5 Dead giveaways that you’re not a New Yorker

The Holidays in New York mean one thing: tourists. The week of Christmas through New Years, the city clears out of actual New Yorkers and is filled with tons of well-meaning tourists. They walk the streets with shining eyes attempting to take it all in. However, this is downright annoying to anyone who lives here and is just trying to get to work on time (Or back from lunch. Or anywhere, really). To avoid incurring the wrath of the few New Yorkers left in the city this week, internalize the following 5 dead giveaways that you’re not from here and act accordingly.

Mean Girls has the perfect quote for every situation. #YouDon'tEvenLiveHere

Mean Girls has the perfect quote for every situation. #YouDon’tEvenLiveHere

1. Walking along on the sidewalk and then just stopping in the middle of it…For. No. Reason.
Okay, maybe you stopped for a reason (i.e. to check your phone for directions), but this annoys the bejesus out of me, along with everyone else. There are people behind you rushing to get somewhere and you WILL get run into (or over) by them. No dawdling. Keep up the pace, people!

 2. Ordering a bagel the wrong way at Ess-A-Bagel.
I literally witnessed this happening last week. Tourists didn’t get how the line worked and got hollered at by the EMPLOYEES of the store. Not even the other New Yorkers trying to get their lunch. There is no time for patience when bagels are involved. None. (So read the inside scoop on how to order a bagel like a New Yorker)

 3. Standing on the wrong side of the escalator.
People, it’s not that hard. Left side of the escalator is for walking up the steps if you’re in a hurry. Right side is for standing. End of story. Harumph.

 4. Taking pictures or selfies on the subway.
First of all, we call it the “train” (not to be confused with an actual train, like the Metro-North or Amtrak). Second of all, the subway is absolutely disgusting and grimy, so any reason why you would want to commemorate this moment is beyond me. But bonus points if you get one of the countless rats scurrying along the tracks in your selfie…

5. Attempting to hail a cab that already has passengers.
Granted, this took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out when I move to New York. Every taxi cab in the city has a little box on top of its roof with its numbers that lights up. If the light is on, then you can hail the cab. If the light is off (you’ll still be able to see the numbers, they just won’t be lit up), then it already has passengers.

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Just listen to Tina Fey… #MeanGirls

8 best NYC apartment hunting resources

Searching for an apartment in NYC is likely one of the most stressful things you will ever experience while living in the city.0316APP-tmagSF

You have likely started your search on Craigslist and found seemingly perfect apartments with “no (realtor) fee” …only to find they were either a bold-faced lie posted by sneaky real estate agents with astronomical fees or a money-stealing ploy posted by a scam artist, attempting to steal your security deposit before you even view the apartment. In a nutshell…it’s a headache.

My best advice is to be realistic about your apartment search. You are not going to find a brand-new, beautiful apartment in a great location that is also within your budget easily (if at all). However, there ARE some helpful resources to use to find the best apartment within your means. I found the resources below through word of mouth and countless hours scouring NYC apartment blogs, so I thought it would be helpful to distill it down to a simple post. Happy hunting!

Websites
Streeteasy.com – I have found this site to be the most reliable in terms of general pricing and finding the true location of the apartment. Best of all, they allow you to search by building (and see what other similar units have rented for and when), and also by distance from your job via public transportation. Highly recommend, though know in advance most listings come with a realtor fee. Streeteasy also offers an iPhone app.

Suitey.com (Now relaunched as Triple Mint) – I wrote about the nice extra perks Suitey offers to their clients in a previous post, but their apartment-finding service is also worth noting. I found many apartments listed on here that I could not find elsewhere or on Streeteasy. All of them come with a realtor fee, since Suitey is essentially a realtor service, though it may be worth the extra money to secure an overall lower rent rate than if you were apartment hunting by yourself. The database seems to pull from MLS listings that are usually only available to real estate agents, but Suitey allows individual users to access these. It’s worth it to sign up just for this search feature, even if you don’t use a Suitey realtor. You can simply take the address/location of can apartment that you like from Suitey and look it up on Streeteasy to figure out which realtor the landlord is using directly (which might help cut some fees)…You will quickly realize that you must be shameless and ruthless in the NYC real estate market, so don’t ever feel bad for doing some apartment detective work.

RentHackr.com – This site allows you to “connect with the best apartments before they hit the market and follow buildings to receive instant notifications and insider information.” But most importantly, RentHackr promotes transparency, as real people post their real rents, which allows you to comparison shop true pricing…and know if your real estate agent is ripping you off.

Housing Groups
The Listings Project (f.k.a. Stephanie’s List) – This free weekly email is curated personally by the site’s creator, so the possibility of bogus listings is significantly lowered…especially since you must pay a fee to list your rental listing. The list was originally created to serve the artist/creative community, but anyone is allowed to subscribe. Emails are sent out every Wednesday morning and include listings for:

  • Art studios for rent
  • Art studios for share
  • Art Studios for sublet
  • Office/desk space for rent or sublet
  • Exhibition / Event space for rent or sublet
  • Rooms for rent
  • Rooms for sublet
  • Live/Work space
  • Apartments for rent
  • Apartments for sublet
  • Apartments for sale
  • Houses for rent
  • Houses for sublet
  • Houses for sale
  • Seeking apartments for rent
  • Seeking art studios for rent
  • Housesitting
  • Swap
  • Non-real estate opportunities: exhibition opportunities, open calls, internships, jobs, services, items for sale, rent or barter

Gypsy Housing – Don’t let the weird name or Facebook description scare you. Self-described as: “A group to connect members of the NEW YORK PERFORMING ARTS COMMUNITY who have a need for housing. THIS IS AN EXCLUSIVE GROUP…IF YOU DO NOT FIT THE QUALIFICATIONS, PLEASE DO NOT REQUEST TO JOIN…YOU WILL NOT BE ADDED.  **PLEASE NOTE: IF IT IS NOT READILY APPARENT UPON A QUICK PROFILE VIEW THAT YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE PERFORMING ARTS COMMUNITY, YOU WILL NOT BE ADDED.**” …However, I clearly am not a prima ballerina member of the NY ballet or an artsy gallery owner, and they added me to the group. So give it a shot. People post sublets, rooms for rent, lease-breaks and available apartments multiple times each day. Also, this is a good way to connect with a huge group of people if you are looking for a roommate.


Phone Apps
MoveMent – Known as the app to finally put landlords, brokers and the public on equal ground, MoveMent requires listings to have live geotagged videos/photos of the actual apartment for rent. Photos must be uploaded from within the physical apartment and listers are required to re-post their listings every 5 days, ensuring you are not wasting your time looking at apartments that are no longer available.

Urban Compass– This app also offers search features on their website. It is very similar to MoveMent, though its app interface is easier to use and more user-friendly. The website works similarly to Suitey. Pricing seems realistic, though note that most apartments come with a fee.

RadPad – Like MoveMent, RadPad requires listings to be geo-tagged and verified. And like Urban Compass, they have a website too.