You Will Need
- A copy of The New York Times
- A copy of the New York Post
- A quick stride
- Black clothes
- A cell phone
- An outsized ego
Scan the local papers
Start the day by scanning The New York Times and reading the gossipy Page Six of the New York Post. Forget USA Today – New Yorkers only read that as a last resort.
Ditch the map
Ditch the map – it’s a dead giveaway! Get the general lay of the land before you leave your hotel, then only take the map out when you can study it surreptitiously – like in a bathroom.
Don’t ask for a toilet
Speaking of bathrooms, there are hardly any public restrooms in New York, so take advantage of 'semi-public' bathrooms in department stores, museums, cafes, and restaurants.
Be provincial. If anyone mentions anyplace in the country other than Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago, ignore them.
Never drive a car in the city. Take the subway, a bus, or a cab—or better yet, walk.
Walk as fast as you can at all times, even if you’re not in a hurry.
Know the cab lingo
Know how to give a cabbie directions: New Yorkers never give an exact, number address. They give the street and the cross streets that border the block, like '50th between 5th and Madison!'
Wear lots of black
Wear a lot of black, especially if you’re a woman. It doesn’t matter if Manhattan women are going to work, to a nightclub, or to a two-year-old’s birthday party – it’s always better in black, and it’s always better to err on the side of dressy rather than casual.
Eat street meat
Eat from the street. No, not dumpsters – street vendors! Yeah, it’s a little scary, but it’s also cheap, convenient, and surprisingly good. And we can’t remember the last person who died from it.
Go out late
Eat in restaurants after 8 p.m. – before that, they’re either empty or—horror of horrors— patronized by families with small children. Play it safe; have dinner at 9 and drinks at 11.
Always be on your cell
Always be on your cell phone or checking your Blackberry. Is it rude? Yes. Is it the norm in New York City? Yes.
Come back soon! You’re not nearly as annoying now as you were when you arrived.