PSA: The Newcomer's Guide To Surviving New York

by Eddie Cuffin

It's early September and many college graduates are making their way to New York City to have their shot at the real world. One fair warning is that New York City takes no b*llshit. Many people are intimidated by this city because it will eat them up before they know it and one thing they don't have is time to get themselves adjusted.

From the moment you step outside of your building, you are thrown into the fire. There are no such things as excuses out here and one thing you will notice is that people actually don't care about what you have to say as long as you bring results. This city will test you and it is important you accept the challenges with open arms.

It is not about how many times you fail, but how you persevere through the tough times to get up and to make yourself better. One thing to keep in the back of you mind is that in this city, time is of the essence. Millions of dollars can be lost or made in a matter of seconds, that's why this city brings about immense stress on its inhabitants.

Time is not on your side, therefore it is important that you are quick on your feet. To make your transition easier, we have decided to provide you with a little help. Here is your guide to making it through the everyday grind we call New York City.

Everyone is looking to get their hands in the pot, so cut out the middle man when you can.

Dangerous Complexity 

Forget broker fees. Why should you have to pay someone 15% of the year's rent just so they can spend 20 minutes looking up information that you have access to as well? Just because you may not know off the top of your head doesn't mean there aren't places where you can access this information. It's called the internet and you should familiarize yourself with it. There are plenty of sites that offer no-fee listings, you just have to know where to look. Some sights include:;; and

Always have a reliable dealer.


Nothing will make your time more pleasant in NYC than a reliable dealer. There will be those stressful days where you just want to leave work, run to your closet-sized apartment and just light one up. We all have those days, don't worry, but there is nothing worse than wanting to smoke and not having your dealer around. There are plenty of delivery services in NYC that will bring you a variety of goods from straight tree to edibles. Make the most of it, some of these are expensive, but if you find a good one, you are in the green -- literally. Also, don't be shy to tell your friends about your new delivery service because every time they buy 5 eighths you get 1 free. Awesome, right?

Never go out anywhere with more than three dudes.


College is one thing, you can roll through any party with your wolf pack and just tear it up, but NYC is different. The doorman will just laugh in your face with your pathetic attempt to enter the club with three dudes. Better luck next time. So before you decide to call all your homies for an "epic night out," make sure you got some chicks to balance out the ratio or daddy's credit card won't even help you.

Only idiots gravitate to bright lights.

Scunnert Nation

No grown person has ever walked to Time Square and said "Yup, this is where I want to be." It is pedestrian-filled nightmare, full of tourists and crackheads. All those lights were cool in the 5th grade, but now you're a grown up all on your own no need to get caught up in the light. We understand some of you may be working there, but once it hits 5 o'clock, punch out and get your ass on the first subway out of there.

Never shake the hand of someone who is trying to sell you something.

This person brings absolutely no value to your life whatsoever. So the next time someone tries to tell you how great his mix tape is, just tell him you hate music. There are only two things that can come out of such an encounter: you wasting 5 minutes of your life or you walking home with an blank CD.

Never take your shoes off unless you're trying to f*ck.

Bangers And Nash

Ladies, ladies, ladies. Under no circumstance should you ever take your shoes off in the club. I don't care how hot it is or how much your feet hurt, nothing is more ratchet than you going barefoot. This isn't New Jersey or Long Island, it's understandable if you need practice walking in heels, but you better take your ass over the bridge or through the tunnel.

There's no time for playing games, this is the big leagues and real men want real women, not little girls who trip and fall over the cobblestones in the Meatpacking District. Trust us, the effort will be worth it, especially when you find yourself taking off your shoes at some millionaire's penthouse as he's ready to just splurge and give you the world.

Embrace public transportation.

If Mayor Bloomberg can take the subway, so can you! There is nothing to fear, although the countless trains, express vs. local, and off hour scheduling may seem intimidating...give it some time. It will make your life that much easier knowing how to get around the city using the subway or buses. Cabs can get expensive, especially when you have to use them multiple times a day; save your self some money and get to know the public transportation system.

Don't even think about getting in a black gypsy cab.


No matter how long you have been waiting for a yellow cab, it is never worth it to hop in one of those black taxi cabs. They lurk the streets looking for stragglers who can't find cabs and tend to promise them rates similar to yellow cabs. However, these cabs are the biggest rip-offs and it's important that you keep away from them. It will pay off to wait the extra minute to find a yellow cab.

When taking a cab to an outer borough, make sure the cab driver starts driving before you tell him where you're actually going.

Yellow cabs hate going to the outer boroughs and they will do anything to avoid crossing the bridge or tunnel. So, make sure you trick your cab driver into taking you there regardless. You can either tell them you're going somewhere in Manhattan and then switch it up on them or just straight up wait until they press the meter because once they do, it's a wrap and they have to take you wherever you want to go.

Unless you're prepared to be a hero, don't be one.

You will see a lot of crazy sh*t in NYC and you've got to be prepared for everything. Everyone wants to be the hero, get all the attention and make their appearance on NY1, but this really doesn't happen that often. No one hears about the person that was almost a hero. Don't get yourself involved into something you know you can't get yourself out of. Just because people are arguing on the street doesn't mean you should try and break it up; it is likely that they will turn around, beat your ass, then get back to fighting each other.

No one is actually from New York City, but don't be the first one to admit it.

In The Mist Of My Mind

New York is full of people from out of town, you will not be the first one to come here, but that doesn't mean you have to act like a newbie. True New Yorkers are a dying breed and you will rarely come across these gems. Most born and raised New Yorkers will be able to tell you are from out of town, but other people will be completely clueless. So just work the system in your favor and swag it out. As long as you're living here, you can convince anyone you're from New York.

It's cool to donate money for kids' basketball teams, but know it'll go to weed before it goes to basketball jerseys.

We all know those kids that walk around selling candy, claiming it's for their basketball team. This is nothing but a clever ploy to get your money, that money is not going towards any basketball team. Once they collect 20 cash, they are each getting a dub to light up and enjoy the rest of their day. Hey, look at the bright side, you helped some kids get high, it's charity of a different kind -- but it still counts.

No girl is worth you getting on the Amtrak or LIRR at 3 a.m.


Let's get one thing straight, there are plenty of women out there that will make suitable partners in this city. Just by walking around your block you can come across 10 potential partners that will get the job done; you just want to unleash your load and keep it moving. There is no need for you ever to leave the island. No girl is hot enough for you to get on that Amtrak or LIRR train, if she is that thirsty she can make her way over to you. Manhattan is a one-way trip and there is no need for you to leave because you have a plethora of women to choose from here.

If you live in an outer borough and you want that girl to come home with you, you better tell her you're going uptown or downtown.

Living in an outer borough can make bringing girls from the city quite difficult, no matter how big your apartment is, there's no way she will want to leave this island. Once you get her in the cab, you have made a major leap in the right direction. You guys will both be drunk so you can get away with it. Tell the cab driver you are going either uptown or downtown, then start making out with your partner. When you come up for air, tell the cabby where you are really going -- and voilà!

The city isn't your playground and these aren't your streets.

Dangerous Complexity

Bloomberg did an excellent job of cleaning up the city streets; however, this doesn't give you a free pass to act like an idiot. The streets are still full of crackheads and sketchy people waiting to put you in your place once you act up. This isn't college where you can roam around doing anything you want, we know how cool you were when you had your frat bros backing up everything you said. Now that you are all alone, people are quick to whip you in shape if you ever get out of line.

Save money however you can.


Surviving in this city with an entry-level position is going to be extremely difficult, so it's important that you make a habit of saving money where you can. If you don't need it, don't buy it -- it's that simple. Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't enjoy yourself, but constantly splurging isn't worth it. It's going to be a good feeling when you go back home after a year to visit your family and you have a nice lump sum of money in your bank account so you can buy your mom something nice. Kanye wasn't lying when he said in this city, you have to be rich just to be poor here.

Everyone here knows everybody, but knows nobody.

Guest Of A Guest

"I know him and I know her"...blah blah blah, from the sounds of it, New York is the friendliest place on earth and everyone knows everybody.  For all you newcomers out there, don't be gullible, this is hardly the truth. People in NYC love to name drop to make themselves feel important, although it may work for nightclubs, it doesn't work anywhere else.

Not everyone is your friend and you should recognize that you are only as good as the value you bring. After a couple weeks here, you will be able to tell the posers from the real people. Everyone you meet will have a story, but take everything they tell you with a grain of salt, as you will soon find out people love to embellish things to make themselves look better.