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27 ways New Yorkers can make anything work

By Sophie Harris

By Time Out contributors, edited by Sophie Harris

Call us snarky, call us anxious, hey, you can call us extremely attractive, talented, hilarious people, if you like—there is one great truth about New Yorkers, which is that we are uniquely resourceful. We can make even the most seemingly adverse situations work in our favor, from teeny-tiny things, like the deficit of undisgusting public bathrooms in the city, to big things, like the fact that our apartments are (to other citizens' eyes) outrageously small. From riding the subway to waiting online at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, we have the solutions! Here are the problems New Yorkers face, and how we deal with 'em.

1. Tiny apartments
Stack the bed on top of the kitchen unit, make the pipes on the wall into an impromptu clothes rack, hang your guitar on the dog's tail, whatever it takes! You'll make that shoebox space work!

2. No outdoor space
Roofs are basically backyards that you don’t have to water, while every fire escape is a luxurious, romantic private balcony. Except for the pigeon poop.

3. Grimy subway rides
Wear earplugs to hide the noise, wear earphones to drown it out, hell, wear an eye mask if you must—you will ride unperturbed, plucky New Yorker.

4. Summer-humidity hair
It's what cheap blowouts are for.

5. Gigantic lines in Whole Foods
We've strategized our entire shop around picking things up (and eating our evening meal) while in the queue.

6. Always being surrounded by people
Packed subway? No problem. New Yorkers have the ability to tune out the rest of the world down to a fine art, which means we have alone-time whenever we want it.

7. Not having a car to transport stuff
We move our furniture in cabs, Christmas trees on the subway, and use those rolling-cage things when we need to stock up on groceries. The hassle’s totally worth not having to pay for gas.

8. Unfailingly enormous brunch queues

A good NYC brunch spot will hand out free orange slices (Tom's Restaurant) or muffins (Dizzy's) while you wait. Also: willpower.

9. Transitioning from work mode to play mode
It doesn’t make sense to go home between work and dinner. The solution to an extremely packed day? A very big bag, filled with everything you’ll need. A sweater for later, a book just in case, whatever takes you to your "I'm completely refreshed and ready to go again!" zone.

10. Not having enough money to go out
The reason why unlimited boozy brunches and free-saki sushi places were written into the original New York City charter. Drink deals surround our city like water.

11. Having to walk everywhere
This just means we have to go to one less cycling class this week, plus we get to actually see the city we live in (rather than just the road, naming no names, L.A.).

12. Big dogs being banned on subways
Fine, we'll make 'em tiny enough to fit in a purse!

13. Rent so high you can't afford to decorate
Minimalism is in, darling! We're just following the trends.

14. Terrible weather
We’ll wear raincoats, carry umbrellas, commute with extra shoes and more to be sure we look our best, no matter what Mother Nature hurls at us.

15. Cash-only restaurants
Fine, we'll put an ATM in every building on the street.

16. Alternate-side parking laws
We'll take a five-block stroll to the next nabe and park our car there, thank you! Or—whisper it—sneak over to New Jersey where the parking garages are $200 per month cheaper than NYC.

17. Crowded bars and clubs
Hit up that brand-new hot cocktail spot during the week and you won’t have to fight the crowds on a Saturday.

18. Hangovers from that midweek cocktail night
Who cares if the night got away from you and suddenly you found yourself out dancing with strangers at 4am? That’s what Seamless is for!

19. Expensive food
We have an under-$5 food spot for every day of the week, in every different cuisine, and it's all effing delicious.

20. Expensive food again
We have the best dollar-slices in the entire world. And yes, this needed its own entry. This is NYC, we take pizza seriously.

21. Long-ass hours at the office
We make our weekends count—hard.

22. Almost no public restrooms
Park bathrooms are disgusting, and Starbucks always has a line. Smart New Yorkers go to department stores or busy bars when nature calls.

23. No time to watch TV
You don’t have to sit in front of a screen to see a celebrity. Just hit the streets and read the tweets!

24. Ridiculous rent prices
Sharing with roomies in our thirties means excellent conversation, a clean apartment and a huge (well, you know, for New York) space. We're sold.

25. Needing to cry in a city with zero private spaces
Shades, dude!

26. Expensive culture
We memorize which nights are free at museums, bring our own snacks to the multiplex and sign up for every discount-ticket list.

27. So very, very many amazing things to do every week
We have so much stuff to do each week that we need an amazing free magazine to round it all up. Shameless plug, yes, but seriously!


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