There are a number of things one needs to know in order to survive in New York City. Here are my top ones:
# When out and about, you will always, and I do mean always, be in someone’s way. When (not if) that happens, be prepared to activate your 360-degree vision – just because people are behind you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sense them and their intention. At any rate, in such cases, New Yorkers don’t say sorry – they just brush / push past you, sometimes with a mighty shove, and accompany this by a backwards glance filled with pure venom.
# When you say sorry, because they are in your way, New Yorkers simply reply by a non-committal “mmmm-hmmmm” and make way exactly one tenth of an inch.
# It is always a very bad idea to take a train to an area you don’t know (*cough* Brooklyn Bridge *cough*) late at night in the freezing dead of winter. I guess that’s mostly true of any city, but in New York, the only thing you will find when you get out of the station will be: cars. More cars. Empty streets. With the exception of one person with a smartphone. Who also doesn’t know which way is uptown and which downtown. And rats.
# Rats are one of New York’s biggest pests. They are ubiquitous. And they have no fear. At night, they whiz past as if the sidewalks are their own personal highways – bought and paid for by their momma-rats, I guess – despite their obvious chubiness. They are busy, they are fast, they are scary – they are the quintessential New Yorkers.