I spoke about my move to New York in this post and though I’ve not been living here that long yet, there are plenty of things I’m learning about NYC since moving here!
10 Things I’ve Learnt about NYC since Moving Here:
1: Food is expensive. Like, for real.
Eating out in New York seems to cost slightly more than dining out in London but grocery shopping is where it gets really expensive. I have spotted PG Tips for $13, celery for $11 and smoked salmon for $14 which, when the GBP is so weak against the dollar, means very bad news for our bank account. It doesn’t help that we live in lower Manhattan where our main ‘supermarket’ is a Whole Foods either! I have heard that there may be cheaper shops in Brooklyn and that Trader Joe’s can be cheaper, so here’s hoping…
2: You can’t get wine from a supermarket.
The word supermarket is a bit misleading, as there doesn’t really seem to be the equivalent of a Tesco or Asda in Manhattan. However, most shops you visit will only sell alcohol-free wine or wine with a really low %, due to licensing laws. To get your Pinot fix, you have to head to a dedicated liquor store, where most bottles start from the $10 mark.
3: There are lots of foods called very different things.
Arugula, anyone? That would be rocket my friend. Flava bean? Also known as a broad bean to you and me. Eggplant, yams and zucchini? You’d be looking at aubergine, sweet potato and courgette. Turns out there are lots of food named differently stateside, more so than just french fries for chips!
4: The customer service is much better than London.
Granted not quite as friendly and welcoming as California, the customer service in New York seems to be much better than London, especially in restaurants where they rely so much on tips.
I’m still learning the tipping etiquette here but it tends to be more enforced in table service restaurants and at bars (normally a dollar tip a drink). Sometimes the receipt at the end of a meal will come with three tipping options for you to choose from and then you write the total amount you will pay at the bottom. So whenever you factor in costs, always keep this (as well as adding tax) in mind.
6: Not all subways have information.
Some of the less popular subway routes have very limited information on them, such as when the next train will arrive and what each stop is. You just have to wait and hope!
7: Keep your Metro card flat.
While we are on the subject of subways, just a note to remind you to keep your Metro cards flat. They are quite flimsy bits of paper that won’t work if they get a little bent or scratched.
8: There are A LOT of medical drug TV commercials.
We sometimes watch Good Morning America over breakfast and have been shocked at the amount of drug commercials in the ad breaks, especially as they spend most of the time warning about the side effects!
9: People say ‘like’ and ‘literally’ like, literally a lot.
I don’t know if this is an American thing but it is something that I have noticed a lot since being in New York!
10: It gets VERY cold in Winter.
It hasn’t snowed yet while we have been here but the wind chill can be icy! I invested in a down coat in the Uniqlo winter sale and it has served me really well – I would definitely recommend wearing something similar if you plan to visit New York in the winter!