Happy Monday Everyone! Today’s post is very “New York-y”, but from what I’ve been told on Snapchat, this is what you want more of. So here it is, 6 things I would not recommend doing in New York when you come to visit! I love giving New York advice, so if you ever do have any questions let me know!
Stay near Times Square
I’m very aware that 99% of Irish visiting New York do stay in or around Times Square. I mean zero offense to anyone’s decision when I say to avoid staying there. Each to their own and all of that… I think that there are so many neighborhoods in Manhattan that would be so gorgeous to spend more time in though. A lot of people leave New York saying that it wouldn’t be for them, that it’s too much or too busy. I wouldn’t blame them! Staying in Times Square will do that to you. In reality I think I have spent a cumulative 30 minutes in Times Square in over a year. In fact, I would think that 99% of New Yorkers avoid it like the plague, unless they’re unfortunate enough to work there. It’s one of the few parts of the city that they find unbearable. Before you look into hotels in that area, or anywhere around Midtown for that matter, have a look on Air BnB. You could find affordable accommodation in some gorgeous neighborhoods that you never would have explored otherwise. Try the Upper East Side, the West Village or Greenwich Village – they’re all so nice!
Forget to tip
This is a BIG one! Waitresses and bartenders here are not treated the same as at home. The small majority earn a wage, but for the most part they rely solely on tips as their income. I’ve seen and heard so many stories of people not tipping or just ignoring the norm here because they are tourists. If you are in a new city, you should do as the locals do and follow suit. Sometimes restaurants will add on the gratuity (tip) to the bill if they hear a foreign accent because they’re afraid you may not know to tip. Don’t be offended, they’re just looking out for themselves and their staff. It still happens to us sometimes when they hear our accents, but we really don’t mind. Generally you should tip between 18% or 20%. If someone is exceptional, it’s nice to throw in a few dollars extra too.
Be afraid of the subway
I’m really not one to talk here since I tried to avoid the subway for as long as possible when I moved here. The whole thing confused me so much and I was terrified of getting lost. Honestly though, take a few minutes each morning to try and understand which train to get and in which direction you need to go. It will save you so much time and money, and your feet will thank you for it! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This leads me to my next point…
Assume New Yorkers are rude
Let’s just be frank here for a minute and acknowledge that New Yorkers have a bad reputation for being rude and unhelpful. In my experience, I have found it to be the complete opposite. Of course you’re going to get a few crazies here and there that will scream in your face… Or that person who will physically push you out of there way… But that could happen anywhere! I’ve found 99% of New Yorkers to be really respectful, chirpy, and willing to help you if you ask. Or even you don’t ask and are just standing there looking confused, you can be guaranteed someone will help you out. Just use your initiative to approach a friendly looking person and just explain where you want to go. I promise they will send you in the right direction!
Neglect your restaurant choices
Ohhhhh this is a big one. New York restaurants are AMAZING. Full disclosure: when I move home, this will be the biggest adjustment for me. In this city, you can have whatever you want, whenever you want it. That is what I absolutely adore about it! Please please please, do your research and don’t just have breakfast in the diner under your hotel. Go down to Soho, or the East Village or wherever you find somewhere nice that you like the look of. The “Yelp” app is amazing because you can search the cuisine, or meal type you want, and specify the location. You get honest reviews and photos too! Personally, when I look at Yelp, instead of just looking for somewhere with 4/5 stars, I look at the amount of reviews. You could get a 5 star restaurant because it has two good reviews. You want to find the place with 1,000 great reviews, that might just be 4 stars, but that’s still going to be a winner!
Stay in Manhattan
I get it, you’ve been trekking around to all of the tourist spots in Manhattan all day long. Your feet hurt and you’re still jet lagged so you need an evening nap. STOP! You absolutely need to get out of Manhattan at least once or twice before you go home. Head down to DUMBO and watch the sun set over Manhattan, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Last year, when my parents were visiting, we went over to Hoboken to get an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline and of course it didn’t disappoint. If you want that extra special Insta shot, then it’s worthwhile!!!
Ok so there you go! Let me know if you liked this post? I actually really enjoyed writing it! Have a great week!
Photos by Claire Petersen