New York has always been a place that I wanted to go to and when I was around the age of 11 or 12, my whole family went for a wedding. I have never been more afraid in my life. My parents, like many others, are super overprotective and very cautious. It frustrates me to this day that they impose their fears onto me because I don’t want that negativity in my life. I don’t want my experiences to be soiled by their fears. Thankfully, my idea of New York changed when my friend let me stay at her place. If you have seen my recent posts, I talk about my experiences in New York and I cannot wait to go back. Now, before I get into all of this, I will say that there are always truths in each misconception but it is not the full truth. My parents made it seem like New York was full of hooligans and murderers only.
Misconception #1: You will get hurt in New York if you head out at night. I was actually nervous when my friend sent an Uber for me around 10:00 pm because I am not someone who goes out at night at all. I got in and went to her restaurant to find that the people in the restaurant and the people around were really nice. The atmosphere was so different than what I was used to. New Yorkers just don’t care that you are walking around. I was in the Lower East Side which made the experience so much more authentic because it wasn’t full of tourists. I remember going through the city in the wee hours and not feeling weighed down.
Misconception #2: New York is dirty. To a certain extent, yes. I will say that I was nervous because I would see trash bags on the sidewalk and be worried about all the rats. I actually only saw one rat. I found out that the main reason that trash bags are on the street is that there are no trash containers for the trash trucks to grab. The subways are not the cleanest and it does smell but it isn’t the worst thing. I saw so many interesting people on the subway and it really gives you another perspective to the New York experience if you want a well-rounded one.
Misconception #3: Don’t trust anyone. I can understand this if you are in a heavy tourist area because when I did go to Times Square or Staten Island, so many people kept asking us to buy tickets to this and that. However, if you are not in the main area of New York where there are so many people bombarding you with tickets and things, you can find the gems that are decent people. My friend had to go to work and because I wasn’t going to get to her apartment in time, she left her keys next door at a restaurant with a worker. Another day she left her keys at a deli with the owner for a guest. It blows my mind because I feel like if you did it in other cities that people would give you a funny look. Maybe I am wrong, but it just changed my perception of the people there.
Misconceptions #4: Cabs will steal from you. I am sure that it does happen but each cabbie I was a customer of was either quiet or very nice. I love that the cabs in New York have a credit card machine so you don’t have to have cash on you at all times. I also think that the media portrays some cab drivers as people who will drive away with your luggage or that people will throw up in those cars and the cabbies won’t clean them up.
Misconception #5: You can’t sit on the Met steps. This is going to sound silly but I swear that I read that you couldn’t sit on them because so many people kept doing it when Gossip Girl was on the air.
Misconception #6: You won’t get anywhere if you take a car. Not true. Sure, you could probably get somewhere by walking much faster than by car. I feel that my friend and I got to the Seaglass Carousel from where she was much faster than if we had taken the subway because we didn’t have to wait for a subway car that was delayed. If you are with a cabbie or uber driver then you are fine because they know just how crazy to drive to get you to your destination.
Misconception #7: New York is full of people who are not happy with their lives. Not true at all. There are so many people who thrive in New York, like my friend who is living in the city of her dreams. New York offers people so many cultures in one small area of the world. The people who live in New York, truly live in New York, find something about it that speaks to them or keeps them going.
Have you heard any misconceptions of New York that changed?
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