After spending about three months of life in this unendingly conscious city, I think I’m qualified enough to give some advice on everyday necessities I’ve discovered thus far. Now when I say every day, I don’t mean your life will end without any of these things. Hell, you might live life quite comfortably without ever so much as touching some of them. I promise you, though, when the moment comes that you absolutely need this one tiny thing, you will be grateful you listened to your friend Brogie McDoogerson.
If you carry nothing else with you, this is a must have. Whether you pay per ride or buy one of the unlimited cards, you will need one of these babies to get around the city. Busses and trains provide transportation for thousands of people, residents and tourists alike, every minute of the day. Don’t assume you can get by without this tiny piece of cardboard unless you have loads of cash to shell out for cabs.
You might think that in this day and age, cold hard cash has little place in society. And in such a large city as New York? “Come on, McDoogerson, you’re yankin’ my chain.” Just shut up, and listen to me. Many small shops, especially those in the outer boroughs, don’t accept any form of card. No credit, no debit, nada, zip, zilch, none. Even some of the famous food stops of the city (e.g. Grimaldi’s Under the Bridge in Brooklyn) are cash only establishments. Also consider those hot summer days walking around the city, Central Park, or wherever your heart desires when you are dying of thirst. Visa won’t cut it with a street vendor, but flash some green and you’re saved.
While we’re on the subject of dehydration, I’ll suggest that you just don’t do it. Always carry water on you. I sport a neon green sporty kind of flask because I’m awesome, but you can do your part to take out the environment by carrying a plastic bottle. Whatever you decide, just keep it handy. When thirst hits you, and believe me it will, it hits hard.
“But McDoogerson,” you scream at your computer, “we already covered cash.” Stifle your drivel this very instant. I am aware. Quarters serve a few very specific purposes. The ones that most readily come to mind are: 1) If you get caught with a dead metrocard or without one altogether, you’ll want the change to pay your way onto a bus. The fare is $2.25, and they need it to be exact or no ride for you. 2) Unless you live somewhere swanky, you will likely not have your own laundry set up. Even places with their own communal rooms are uncommon, so you will join the hoards of people who make their weekly treks to the neighborhood Laundromats. And what do you think they accept? Quarters! I always carry a roll on me.
You don’t need anything fancy, and for the love of the universe it doesn’t have to be big, but when the heavens do decide to empty their septic tanks on our heads you’ll be glad to have one on you. These little life savers are sold all over the city for a few dollars and most are small enough to fit inside of a purse. Ladies (and Metro-mens), I know what a hassle it is to work your hair up every morning and how awful it would be to have it ruined by angelic pittle. So do yourself a favor and stick an umbrella in your bag before you head out the door.
This one may only really apply in the summer, but it’s not a bad idea to keep it on hand. There are a lot of people walking around the city every day, and there will be times when you have to get up close and personal with their pits. It’s just how it is. Don’t blame me because you chose to ride the train during rush hour. You are no exception to nature, and your underarms will get just as rank as everyone else’s given all the walking you are bound to do. Make everyone’s day a little bit easier, and slap on some smell-be-gone before you crowd the rest of us.
Whatever it is you like to do in your spare time, bring a portable version of it with you on your day trips. If you’re like the rest of us, you’ll be spending up to several hours of your day riding trains and busses. Time passes much faster (and you notice the creepy man staring at you much less) with a good book, an ipod, a journal, or what have you. Just be respectful of the fact that your allotted personal space on public transport doesn’t extend much past your skin, and keep your entertainment small.
The list could go on for a while, but I think these seven items cover quite a few important points. If you have any suggestions for additions or comments on the list as it stands, fire away. I love to hear from you.
Until next time, dear reader, Happy Monday Fun Day.