Are you ready to move to NYC as a NYU students? Afraid of getting lost or don’t know what to do or eat? Here are some guides compiled by the NYU students in order to make your life easier at New York City. The guide includes transportation, food, travel and entertainments around NYC for New York University students.
A guide to transportation around NYC:
– Trains are never on time, so always leave early so that you’ll be on time to wherever you have to go
– To check whether the trains you need to take are screwed up, look here: http://www.mta.info
– Let passengers off the train before you try to get on. This is critical.
– Move towards the interior/middle of the train car, try not to block the doors.
– If you’re standing near the door and a lot of people are getting off, step outside of the train car to let people through.
– Same colored subways mean they run at least partly on the same line (e.g. subways 4,5, and 6 all have green colored circles behind them, meaning they all run on the Lexington Avenue line).
– Swiping a Metrocard. This is one a lot of people have trouble with. Go too slow, and the reader does not detect the card. Go too fast, and the reader does not detect the card. With some practice, you will figure it out. A good way to practice is on the balance readers some stations have. You swipe your card through them (they are unconnected to a turnstile) and they tell you how much is remaining on your card. With a few test swipes, you will be able to figure out the right speed.
– Remember that you need to buy your own MetroCard + plan
– Bus fare. Say your Metrocard doesn’t have enough left on it to cover the fare for a bus (usually $2.75; on select buses, it can be more). While the driver will often let you on the bus anyway, it is generally good to pay for the services being rendered. To cover the fare, you can pay in coins. Not cash, not credit, not debit; only coins will work on a bus. This is pretty annoying. Carrying some change will come in handy.
– I recommend carrying a really small zipper bag thing and dumping exactly $2.75 into it so it is easier to pay and you can carry it around for emergency.
– The Select Bus (SBS) – This bus makes fewer stops and gets everywhere faster because you pay before you get on. At each SBS stop, there are a couple kiosks where you can swipe your metrocard. You’ll get a receipt, which you should keep with you just in case they decide to check (although that rarely happens). When boarding the bus, you can enter through any door, but make sure to let people off the bus first.
– Worried about getting somewhere on time? Take a cab. Cabs are far better than ubers, as the workers are unionized and have benefits; support your local cabs.
– To check if a cab is vacant, look on the roof light. If it’s turned on, that means the cab is vacant and on duty. If it’s turned off, it either means that the cab driver is off duty or there’s someone riding in it. At shift change each day, you will have some difficulty finding a cab. Even if the lights are off, keep your hand up, because if your destination is on the way to their taxi parking hub, they will take the extra fare.
– Use uber when not in Manhattan. Most of these taxi cabs like to and want to stay in Manhattan.
– Citibike – the largest bike share program in NYC, this is a good way to get around if you don’t want to take the subway and don’t own/have space to store a bike.
NYU students get a discount, so it only costs $5/month ($60/year)
How it Works: Find an available bike nearby (they’re all in large docking stations in many locations around the city), and get a ride code or use your member key to unlock it. Return your bike to any station, and wait for the green light on the dock to make sure it’s locked.
– Rules for cyclists
1) Ride with (in the same direction as) the traffic
2) Obey traffic signals (do not try to go through red lights, it’s dangerous and you can get a ticket)
3) Stay in the green bike lanes when possible, though if there is something blocking the lane, you are legally allowed to leave the lane so long as you re-enter it as soon as possible.
4) Don’t ride on the sidewalk
5) Yield to pedestrians
Etiquette every NYU students should know in NYC
– The sidewalk. In the U.S., cars drive on the right side of the road. What does that have to do with sidewalks? Well, unconsciously, most people, when walking, walk on the right side of the sidewalk as well. Now, if everyone walks on the right side of the sidewalk, there are relatively few collisions or pedestrian traffic jams. This is also true for stairs; if you stick to the right side of the stairs, everyone can get through more quickly. Walking on the wrong part of the sidewalk is annoying and inefficient; try to stick to the right side.
– Walking speed. NYC is known for having fast walkers, but what does that actually mean? Well, for starters, it means that people walk at a higher speed (duh), but it also means that people need more situational awareness in terms of others on the sidewalk. You will eventually develop a sense as to when there is someone behind you walking faster than you, and if you sense that, you should let them pass, as it is the polite thing to do. If you are walking in a group, as well, you may find it necessary to part in the middle so that someone can pass through. Eventually this will all become second nature.
Don’t stand in the middle of the sidewalk!!!
Walking slow is a crime unless you’re an elderly person or disabled
– Escalators. If you are waiting in line for an escalator after getting off a train, you may notice something peculiar: people are standing still on the right side of the escalator and there is a completely empty left side. Why is this? Well, in theory, this is so that those who wish to walk up the escalator instead of standing on it can do so; when there is not a line to get on the escalator, that is, in fact, the most efficient way of arranging people. But if there is a line, then you will end up waiting longer to get on the escalator because relatively few people are using the left side. If there is a line, go against your instincts: Don’t stand on the right, stand on the left instead. While you may get some dirty looks, it actually cuts down on average wait times for everyone behind you, even those who would normally walk up the left side.
– Jaywalking is the norm. You just look odd if you don’t run across the street with three seconds left before the cars start honking.
Just make sure to check that there are no cars or bikes about to run you over
– Eye Contact: do your best to avoid it at all times. Most New Yorkers have perfected “the look”, which basically consists of seeing but not seeing all the slightly strange or unsavory stuff going on around them.
If you see someone begging and you feel like giving them money, do so. They probably really need it. If you don’t want to give them money, just keep walking. Simple as that.
Sometimes, people perform on trains (loudly) to get money too. Again, your choice whether to give or not. Most passengers tend to ignore and do their own thing.
– When eating at restaurants – Gotta tip 15-20% usually :))
Shopping: 8.875% tax (diff from eating)
– Some New Yorkers like to overreact sometimes. Don’t try to argue/fight them even though your mood will be crappy afterwards. You can go sassy/savage but no beef. Ignore them unless they really bugging you 🙂
“Send me your location” ~ Khalid
– 5th Avenue/Broadway is the dividing line between east and west. Below 5th ave is east and above 5th is west
– When giving directions, people usually will say what street they are on and between which two avenues.
– SoHo is “South of Houston street” and is a neighborhood full of artsy types. Good stores around there.
– TriBeCa is the “Triangle Below Canal street.” It is a neighborhood.
– It’s pronounced “House-ton” not “Hue-ston” like the city in Texas
– For my tandon folks, DUMBO in Brooklyn stands for: “down under the Manhattan bridge overpass”
– 6th Avenue= Avenue of the Americas. It has both names.
Cool things NYU Students can do around NYC
– Guys, the High Line is actually a park! Need some good photos? Take them here #aesthetic
Directions: Take the E train uptown to 23rd street and walk towards 11th avenue
– Check out Foley Square: it’s home of the courthouses where Law and Order SVU is filmed!
Directions: Take the 6 train downtown to Canal St. and walk towards Chinatown
– Go to the Intrepid Museum, housed in the actual Intrepid warship during WWII
Directions: Take the uptown R, N, or W train to Times Square, 42nd St. Transfer for the uptown 7 train and ride it to the last stop. Then walk towards 12th avenue
– Union Square! You’ll probably see and hang out there many times, it usually has a bunch of tents or some kind of event going on and there’s lots of stores around (B&N, Sephora, Whole Foods, etc)
Directions: Just a 10 min walk from NYU!
– Chelsea Piers – go ice skating, bowling, or just enjoy the scenery
Directions: same as if you were going to the Intrepid
– Don’t go to Times Square. Or do it once and then never again. It sucks there.
– If you like art galleries, go to the Chelsea area because that’s where every gallery is.
– The Big Museums in Manhattan: The Met, Guggenheim, Whitney, MoMA (go there once and never again), & New Museum
Some of the best foods NYU students should try
– Pommes Frites — fry food truck right by NYU!!!
– Food trucks are pretty good in general
– $1 Pizza for budgeting
– Want cheap (Chinese) food? Go to Chinatown bc everything is cheap there. (You gotta travel there though + read under the “I’m broke” section)
– A lot of people happen to really like Korean food! Koreatown is a good place to start off (it’s only one street though – W 32nd St), but if you want more places (and slightly cheaper food), travel into Queens through the 7 train to Flushing! There’s more East Asian stuff there. Travelling along Northern Blvd is a good place to start exploring. But obviously, start off with Manhattan bc that’s where y’all would be.
– ALL THE BUBBLE TEA PLACES! (search them on your own bc a lot of branches) – Gongcha, Kung Fu Tea, Vivi’s, & Coco are the most common. Almost all regular bubble milk tea are at least $3.25 with tax. Flavored ones can go up to $4.50 with tax:
1) Gongcha: Strong flavors; personally think it’s the best out of everything
2) Kung Fu Tea: I suck at differentiating but I would say this is the second best brand after Gongcha
3) Coco: Kinda basic. Still good.
4) Vivi’s: More foamy bubble tea? Also, you can get a stamp card and get a free drink after a certain number of bubble tea you buy
5) There are other Chinese shops (non-branded ones) that sell bubble tea as well!
NYC Lingo every NYU students should know
– “Brick”: very cold
– “Deadass”: seriously?
– “My dude”: hey pal
– “Sis/ bro”: refers to any person you’re talking to
– “Are you good?”: Are you ok?
– “That’s hella deep”: refers to when someplace is really far away
– “Bougie” – expensive, describes a person who’s money team (wealthy), comes from “Bourgeois”
– “Bet” or “Aight, bet” – Yeah, sure, ok, got it.
– “Word”: truth.
– “Mad” = just emphasizes on the word that follows (like mad hungry)
– “Tight” = being upset/annoyed
– “Sus” = shady, suspicious
– “Odee/OD” = excessive
– “Hey, b” = “b” is used to call ur friends
I’m going broke (your guide to budgeting in the city)
– Skip the Starbucks for cheaper coffee/tea at delis or coffee shops! Deli food (like sandwich rolls) are cheaper too
– $1 PIZZA
– Chinatown (gotta travel there though):
1) There’s this place where you can buy pork/chicken over small rice with veggies for $4 and it’s very fulfilling! It’s called Wah Fung No 1.
2) Fuzhou Peanut Noodles for $2 – Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine Restaurant (Everything under $10)
3) $1.25 Meatbun. (Will list later)
Travelling guide outside of Manhattan for NYU students
1) 7 train to Flushing, F/E (uptown) trains to Jamaica, N/W/Q (uptown) trains to Astoria/Long Island City, R/M to Forest Hills, M (downtown) to Middle Village,
2) Aside trains, there are a lot of buses. Buses are really convenient in Queens.
1) L train to Rockaway Parkway, G train to Church Ave, N/Q/D/F (downtown) to Coney Island, 2/5 Flatbush, R to Bay Ridge,
1) 5 to Eastchester, 6 to Pelham Bay Park, 2 to Wakefield, 1/4 Van Cortlandt Park, D to Norwood,
– Staten Island
1) Ferry only ? to get to ferry 1/R/W to South Ferry
– Long Island
1) LIRR (Long Island Railroad) or by car (travelling in Long Island is better by car)
2) More malls there: Broadway Mall, Roosevelt Field Mall, etc.
Special thanks to the students in the NYU Class of 2022 facebook group that have contributed and compiled this list.