10 Questions That All New New Yorkers Have But Are Too Embarrassed To Ask

Katherine Ripley Katherine Ripley

10 Questions That All New New Yorkers Have But Are Too Embarrassed To Ask

Even if you’ve been here for several months, you still might not quite understand some things about the city. Here are the answers to all the questions you’re probably too embarrassed to ask:


1. Is it or is it not socially acceptable to eat on the subway?

[Richard Yeh / WNYC]
[Richard Yeh/WNYC]
It depends. Food that’s very smelly is generally always an affront to your fellow travelers. If it’s a relatively empty car, no one will mind if you eat non-smelly food. But if you’re sitting squished in between two people, it’s best to save it for later so you don’t get crumbs on them.


2. What’s the best way to handle getting on the wrong subway while keeping your dignity in tact?

too long cover
[Jens Schott Knudsen/Flickr]
If you’re prioritizing your dignity, just don’t react and get off at the next stop. If you’re prioritizing getting to wherever you’re going on time, try to get back onto the platform before the doors close.


3. Do I need to tip a taxi driver?

[Felix Morgner]
[Felix Morgner]
According to Bloomberg, most people tip about 20 percent, the same as you would tip a restaurant server.


4. Why is my heater so loud?

See this article for the answer.


5. What’s up with those energy providers knocking on my door?

Mark Nockleby/Flickr
[Mark Nockleby/Flickr]
There are a lot of energy companies who do door-to-door marketing in the city to try to convince you to get your electricity or gas from them rather than Con Edison or National Grid. They promise savings on your energy bill, but most of their customer reviews indicate that your bill will actually go up because of all the fees they charge, so you’re probably best off turning them away.


6. Is it actually safe to go to the Bronx Zoo?

Yes, as long as you don’t get lost in the neighborhoods you have nothing to worry about.


7. What sports teams should I root for?

[Tony Fischer/Flickr]
[Tony Fischer/Flickr]
Giants and Rangers definitely. You can choose the Mets or the Yankees and still be respected either way.


8. Why are dog owners required to pick up their dog poop but horse owners aren’t required to pick up their horse poop?

[Mike Dickey/Flickr]
Probably because there are far more dogs in New York City than there are horses, so no one has ever felt the need to pass a law about it. The two main groups who have horses in the city are the NYPD, which has the sanitation department clean up for them, and horse-drawn carriage owners, who have hired workers to do their cleaning up.


9. Are there any Republicans in New York City?

[A. Golden/Flickr]
[A. Golden/Flickr]
Probably. Somewhere…


10. How exactly do you pronounce Hoyt-Schermerhorn?

[Alex Headrick/Flickr]
[Alex Headrick/Flickr]
It’s how you think it would be pronounced. But you probably won’t be going there very often so it doesn’t really matter.


Cover photo credit: Alba García Aguado/Flickr

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