...And these words come from a tourist, moi. But when I set foot on Manhattan, I desperately want to blend in. This is a complete contradiction to my personality. For god's sake, I am a blogger and I want to stand out. Let's say that the exception proves the rule. I am always so proud when people ask me directions or tips: I did it, they think I live on the island. Proud as a peacock I start walking with my black liquid gold Starbucks in my hand.
Over the years I became a good observer. I studied the people of Manhattan versus tourists like a true Margaret Mead. Conclusion: their daily habits are completely different. If you want to feel or act a little bit more like a New Yorker? Follow these 10 tips. Please note, they do not apply for any other metropolis.
➀ Don't walk around with a map in your hands. God gave us Iphones, use them.
➁ Don't look up. I get it that you are completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the skyscrapers, but don't make it that obvious.
➂ Walk fast. Period!
➃ Respect the natural food order. Don't drink your coffee at breakfast, instead get your Starbucks when you step outside. Time is money people and New Yorkers simply don't have the time to drink their coffee sitting down. Smart invention to the rescue: portable caffeine.
➄ Don't go bananas when you see a celeb! Like I did the day I saw Marc Jacobs. From the moment I put my eyes on him, I almost started screaming like a wanderlust groupie. I could barely speak but some words came out of my mouth (over and over again): "Everything I am wearing is designed by you"! The expression on his face spoke volumes and he looked at me like I was the most awkward little lady in NYC.
➅ Be fashionably late. Real New Yorkers don't come out before noon. This means no shopping before the clock strikes 12. If you are wandering through the deserted cobbled streets in the morning, don't be surprised that stores are shut. But don't worry, the city has come up with another clever invention: Brunch.
➆ Always make a compliment. And the bigger the better. Those spontaneous reactions when you enter a room are the best and they make you smile. A resident of the Island isn't afraid to tell you how gorgeous your shoes are.
➇ Don't rely on Lonely Planet. Dig deeper and get some inside information. My Louis Vuitton City Guide is my backup.
➈ Dress to impress. You are allowed to wear three kinds of outfits. A track suit for your run in the park. Working gear, don't forget to look both professional and stylish (and take into account that you have to use public transportation). And be yourself, be fashionable and don't restrict yourself in any kind of way. Express yourself, in the city there are no restrictions.
➉ Tips and tricks. Learn the universal language of the city. There are two major important habits you should be aware of: cabs and tips. It is pretty ridiculous if you are hailing a cab when it is off duty. You don't make a fashion statement by doing that. And don't forget to tip properly. Following gratuity rules is an essential part of your trip.