To experience New York like a New Yorker is to be fast and to be plural. I live in London, and I know how fast-paced the city is, but New York is something else. Moreover, being home to 8.5 million people compressed in 5 boroughs, New York City is the most populous city in the United States. Couple with that, 40% of its population are immigrants, making it an intricate melting pot of culture and diversity. In addition to that, with more than 26,000 restaurants, over 200 cinemas, 41 Broadway theaters, and an infinite number of bars and clubs believe me… there is a lot is going on. In order to experience New York like a New Yorker, there’ll be a lot to take in.
In addition to the cultural diversity, the appetite for dining out, the desire to have fun, and the enjoyment of the city’s attractions, New York is a fast city. New Yorkers walk fast. NYC is the speediest city in North America, with locals covering 60 feet in only 12 seconds. Comparatively, the slowest walkers in the world are from Ite in Greece (with a population of 2,500), who took an average of 26 seconds to cover the same distance.
New Yorkers are the Flash Gordon of jaywalking.
So, if you are not a local and you were not shouted at something like “Move!”, “Get out of the way!” or any other words of wisdom, you haven’t experienced New York as a New Yorker to its fullest.
What is a New Yorker? It is being many in one.
No other city has embraced the multifaceted American Free Spirit so well. I may think everyone wants its little piece of New York. It’s for everyone.
“I’m here and here I’ll stay. This is my land” – said everybody!
New York has more Jewish people than Tel Aviv, more Irish than Dublin, more Italians than Naples, and more Puerto Ricans than San Juan.
With that, think of all the different aspects of a city you can find in just one place. While Wall Street means finance, theaters fill Broadway. Fifth Avenue is automatically paired with shopping, whereas Madison Avenue means advertising and Marketing.
Moreover, when you go to Greenwich Village, you get this bohemian vibe. Likewise, Seventh Avenue means fashion. We will have Tammany Hall defining politics, and hence Harlem evoking Jazz and African American diasporic culture.
There are indeed different ways to experience New York.
Now picture yourself trying to navigate through the streets and boroughs amongst the high-achievers, residents, and zillions of tourists trying to get the most of the city. Perhaps, you are heading to a meeting (maybe the most important of your life), or you are going there for a project or you just want to have a good time in New York.
Regardless, you want to succeed (and not being shouted at, right?).
If you are still a bit insecure about how to communicate whenever you go aborad, check out this amazing content below on Authentic Communication. I will definitely help you out in your next trip and in your day-to-day activities. Click below for more information.
Time is Money. And how to do business in New York?
New York can be considered the epicenter of the “Time is Money” culture and the city is bursting with life. Notably, Manhattan is the heart that pulses dollar green blood into its streets. In fact, Manhattan was responsible for generating US$ 635 billion alone in 2019. Comparatively, Switzerland, which is the 20th richest country in the world, generated just over US$ 700 billion in the same year.
And now with the advent of cryptocurrency and bitcoin, there’s more money flowing around it.
As I said, New Yorkers are fast. So if you want to get in business, try it before the madness of daily activities takes place by scheduling meetings in the morning.
There is always a sense of urgency for everything and trying to find a nice restaurant for a meeting without a reservation can be a challenge.
You can find some inspiration in John Donohue’s book called “All the restaurants in New York“, where he lists places that are on the hearts of New Yorkers. You should check it out for more inspiration. Maybe the place will help you close a good deal. Everyone is happier and it is easier to experience New York with a full tummy.
There are many events and conferences in New York and they can be great networking opportunities. With that in mind, you can plan whom to meet with people efficiently by saving time by meeting with a fast-paced gathering, where many can give you a small piece of their undivided attention. Unless they are presented with a poorly thought or bad business idea. Be prepared!
They like to get down to business so being a good negotitor will help you. Chris Voss used to be an FBI negotiator who specialized in international hostage and kidnapping. He had been assigned to high-profile cases and I reckon he knows a thing or two on getting people to do what he wants. I read his book Never Split the Difference and it is amazing. I highly recommend it. He also has a masterclass on the art of negotiation. Check it out!
However, if you are going for regular meetings, I would avoid those conferences and event dates as the cities get so busy and fully booked. Talking about accommodation, there is a start-up company called Spit Lease that help ease off the lodging problem in New York.
They have started as a single Airbnb host looking to make recurring travel easier for the business traveler. At the moment, they manage a marketplace of frequently empty property for frequent and recurring travelers. As new entrants in the marketplace, they are offering great deals and flexibility to accommodate new clients. Check them out below. Living as a New Yorker, even if it’s temporairly, is a great was to experience New York.
How do I get to New York?
Regardless of where you are in the world, you will probably find a flight that brings you to the Big Apple. Air travelers can fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), both in Queens. In the neighboring New Jersey, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is also a great gateway.
So, depending on where you are going, there is an airport that will serve you better:
The Bronx – LaGuardia
Brooklyn – JFK, and LaGuardia
Manhattan – Newark for Lower Manhattan and JFK and LaGuardia for Midtown and Uptown Manhattan
Queens – JFK, and LaGuardia
Staten Island – Newark
You can look at the best deals for airport transfer below.
If you are coming by Train, New York City has two main rail stations in Midtown Manhattan: Grand Central Terminal (on the east side) and Penn Station (on the west side).
There is access to numerous subway and bus lines from each station. Grand Central is home to Metro-North Railroad, which goes to NYC suburbs and Connecticut. Penn Station serves Long Island and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Moreover, it also connects you to Amtrak, serving many points in the United States and Canada. It also gets you access to the NJ Transit, a commuter railroad serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The best idea for commuting into New York City.
Commuting is very common in NYC. You are still a traveler anyway, though you do it daily. Manhattan is increasingly acting as the hub of the region’s economy, attracting upon a regional workforce. Nonetheless, other boroughs are also working destinations, with growing economies that draw upon residents and non-residents.
The majority of commuters drive into the city, hence you can expect traffic anywhere you go at any time of the day. However, commuters found a great option to use weekday recurrent lease in the nearby boroughs, taking daily short rides into Manhattan and returning home on the weekends in their own cars or rented. It’s not too tiring to experience New York like that.
Split Lease is also a great option offering great options in New Jersey, Queens, and Brooklyn if you want to avoid the daily long commute and enjoy the city activities. By incentivizing their guests, they help minimize a traveler’s financial and mental stress of constant travel.
Their customers save with cashback rewards and no-hassle bi-weekly booking renewals. Obtaining a work office, a bed to sleep in, or space to recover and recharge for the typical Monday through Friday workweek has now become an affordable option, thanks to their unique booking model.
Moreover, you can safely leave your stuff in a locked room and return the following Monday after you head home for the weekend. Travelers only pay for the days they stay in the space while their belongings stay for free while they’re gone!
I’ve done the math: their cashback program is 300% more generous than a typical hotel rewards program, with up to 10% earned on a total bi-weekly stay. Putting your stay on a credit card could additionally earn you up to US$300 each month in cashback! Read more about the best credit card and Split Lease combos to maximize your cashback multiplier. It’s a great deal!
How does New York grid system work? Undestanding New York city blocks.
First of all, you need to understand how the block system works. It can be simple and also complicated. Here is a step-by-step to help you navigate.
A) The Streets are numbered from South to North and the Avenues from East to West. When you get downtown or very uptown, you might have to start remembering street names.
B) Even-numbered streets go east, and odd-numbered streets go west. Besides, odd-numbered premises are always on the north side of the road, and even-numbered places sit on the south side.
C) To make it even more fun, if you are a north-south street, the odd buildings are then on the west side, and hence even ones are on the east. Cute!
D) The address of a building can tell you what avenues it is between. For addresses on the west side, you just add the first number of the address (zero if the address is only two numbers) to 5 for the lower cross street. For example, 225 W 37th St. (2+5=7) is between Seventh and Eighth Avenue.
E) For the east side, you subtract 5 from the same number for the highest cross street. So 150 E 18th St (1-5=-4) is between Fourth and Third Avenues.
You can also take a map with you to help you out with the navigation system.
Little detail. Fifth Avenues splits NYC’s streets between east and west. You get me a beer in the next pub quiz.
How to use New York’s subway system?
You have seen movies and news and stories about New York Subway. It is old, it can be a bit dirty, but it takes you almost anywhere in the city. It is a reliable service, and the city has been making improvements to it. Here’s what you need to know:
No matter if you’re traveling from Staten Island to Queens or Lower Manhattan to the Upper East Side, you’ll pay a flat rate of US$2.75* with a city Metrocard and US$3.00* for a single non-refillable ride. The Metrocard itself cost US$1.00*. The fare is also applicable for most buses. Express buses cost US$6.75*.
Some trains run express. You need to pay attention to the trains’ numbers and letters to understand if they take you where you want to go. This is in spite of them going in the same direction.
You can ask for help if you are lost. There are green buttons on the platform so you can ask for assistance if you are lost.
You have unlimited swipes on the subway and local buses for either 7 or 30 days for US$33 or US$127, respectively.
However, New York City is phasing out the Metro Card and starting to introduce the Omny Card. It will introduce the opportunity to pay contactless and at the moment, it is being deployed in some stations only. You will be able to pay it with your debit, credit, or pre-paid card.
If you are a regular traveler arriving in JFK, you can utilize the JFK Air Train. AirTrain connects to NYC’s public transportation network at Jamaica and Howard Beach Stations, amongst the airport terminals, car rental stations, and nearby hotels. The 30-day unlimited ride is US$40, while the 10-day unlimited pass costs US$25.
There are other options with other types of fare that can be found on the MTA Website.
You can pick up a MetroCard at the airport, in subway stations’ vending machines, or in selected corner stores. Simply load your card up, and ride the subway to your heart’s content.
I have to say you should come to visit anytime you want or can. I should say that you must be mindful of the weather. That is because temperatures dictate the city’s mood and your ability to walk around.
I believe New York has its magnetism to attract all sorts of people to it, and it is a delight to enjoy its attractions, restaurants, museums, etc. Coming to the city in business will be a tough experience, but sure of that, but there’s some fun you can get out of that.
If you want to learn a bit more about New York, I leave here some books that will get you started:
The Encyclopedia of New York – It is an A-to-Z compendium of unexpected origin stories, hidden histories, and useful guides to the greatest city in the world, compiled by the editors of New York Magazine
Now Wait Just A New York Minute & Other Fun Facts About The City – Your Guide to Faking it with the Best of New Yorkers
I Never Knew That About New York – Take a delightful journey from the bottom of the island of Manhattan to the top and discover extraordinary facts about New York along the way.
If you are coming to NYC for the first time, spare some time to enjoy it. Be prepared to be welcomed with its peculiar lovely cranky way that we so adore. But New York can be welcoming and kind too. You just have to be a New Yorker. Even if it’s only a couple of days.
*at the time this blog post was published.