they’ll hopefully get the hint. Not all are going to have bad intentions, but from interactions you instinctively feel uncomfortable with, just leave ASAP.


16. Citi Bikes are normal.


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[via ibtimes]
Usually, in most cities, rented bikes are known to be something tourists use. In Manhattan, someone riding a Citi Bike could be wearing a crisp suit, just on their way to work. The blue design may look a bit dorky, but it does not deny the usefulness of being able to ride and dislodge almost wherever you like.


17. New York is great, but we do not have to brag about it.


[ [via tumblr]People outside of New York already know it is a cool place to be. Perhaps their version of New York is not how you see it, but talking endlessly about the nightlife or how the city has changed you, can strike an uncomfortable cord with some people. So love the city, but do not make others feel lesser of their own hometowns. There is a whole world out there beside our beloved concrete jungle, and that’s OK.

There are plenty more unspoken secrets that will go unmentioned for the remainder of this article. But, be forewarned: the next time you have an out-of-town guest visiting and you suddenly have to explain why Starbucks is not the best coffeehouse in town… you know you’ve spoken the next New York secret.

By: Ilona Tuominen

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