My Advice for New York City


As some people who know me i.r.l. are aware, I have been commuting from the suburbs to Brooklyn for an internship this summer. Although the internship is wonderful, I am not a huge fan of New York City—it has so much to offer, and I am grateful I’m in its proximity, but it is mostly terrifying. I was hoping it would grow on me, but it absolutely did not.

(Here is a list of things that, with time and familiarity, I grew to love:

kale, writing in only lowercase letters, & Nicki Minaj

Here is a list of things that, with time and familiarity, just kept getting worse:

living in a triple, “The Big Bang Theory,” & New York City)

So over the past few months, I’ve been developing a list of advice for NYC. Not for people living there, or people commuting there: for NYC itself

Five Ideas New York City Should Consider

  1. More public bathrooms

Why are there not more bathrooms, New York City? Sometimes the Starbucks bathrooms need a key, and you know that barista is not giving it to you for free. My friend Maddy told me that when she was in London, sometimes you had to pay a few cents to get in, but there were public bathrooms all over the place. I don’t like the idea that bathroom usage has the elitism of costing money, but hey, having bathrooms abound does not sound like the worst idea. Listen to London on this one, NYC.

  1. More addresses posted on buildings

New York, I know you’re a grid and not supposed to be that hard to navigate. I’m pretty handy with a map myself, and now that phone GPSs exist, it should be simple, right? It should be, but no, it’s not if so many of your buildings don’t have addresses on them, especially since the numbers skip and aren’t always in the perfect order. Put your building number on your front door, like homes in a suburban housing development! I’ll be able to find the photo studio my boss asked me to so much more easily. Please and thank you.

  1. Walk on the right side of the street

I know NYC is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities and, in some nations, the driving/walking thing is reversed. However, that’s not an excuse for a ton of you. You walk on the right side of the direction you’re going, especially on the subway. (Gothamist just wrote about this last week!) It will stop us from walking into each other, and I also get to maintain my stubbornness about being right. Win-win?

  1. Less handing me religious paraphernalia

I don’t want to convert to anything right now, but I feel really bad not taking the thing you handed me, and then I’m going to waste it by throwing it away. No one wants that!

  1. Try smiling

At my college, by default, a lot of people who just kind of know you (or, like, made out with your roommate’s friend’s group project pal) will smile at you by default because of shared connections. NYC is full of shared connections (have you ever seen a New York-set rom com???) so why don’t we smile? I mean, I got not-so-friendly glances just from the other folks in my high school, but I think that smiling at each other would not kill all of us walking on the street, especially since we don’t even all speak the same language. Can’t hurt.

Image via Buzzfeed