12 mistakes every New Yorker makes during their first 12 months here

So you moved to NYC? Get ready for a lot of adjusting. Here are the mistakes you’ll certainly make over the next year.
Photograph: Pixabay
By Tolly Wright and Time Out New York contributors |
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So you moved to New York? Mazel! Unfortunately, this city doesn’t exactly fit the images depicted in films and music—it has not been “waiting for you,” it doesn’t always “make it happen” and nobody in this town has ever uttered the words “Warriors, come out and play.”  There are some lessons no transplant can learn, without doing it wrong once, twice or even for a whole twelve months. Here are just a few of the mistakes you're likely to make when you first arrive in the Big Apple. 

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1. Paying too much in rent. Yes, this city is expensive, but if you walk a couple extra blocks—or carve out substantially more time in your apartment search—you’re bound to get a better deal or at least more bang for your buck. 

2. Avoiding great parks, neighborhood or streets because a family member had a bad experience there decades ago. 

3. Taking the uptown train when you should have taken the downtown train, or vice versa. 

4. Spending too much time in Manhattan and missing the true treasures in the other boroughs. 

5. Shelling out full price for a museum or attraction that has a suggested donation or a pay-what-you-want morning or afternoon.

6. Not properly scheduling enough walking time to get through Times Square during the holidays (or any time of the year, really).

7. Waiting too long to do errands like grocery shopping or laundry—who hasn't tried to carry five big bags of dirty clothes four blocks to the nearest laundromat? 

8. Wearing flip-flops or open shoes in the summer without accounting for the amount of city soot you'd be taking into the restaurant/bar/office.

9. Wearing the wrong shoes in general—stilettos when you have to walk from dinner in the West Village to a club in Chelsea becomes torture by the second block. And don't even try to survive a winter here without sturdy boots. 

10. Buying too much at bodegas. Yes, they're so convenient, always open and right there on your block, but even fancy grocery stores often have better deals or choices for beer, batteries, cat litter and what-have-you.

11. Having a full-blown meltdown after you learn about the risk of bed bugs. We promise, even if you have them and have to deal with the hell of ridding yourself of them, you will survive. You’ll be stronger and more grizzled—like a true New Yorker. 

12. Trying to call yourself a "New Yorker" in front of anyone who has been here longer than you. While there is little consensus on how long it takes to actually carry the title (one year, four years, 10 years, a lifetime), you’re never going to win the argument as a true newbie. 

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