For the next three months I'm calling New York City home and myself a New Yorker. The past week has been a blur of subway maps, starbucks, and sunshine as I've started to adapt to life in the city that never sleeps. Here's a quick summary of my first week
The sidewalk is for walking and walking only. If you stop to take a photograph, look for something in your bag, or because you realise you're walking in the wrong direction, you'll attract a fierce glare and a very audible sigh. Jaywalking is not only acceptable, but encouraged, and when you're rushing to the subway you'll do it too. It's daunting at first, especially when you're still getting used to the idea that traffic is on the other side of the road. My tip is to stick close to someone who looks like they know what they're doing until you get used to the traffic.
When it hasn't rained in a few days it means that that puddle is not rainwater - do anything you can to avoid stepping in it.
It's a good idea to know what you want before you get on line - oh! and in the USA you wait on line, not in line - at Starbucks. The line may look long enough for you to have a good look at the menu, but it'll move very quickly and you'll be left um-ing at the counter - not a good look. And if you want milk in your coffee you'll need to ask for it - otherwise you'll get a surprised when you take a sip!
When someone asks you 'How are you?' they don't actually care how you are - It's just another way to say hello. New Yorkers don't like small talk, especially in elevators. When you make eye contact with someone in the street, don't smile, it's considered weird.
The food trucks are twice (or more!) as expensive around the tourist attractions. If you walk a block away in any direction they'll be a dollar.
A cantaloupe is a rockmelon. A yam is a sweet potato. A biscuit is a bread roll. A pie is a pizza. A hero is a type of sandwich. And most importantly, they're called flip flops.
And it's Grand Central Terminal, not Grand Central Station.