4 Lessons Learned in New York

1) Crosswalk signals are only a suggestion

You immediately stand out as a tourist when you are standing on the sidewalk waiting for the red stopping hand to turn into the silver walking individual. While in most cities that is a guideline (and law) we all follow, in New York its fast paced and about getting to your next destination. What I quickly learned during our time in New York is that it is normal to stand in the street and go when there is a break in traffic. A habit that we easily adapted to during our stay and have to break down in rule abiding DC.

2) Yellow ones don’t stop

If you don’t understand my reference you obviously have not watched Elf, one of my all time favorite Christmas movies. Although I did find the statement to be true, there were a couple times during our stay in New York that I found myself in the middle of a cross walk with a taxi ahead that had not plans of pressing the breaks.

3) Separate checks when out to dinner is not a normal request or even possible depending on the restaurant

On the west coast, waiters often times ask if the bill will all be separate. In New York the request was often times responded to with blank looks of confusion and later made possible. But more often the waiter would let us know that they were unable to split the bill and that we would have to figure that out among ourselves.

4) New Yorkers are actually friendly

New Yorkers always get a bad reputation although what I learned during this trip is that is not always true. While there are those who fit the stereotype, I was pleasantly surprised with how willing individuals on the street would be to lend a help hand or directions to the tourist who looked lost.

  1. #1 by chunter15 on January 19, 2015 - 3:21 am

    I definitely agree.
    1) I’m already having trouble staying on the curb here in DC – New York conditioning kicks in fast.
    2) Elf is a wonderful piece of cinema. Surprisingly, it paints a fairly accurate picture of New York.
    3) I got those confused looks more than a few times.
    4) It makes me happy to hear that the majority of people on our trip experienced the friendliness of the locals while in NYC. For me, this is a strong selling point for the idea of someday returning to the city.

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