Tips and Tricks for Survival in the Big Apple

  • Daniel Entrup
Life & Careers

Moving to The Big Apple is one of the most exciting yet intimidating things when you’re starting your career. New York is a city has something for everyone, but takes some getting used to. Here is my first set of tips for those new to the city.

  1. Avenues (crosstown) are much longer than streets - When your friend says “it’s only 5 blocks away” and is referring to the walk from Madison to 10th Ave, it’s time to find a new friend.
  2. Know the neighborhood and your commute before signing a lease. Will I need to take two trains AND walk 45 minutes? Am I comfortable walking alone in this area at 2:30am?
  3. Invest in rain boots and a rain coat. There is no such thing as a nice spring shower. Think dirty water, dripping scaffoldings, and all that dog pee running down the sidewalk. Get a good umbrella while you’re at it too (we have AlphaSights umbrellas in the office in case you forget yours and a NY shower surprises you).
  4. The price you are quoted for that doggie in the window is 4 times what is should be and don’t trust the breed - I’m all for people getting dogs, but don’t make an impulse buy. Dogs are expensive (vet, daycare, walker, toys, food, etc.), require space (your converted room is not sufficient), and time (they need to be taken out for walks multiple times a day and don’t think for one second that you won’t be reaching down to pick up after them).
  5. Get the right bag for your commute. If you bike to work in athletic clothes, a backpack is best. If you are on the subway, go with the messenger bag. Keep in mind that it gets HOT in the summer. After a 30-minute walk to work, you will be sweaty and a backpack is no help.
  6. Find a few restaurants with fast delivery on Seamless. Something you can count on when you get home late and don’t feel like cooking.
  7. Groceries are incredibly overpriced. Go to Trader Joe’s on the weekend and stock up for the week. It’s the only reasonably priced place around. Don’t be intimidated by the line - it moves fast. Also, if your parents are coming in for the weekend and offer to bring food, take them up on the offer.
  8. Don’t settle on a dry cleaner. Shop around for price and look for extras such as free pick-up and delivery. You don't want to be rushing to get out of work before the dry cleaner closes. If you try a place and they don't deliver when they said they would, find a new place - there’s one on every corner.
  9. Coffee carts are great for breakfast - hot dog carts, not as great for lunch. Speaking of lunch, get that frequent diner card from your favorite lunch spot. You will go there more than 7 times, so it doesn’t hurt to get a free meal every once in a while.
  10. Ride the bus. It’s the same price as the subway, runs on almost every avenue and across town, you can see where you are, and you have cell phone service the entire time.

    Daniel joined AlphaSights in January of 2013 and serves as a Manager in our New York office.