Thursday, March 11, 2010

5 Ways To Blend In While in New York City

For millions of people, walking around New York City is a difficult enterprise to undertake. Whether you’re new to the city, or just visiting, there are people ready to give you the evil-eye at the slightest sign of incompetence. Do yourself a favor: before you venture out into the city next, read this list, strictly follow its advice, and you’ll be a local in no time.

1. Pronounce Houston Street correctly: “How-ston.” Houston street runs across Manhattan, east to west, and more than likely you’ll come across it in your travels. For some strange reason, mispronouncing this street is the number one way to look like you’re from somewhere else. It’s not pronounced like the city in Texas. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Most likely New Yorkers wanted to separate themselves as much as possible from the Lone Star State. You threaten to secede? Fine. We’ll pronounce incorrectly the only influence Texas has in New York City.

2. Know where you’re going before you leave your house/hotel. Yes, New York is big, and at times can be a bit overwhelming. With the presence of the internet, however, there’s no excuse for at least having a good idea of where you’re going. Look at a map, study it, and have some familiarity with how the streets work.

Google maps are perhaps the best way to do this. If you put in directions from your hotel to wherever you are going, then click “transit,” Google Maps gives you a very accurate description of which subways and busses you can take, when they leave, and where to transfer. If you’re really dedicated to this idea, use “street view” and “walk around” for a bit. The only downside to this is that you can’t get a slice of pizza this way…not yet at least. (Go, Google, go!)

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