The New Yorker Starter Pack
Fall in New York City is complete and utter magic. I don't know that there is any other city in the world that is as glimmering and beautiful as NYC in the fall. It is time to enjoy all of the outdoor things that the overwhelmingly hot summer does not allow New Yorkers to enjoy. Walk through Central Park, grab a spot on the lawn at Bryant Park, or steal a PSL from the Columbus Circle Starbucks. With meandering through the city comes the necessities that make your day that much smoother. Whether your are a tourist looking to enjoy the city for the first time or you a new New Yorker like myself who is trying your best to look like you actually do live here, this list shall suit you well!
Now before Samsung users come for me, this is merely a preference. Of course any one can choose any brand they like best but for me, I have all Apple products and I like cohesion. The most important thing my iPhone possesses is Google Maps. I would be stuck in Hoboken somewhere if it weren't for GPS. I reside on the east side of Queens which is a ways from Manhattan so on top of the already congested mess that is Midtown, I am also unfamiliar with the walkability of that boro. My iPhone is my savior. Besides the ability to navigate my adventures, my iPhone also holds my music, my money (more on that later), and my connection to the few friends I have here in the NYC.
My AirPods are my newest addition and I am officially obsessed. Not only does it transport me to audibly magical destinations, it also allows me to act like a true New Yorker and ignore others humans on the Subway. AirPods are great specifically because if you do have a rare moment of someone wanting to speak to you, you can take one out and your tunes will pause. They also allow for being able to hear the honks and hollers of NYC around you to avoid accidents (i.e. they're not sound blocking).
I have a love hate relationship with the subway. Is it convenient and can get you any where in the five boroughs? Absolutely. Does it smell, get overwhelmingly packed, and is regularly unreliable? 100%. Coming from the Midwest, I obviously am much more used to hopping in my vehicle to get anywhere. I still drive to work each day due to working on Long Island but when I am heading in to the city, I will for sure pop on the train rather than deal with the mess of driving in NYC traffic. I am so fortunate to have a bodega steps from the front of my building that sells MetroCards. I can grab a ride for $2.75 and enjoy the wonders of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Take the subway, it is worth it and it can allow you to see everything you desire.
Back to the first point, no one ever carries cash anymore. Before I moved to NYC, I had no idea Venmo was even a thing. I used PayPal here and there but the %'s taken and the time it takes to actually become available to me is such a hassle. Venmo allows you to transfer money to and from friends for anything from brunch to a Moscow mule. Money in your Venmo account can be transferred to your debit card immediately for a .25 cent fee or in 24 hours for free to your debit account. Carrying my iPhone is important for more than just tunes, it allows to get and give money to those I am with, super easily.
I think there is a secret hub in Manhattan that sucks all of my power out of my phone. I can't tell you how many times I have been in the city and because I have used my GPS so much, by the time I need to navigate my way home, I am on next to no power or it is dead. Prep yourself and don't be like me and bring an external battery. If this is a luxury you do not yet have, bring along your USB cable for your phone to plug in to one of the LinkNYC booths. According to the LinkNYC website, " LinkNYC is a new communications network that is replacing New York City pay phones with state-of-the-art kiosks called Links. Each Link is equipped with free services like high-speed Wi-Fi, phone calls, a tablet for maps and city services, and device charging for anyone living in or visiting New York City to enjoy." Whether you are needing a map or a charge, look for one of the 7,500 LinkNYC systems spread across the 5 boros.
Seamless is a blessing and a curse. I may live in the culinary mecca of the US, but actually going through the motions of getting ready and going to eat is such a hassle. Enter Seamless where I can order anything from any restaurant and have it delivered right to my door. It is super convenient and the tip and tax are all wrapped in to one price. Again, it is great and awful at once so proceed with caution. When it comes in great service is when you have been walking around the city all day (as a tourist or a resident) and you crash at your apartment or your hotel room and you are starving. Hit up the app, wait, and enjoy.
I didn't get to take advantage of Juno in the Midwest, I think it is still developing today. But in NYC, Juno is alive and well and more often than not, it is cheaper than Uber (always check both apps to price compare). When it has been my favorite app is when I have been out drinking until 2 or 3 am and the last place I want to be is on the extremely slow night subway. When you are splitting a Juno with 2-3 other people it makes it even more appealing and affordable. Use with caution because the rides can add up, but the circumstances exist where there is no place I would rather be than in a Juno.
Nothing will please me more than a $1 slice of NY pizza. One of my all time favorite spots is the 2 Bros pizza on St. Marks Place in the Lower East Side. You can literally walk in to the pizza shop and toss a one dollar bill on the counter and get a large, hot slice of cheese pizza. Need a whole pie? You can take home a large pie for just $8. There are multiple 2 Bros pizzas throughout the city as well as other $1 pizza spots. If you have $5 and an appetite, you can chow on two slices and a soda. This is one of the best part of NYC so definitely take advantage of it!
The Right Wardrobe
Of course you want to look cute and trendy while strolling through Manhattan. Make sure you have a really great pair of walking shoes or very comfortable booties. Here are two of my favorites that I have personally used through the city and have kept me comfy and walking for hours (Booties, sneakers). The other half of the wardrobe is a good bag to catch all these goodies we have talked about. I prefer cross body bags because it keeps me hands free and it stays close to my body. I always head to TJ Maxx to snag trendy and affordable cross body bags.
Are you planning a trip to NYC soon? Let me know if you plan to pick up any of these tips in the comments below!
xoxo Miranda from the Midwest