As my third day winds down in New York, I feel like I’m starting to “get it” and by referring to “it”, I’m talking about the street etiquette of New York City. The rules of the road as a pedestrian in the “Big Apple” are somewhat similar to “Man Law”. No one tells you what to do and the rules aren’t written down, but your judged/shoved//looked at funny for not following the New York walking policies.
1. Expect your feet to quickly self-destructed. New Yorkers must have feet of steel. I, on the other hand, cannot walk more than 5 blocks in dress shoes without getting blisters. Graphic I know and that’s after I washed the blood off!
2. Walk like the world is ending. The first 2 days in New York City I was sort of in limbo land of walking styles–somewhere between gawking tourist and New Yorker on the way to work. However, I’m quickly finding out that if you don’t walk like your being chased by a bear—New Yorkers do not like you and will not put up with you. It only to a few shoves, grumbles and pushes for me to understand this.
3. Wipe that grin off your face. From what I’ve seen, New Yorkers are extremely nice people but if they don’t know you–they don’t smile. It’s best to keep with this trend. Smiling at men on the streets seems to subject you to “oh that means she wants me to follow her down the street and ask her for her number and yell things at her/whistle”. This is not Montana. Everyone doesn’t walk around with a grin plastered on their face.
4. New Yorkers are magicians at producing umbrellas. When it rained yesterday, I swore I didn’t encounter one person with an umbrella but as soon as the rain hits–boom. Umbrellas. Until I discover how to conduct such magic—I need to carry a rain jacket. No umbrella for me. The etiquette for walking is hard enough right now, let alone for an umbrella.
I thought I would be learning a lot in my internship, who knew there would be so much to learn outside of work!