1. When your Rough Guide to New York City warns you that the month of August gets an average of 4.1 inches of rainfall, BELIEVE IT. Do not flippantly disregard those statistics as being "impossible" simply because you have been living in drought-ridden California all of your life: Rather than reading the weather chart and automatically thinking -- Four inches of rain? In the month of August? That can't be right. Must be a typo -- try heeding this book's advice and packing appropriately.
I woke up yesterday morning to a light rain that continued for most of the day. As I looked out the window and saw the many pedestrians with their umbrellas and rain boots, it occurred to me that the only close-toed shoes I have at the moment are a pair of running shoes and a pair of high heels. That is it. The rest of my boots, Converse, etc. are packed away at my future roommate's house in Newport Beach where they are waiting to be shipped to NY in October with the rest of my things. Not exactly my finest moment in packing . . .
2. Do not attempt to walk around the city all day in high heels -- especially if you have no idea where you are going.
I essentially walked 30 blocks in heels, and now have the blisters to prove it! Why I ended up walking so very far leads me to my next point:
3. When entering a destination into Hopstop.com, or any other online navigational site, take special care to enter the address fully and completely, as there may be two numerical addresses that are the same, but in separate locations -- depending upon North/South versions of a major street.
Apparently, there are TWO 370 blocks on Park Avenue. One, located near Park Avenue and 53rd Street; the other, located near Park Avenue and 27th Street. I was supposed to be at the 27th Street location; yet, Hopstop had directed me to 53rd Street because I forgot to put the word south at the end of the address. Ooops. Longest 30 blocks of my life.
4. If you decide to bring a change of shoes in your purse, remember to place them in a plastic bag before depositing them inside your purse. Why? Well, not necessarily because your change of shoes will be dirty, but because the shoes you are wearing to trot around Manhattan just might be. In fact, as you are exiting the subway, you may be in a rush and not notice that there is a giant wad of gum on the pavement, and you are ever so gracefully placing the ball of your foot into it. Then, once you get to your final destination, you will be forced to put on said change of shoes and take this sticky, yucky, germ-infested flip-flip and either stick it in your purse, or throw it away.
I was on my way to a job interview and really couldn't think of any other options.
5. Do as the New Yorkers do and have a book with you at all times. It will likely come in handy throughout the course of the day because you will be waiting. Waiting for the subway to come; waiting on the subway; waiting to buy groceries at Trader Joe's when the checkout lines are wrapped around the entire store and practically spilling onto the street.
I'm not kidding. They had a dozen different registers going, plus an attendant whose primary job was to direct everyone to the next available checkout stand. It was truly amazing. And through it all, people were reading! (As a book lover, I find this kind of exciting.)
6. And the last and final thing that I have learned from the past 48 hours in New York City: eat a bagel for breakfast; it will brighten your day.
I woke up yesterday morning, threw on some clothes, and walked downstairs to La Bagel Delight in Brooklyn. I ordered an Everything bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese and a slice of lox. It was absolute heaven :)