Whether it's from unrealistic movies and TV shows set in New York or just inaccurate word of mouth, most people who visit NYC have a few misconceptions about the city. Here are some things that are always good to remind out-of-towners, especially if you're the one showing them around.
1. Comparably, New York isn’t that dangerous.
Even though years of watching Law and Order: SVU may have conditioned you to believe the opposite, NYC is one of the safest cities in America. And we definitely don’t murder adorable robots here.
2. You should go to outer boroughs.
Even if you’re only here for a few days, make a point of getting out of Manhattan. You'll probably get a much better sense of the city.
3. Don’t stop walking down the stairs to the subway.
From the time you enter a subway stop to the time you’re standing on a platform waiting for a train, don't stop walking. Pausing to check your phone in the middle of the stairs is guaranteed to make people shoot dagger eyes into your back.
4. Walk on the right side of the sidewalk.
Just think of walking down the sidewalk as driving with your feet.
5. New York is a lot more than just Times Square.
Anyone who never leaves this tourist-heavy section of Midtown has an incredibly skewed idea of the city.
6. Yes, this amount of walking is completely normal.
Get used to it.
7. Spotting rats on the sidewalk is a common occurrence.
There's no point in freaking out, you'll probably see five more before your night is over.
8. Cocktails are expensive but $20 is not the average.
The bar at the Marriot Marquis is not a standard-bearer for the rest of New York.
9. Pick up the pace.
Whatever you do, always make a point of moving through the city like you're walking with a purpose.
10. Don’t go to Little Italy for dinner.
There are many better Italian restaurants in other parts of town.
11. Refer to subways by the numbers not the colors.
There is no such thing as "the orange train."
12. It’s really not that hard to get around Manhattan.
The entire island is basically a giant grid. Except for the West Village which is like the Bermuda triangle but with overpriced boutiques.
13. Don’t wait for the crossing light.
Unwritten rule: If there aren't any cars coming, you're free to walk.
14. The subway is usually faster.
You may think you're saving time by taking a cab or an Uber, but more often than not, it will take longer. If you're running late, it will absolutely take longer.
15. Don’t rush onto a train before people exit.
Wait a second for the other people to get off first, Pushy Pam!
16. Go through the grate right after you swipe.
You don't want to be the person who swipes their MetroCard and then moves to slowly to get through the grate before it locks. AKA the tragic clown of the New York public transportation system.
17. On the whole, New Yorkers are happy to help.
If you need directions, just ask! Most people are happy to help.