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Coming to New York from the Midwest: 6 differences that will surprise you

Amy Christie

If you’re a Midwesterner trying to settle in New York, you’re in for a few surprises. Not necessarily unpleasant ones, but there are things you will need to adjust to. From not having everyone say hi to you on the street to the narrower selection in stores, you will get a different feeling while living in New York. Keep in mind that friendship, support, and goodwill are in full supply here too. You simply need to learn to see them differently.

Here is a list of the differences you will notice once you move to the Big Apple:

1. No one says hello on the street

If you were used to greeting people while having walks or going about your day, it won’t happen in New York. Even looking someone straight in the eye is breaching an etiquette rule.

Besides, there are just too many people to be able to greet them personally.

2. Most people don’t have a car

In the Midwest, you can’t get anywhere without a car, but in New York City most people don’t own one or if they have it, they're considering the best way to get rid of it.

It’s hard to find parking spots around the city and it will be expensive too. So, even if public transportation is a bit slower it’s a very cost-effective replacement for personal vehicles. Don’t be surprised when you hear that many people who were born and grew up here never learned how to drive. They don’t need to.

3. Don’t forget your umbrella

Umbrellas are an essential accessory in New York. You won’t get the chance to run to your car for shelter, so always be prepared for unexpected rain. An umbrella is very handy, and it will save you and your outfit from downpours.

4. Cold, but bearable compared to the Midwest

New York definitely gets cold in the winter, but the Midwest can be even more chilling.

5. Smaller selection at grocery stores

You will soon realize that grocery stores around New York are a lot smaller and have fewer items to choose from compared to the Midwest. The prices can be higher too. So, put grocery stores as big as a football field out of your mind when you’re out getting groceries in New York.

6. New Yorkers are friendly

Even though they have a reputation for being rough and many will get annoyed if you walk too slowly or cut in line, New Yorkers are very down-to-earth and approachable, especially at critical times.

They will be happy to direct you, open doors if you’re coming in with something heavy, contribute to directing traffic when the lights don’t work, or giving first aid when someone feels sick.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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