10 Hacks That Totally Simplify Living in NYC
January 23, 2017

If you’re living in NYC, well done! You’re living in one of the most diverse, thrilling, and irresistible cities in the world.


Living in NYC doesn’t come without its challenges, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.  

Living in NYC

The city is an absolute haven for eager tourists who flock here in their millions year after year. And, with such a vast array of exciting things to offer, it’s easy to see why.

The tourist attractions are as impressive as they are awe-inspiring, and the nightlife is something else. Yes, New York really is the city that never sleeps.

But, living in NYC is quite a different experience to being a visitor here.

For New York City locals, the city is competitive, demanding and crowded.

Particularly when you first come here, simply navigating your way around the congested streets can be a painstaking and tricky exercise.

And, all of this can be magnified when you look at other NYC locals.

They all seem to be city savvy, don’t they? They have it all going on.

If you’re new to the city, or if you’ve been here five… ten… twenty, years and it still all feels like new, we’re about to make your day-to-day life a whole lot easier.

Living in NYC?

Let’s simplify your life, one great life hack at a time.  

10 Hacks That Totally Simplify Living in NYC

1. Some Oft-ignored Tips on Using the Subway

If you’re working in New York, you will almost inevitably find yourself on the well-worn path to the subway.

And, despite whatever horror stories you may have heard, there’s a simple trick to follow if you don’t want to end up standing for the entire duration of your travel time.

Look for the slightly cleaner areas towards the edge of the subway platform (sometimes those clean areas will be very subtle). That’s the area where the doors of the train will open.

Position yourself there, let the people on the train off. Then, seize your opportunity and pounce for your seat.

If you’re traveling up the west side, you might do well to forget the subway and opt for the Path Train instead. Chances are it’ll be far less crowded than the subway, and your journey will be a more pleasant one as a result.

2. Use the Free Wi-Fi on the Subway

Few things in life are free, and living in NYC you’ll know that almost nothing here is free.

But then, along came free WI-Fi on the subway and our lives are forever changed.

To date, 277 subway stations offer free Wi-Fi and you can find the full list here.

Get your work done. Get that email sent. Get onto your social media pages.

Use it. It’s free!

3. The MetroCard

MetroCard machines present you with a long list of options, but they offer those options in increments of $10.  

This can leave you with a ton of wasted change, and, over time, that wasted change all adds up.  

So, be strategic when purchasing your MetroCard.

If you’re going to use the Subway on a daily or regular basis, go for an unlimited MetroCard and you’ll save money. If you travel less often, load your card up with only what you need when you need it.

To add precisely the amount you want, bypass the “shortcut” payment screen and add exactly the right amount.

4. Taxi!

Did you know that in most taxis, you can pay the fare before you arrive at your destination?

Here’s what to do:

  1. At any point during the journey, tap the fare on the television screen
  2. Swipe your card
  3. Select a tip amount
  4. Decide if you want a receipt or not

Then, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your journey.

Oh, and one more thing!

Traditional shift-change times for taxis occur from 4pm to 5pm each day. This means that there are a lot fewer taxis on the street around those times. This is important to bear in mind when you’re planning on hailing a cab.

5. Never Take a Taxi to the Airport

For convenience, comfort, and even a chat, there’s just no beating a taxi to the airport.

But, that taxi ride will come with a hefty price tag. In some cases, it could almost be as costly as your flight!

Here are some much less expensive options:

  • If going to JFK, take the Long Island Railroad leaving from Penn Station, and then the AirTrain to the airport.
  • To Newark Airport, take the New Jersey Transit and then the AirTrain.
  • Opt to spend a little more and go for a shared shuttle

Whichever option you choose, you are sure to save some much-needed dollars than if you choose to get there by cab.

6. The Arrows on Google Maps

Google Maps have come to the rescue of all of us at one point or another while living in NYC. But there’s a simple hack to use to make your life much easier.

When using Google Maps, instead of trying to figure out which way the blue dot is moving, just look at the gray arrows instead.

They show the flow of traffic.

Now, decide if you are supposed to be heading in line with the cars or not, and, presto, get moving.

7. Central Park

It’s considered perfectly acceptable, and almost mandatory, for a tourist to get lost in Central Park.

But someone living in NYC? Not so much.

In Central Park, consider the lampposts to be your new best friend.

Why? Because they have the ability to turn you into a navigational expert.

It works like this:

  • Each lamppost (new and old) has four numbers on it.
  • The first two digits tell you which block you’re on or closest to. So, when you see a post starting with 65, you’re closest to 65th Street.

You need never get lost in Central Park ever again.

8. Cheap Broadway Tickets

If you’re living in NYC, there’s no way that you should ever pay full price for a ticket on Broadway.

We’re talking never. Not one single time.

So, what’s the deal?

Many people, including tourists, will already know that the TKTS Booth in Times Square is the best place to get cheap tickets for the most popular Broadway shows.

But, what most people don’t know is the precise time that offers the best chance to bag those cheap tickets.

Get yourself down to the TKTS Booth for 5pm on the day of the show. This is when the theater box offices have released most, if not, all of their available tickets for the day.

And, what this means for you is that you’re far more likely to scoop up some great seats for that show you’ve been dying to see.

9. Pigeons, Pigeons, Everywhere!

Living in NYC offers challenges of all sorts of varieties. And for a lot of people, pigeons are one such variety.

Gathering on the sidewalk, outside your apartment, pigeons can become annoying, even to the most animal-friendly people amongst us.

Bird droppings on your freshly ironed shirt, anyone?

Sometimes, there seems to be no escape from pigeons in the big city.

So, what to do?  

Well, pigeons may like sugar and all things nice, but the one thing they cannot handle is spice!

Sprinkle large amounts of spices across the area you want them to disappear from and they’ll lovingly pack up their belongings and be on their way.

10. See the Sights, Without the Hassle

Living in NYC means you’ve been to all the tourist attractions, right? Not necessarily.

And, one of the reasons you probably don’t want to visit some of those tourist areas is because of the long lines, and the countless hecklers trying to peddle tickets.  

One great way to see the sights, without having to endure the trappings of tourist life, is to go to a rooftop lounge.

Our Rooftop and Indoor Lounge is located on the 18th floor penthouse of the Marriott Courtyard Herald Square.

With us, you can enjoy the stunning views of the Empire State Building and Midtown Manhattan, while you enjoy some well-earned drinks, some great music, and some delicious food.

And, you won’t have to work overtime to pay the bill.

Avoiding all those crowds and enjoying a cocktail, as well as the view, on a heated roof-top patio? Sounds like a little slice of heaven to us.

Living in NYC Made Simple

So, there you have it.

10 awesome hacks to not only simplify your life but to put a special kind of zing back into your step.

Now that you know about these hacks, the best thing to do is to put them to good use.

Starting today!

You can enjoy the city more. You can explore it more. You can fall back in love with the city you call home.

And, who could blame you if you did?

It is, after all, one of the most alluring and glamorous cities on earth.

So, now that you have all of these hacks to help you enjoy city life more, what say we allow New York to work its magic on you all over again.

With that, it’s up to you!