NYC Survival Guide

VIP-only guide to the most asked question «How to make it in New York City

VIPs only!!
…now we’re getting to the real hot part of this guide! Better take your hands out of your pockets, now it’s getting tough!
You know, NYC is the city of the cities. NYC is the place to be!
What the hell are you talking about? Is that true? So why is not everyone on the world living in New York?
Well, you know, that’s the point – everyone wants to be in NYC and there is no space for everyone – so, what’s the conclusion?! Living in NYC is pretty tough. You gotta fight 24hrs a day (well, you’re lucky! – at least a day just contains 24 hrs!).
Ever heard Frank Sinatra’s «theme from New York New York»? (that’s the song you’re listening to right now!) «If you do it in New York, you can do it anywhere»
This dude knows what he’s talking about! If you do it in NYC you will not get in trouble in any other part of the world. The funny thing is: No one does it in NYC!If you want to start a new life in NYC, no one prevents you from doing so! Just remember not to give up too fast. Life’s hard – life’s harder in New York!

my topics:
language | rip-offs | fines | crime | cheats
clubbing | getting settled | travel | food | 24hrs

language, expressions

some expressions you just gotta know!

  • one-two-[tree]
    Don’t use your silly British-English you learned in high-school. Remember the time you had to learn that difficult [th] with a knot in your tongue. Forget that! Just spell it like [tri] [tree] and New Yorkers are going to understand you!
  • What’s up buddy!
    that’s the standard NY-greeting. That sentence is followed by: how’s it goin›!! or You’re alright?! (or for sickos: howdydoody!)
    Don’t say «What’s up dude!» – Dude is used on the west coast. Remember, NYC is east-coast!
  • Ever tried to order some water in a take-away place?
    They will not understand you unless you spell it like «wadda»
  • Need to get some pizza? Don’t say «piece of margherita» – In NYC and in any other part of the States it’s called: slice of cheese
  • You’re alright? – Spell it like: aiai
  • need to take a shit? – Go to the restrooms. Never say «toilet»!
  • dollar = buck


Walking on the street is not that dangerous as you thought. Actually, whole Manhattan, most parts of Brooklyn and even parts of the Bronx are pretty safe. You will not get stolen or shot. The only dangerous thing is to get ripped-off! People are trying to get change for a 20-dollar bill! – Don’t even listen to them. They just try to sell you a $1-bill with sticked $20-edges on it – cheap trick but looks pretty real!

A friend of mine once bought a $100 VCR on the streets. Sounded like a great deal as the same VCR was sold for $250 in the stores. The VCR was originally packed, it was even sealed with plastic. Then, back home, he opened it and guess what was the content of that «original»-package?! 2 dirty old phonebooks!!
Don’t trust anyone who tries to sell you something on the street. That stuff is all faked!

Even I got tricked once. That dealer tried to sell me some Marihuana. As I wasn’t interested in his drugs he tried to sell me his metro card. As I didn’t want to get scammed, I went down to the subway station with him to check out his metrocard. Everything was ok with it, but when I took the 6 bucks out of my pockets he just snapped it away and handed me another expired metrocard. Such a cheap trick!

When someone tries to come up to you just shout at him: «No money, no sex, no drugs, no nothing!!! You got it?!» and he’ll be quiet!


Well, try to be legal as much as you can! Don’t underestimate the US-laws! They’re pretty tough! If you ever get a fine, it’ll get expensive!

You think the $1.50 fare for the subway is too expensive? Try to jump over a turnstile and when they catch you you’re going to pay a $60 fine. Those under-cover cops are hiding everywhere!

Now they even got a new law in NYstate concerning drunk-driving. They’re going to take your car and are not going to return it to you unless you pay a high amount of money – better get a new car, it’ll be cheaper!

walking in the streets: crime and stuff

No, New York is not that dangerous as you heard! You can even walk through Harlem as a whitey. South-Bronx is probably the worst part of NYC but it’s not as bad as it used to be. You know, NYC got a new mayor – Rudy Giuliani. He’s just trying to clean up everything! Everyone hates this guy but actually NYC got much cleaner and safer during the past 3 years.

read those articles:NYPD
How safe is NYC?

Need some help of NYPD [New York Police Dep.]? check out their official page: NYPD
check out «NYC’s most wanted» to see all the gangsters of NYC!


You’re still under 21? No problem! – On every corner you’ll find a place to make your fake ID’s. Actually not such a good idea, unless you know how a real ID looks like. Better make your own fake – just make a dirt cheap copy of a French driver’s license! – Who the f.. knows how something like that looks like?!
Remember, Americans never get out of their own country. They will not know what a foreign ID looks like and you’ll get into any pub without trouble.

parties, clubbing

Came to NYC to go clubbing?
Good idea to choose NYC to go partying! Ever heard someone say: NYC’s open 24hrs! ?
Believe it, it’s true! New York is really the city that never sleeps. You can go out on the street 4 o’clock in the morning and still you’ll get everything you’d like!

I’m not going to tell you all the good spots in the city – there are too many to post them on this page!

  • Wanna get a good party guide? Try to find a place where they hand out those nice pocket-guides called NYflyer (they’re free).TimeOut
  • There’s a magazine with all the party and movie-listings called TimeOut
  • another magazine you shouldn’t miss: The Villagevoice
    They got some pretty good articles and you’ll find all the party- and movie-listings in that free handout (get it on every single corner in one of those paper-boxes! Appearing every Wednesday) The Village Voice
    An article you must read, if you heard about Rudy Giuliani: Rudy’s Milky Way
  • citysearch nightclubs

Remember: some of those nightclubs are pretty expensive. You can pay like 30 bucks for a lousy night. You still need to check out those spots – there are some pretty famous places. Ever heard about LIMELIGHT or Tunnel ?
Try to get on a guest list and you’ll get in for free. That’s how New Yorkers do it. I was lucky when I met famous house-DJ Danny Tenaglia who spins in Tunnel (actually, now he’s in Limelight). He gave me his email-address and I entered through the VIP-entrance all the time. At some places there are even more VIP-people than regulars. Crazy!

  • good club for D’n’B nights: BAKTUN on 14th St. (Greenwich Village) featuring DirectDrive
  • Nice club for all kind of music – Jazz over D’n’B to Trance…:
    IZZY Bar on 1st Ave (East Village)
  • looking for a great D’n’B night in a small club?: Thursdays in VANITY (14th and Madison)- BreakbeatScience
  • Wanna go to a real hip-hop party in the South-Bronx with 100% black people? – check out THE KEY skating center (220 138th St., Bronx)

Actually they’re not as cheap as I thought. I could just afford to go all the time to the one and only $3-movie:
Worldwide Plaza, 50th between 8th and 9th

getting settled …NYC forever!!!

You’re living in NY and need to file your tax forms? Do it, you’ll get a fat refund. During the whole year you paid a whole bunch of taxes and now it’s time to get ‹em back. Actually it’s the hardest thing I ever saw – filing NY-state and federal Taxes (NYstate itself got about 300 different tax-forms!!!). Need some HELP

My tip for surviving in NYC: Get a psycho and you’ll win!!
New Yorkers are crazy people. If you want to live in that city you need to get crazy too – that’s how it goes!!!


Looking for a subwaymap?

Wanna go for a cross-country trip and need to save some money? Choose Greyhound!! Probably one of the worst way of traveling, but it’s fun! You meet all kind of weirdos on those busses and you’ll be the only tourist among all locals! You can travel from NYC to SanFrancisco for just $59 if you pay 2 weeks in advance – Great deal! …unless you’re afraid of sitting 3 days and 3 nights on a bus!


Chinese food is the cheapest thing you can get in NYC. You get a huge meal for like $3.
Otherwise you can get a slice of cheese on every single corner from $1.25-$2
another way to survive: Gray’s Papaya – hotdogs for just 50c (smaller than our European hot-dogs, though). In those take-a-ways you can find all kind of funny homeless and sickos and they’re open 24 hrs like everything else in NYC!


Do your driving licence if you haven’t got one yet! The written test is a big joke – answer 20 silly questions and you got it! One month later you do your road test and you got your license. You can do all this for just $70 ($50 license fee and a 5-hour class for $20, that’s it!).
I was never driving a car before and one week before my road test I went out to Brooklyn with a friend to get some practice. I had just a two-day practice and I managed to pass my road test! That was funny! Now I even got a real Swiss-driving license and I’m even allowed to drive stick-shift, even though I never practiced it. That’s how you do it: Stay 365 days or longer in the States and you’ll be able to write it over to a Swiss-license.


Never go to the main post office (on 34th/8th) by daylight. You shouldn’t even go there before 2AM unless you want to wait in a line. 3 o’clock in the morning is the best time to go to the post office!
Yeah, everything’s open 24 hrs – believe it.
The best thing of NYC is all those Deli’s – tiny convenient stores. Most of ‹em are open 24 hrs and you can get stuff like groceries, alcoholics, cigarettes, bread and stuff…
There are not many supermarkets in Manhattan – around Times Square you can’t even find one! But don’t worry, Deli’s are everywhere! If there is no Deli you can also go to one of those pharmacies like CVS or Duane Reade and you find also all kind of food. again: open 24 hrs!!


…may you survive in NYC!

some more questions? I’m always here to assist you:
(and send me some XXX-pics, please)

God bless you!
May you live in peace and happiness!

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