There are several simple tips and essential information that make all the difference in planning your trip to New York and also during your stay in the city. After all, knowledge always helps, right? I’ve written a post here on the blog with 10 tips to optimize your trip and you can read it here. Now I’ve added 7 more tips that are also super important – and I see a lot of people do not know about it.
1. Pay attention to the letters A, B or C in restaurants – Health Department Issues Food is the department responsible for inspecting the hygiene conditions of New York restaurants. The requirements specify a series of deficiency points assigned to each violation.So when you see the letter A, it means that that restaurant has 0-13 points, the letter B means that the place has won 14-27 points and the letter C means that it has earned 28 points or more. If the restaurant has more points, it means that it violated more hygiene conditions required by the department. Inspections vary by the restaurant letter – from 90 to 210 days. Obviously, I do not even have to tell you to prefer those with A, right? This information is always visible, usually at the entrance of restaurants.
2. There is no tax back in New York – Anyone who has been in Europe knows that it is possible to get back some taxes paid on purchases there and it is very common to see someone asking if this exists here in New York and the answer is no. Here the total fee is 8.875% (state and city taxes). The good news is that there is tax-free on clothes and shoes that cost up to $110 and on other items as well. I already wrote a post about it and recommend reading here. Now, very important: about the fees in the outlets, destinations of many people who come here and want to shop. At the Woodbury outlet the tax charged is 8.125% for all items – except clothes and shoes under $110, which have a 4% charge. At the Jersey Gardens outlet, rates are 3.5% – and there is no charge for clothing.
3. Drinking age – in USA, you must be 21 years old to drink alcohoolic beverages. This means that if you are not 21 years old, you will not be able to enter bars and nightclubs here, as this kind of place requires an ID that proves your age. So if you are over 21, always remember to carry an ID with you. Still, it is illegal to drink in public here in the city (like parks, for example). In Manhattan, cops are no longer arresting anyone caught with alcohol on the street, but they can issue a criminal summon. Check out more details.
4. Daylight saving time – in USA, we turn clocks forward or back for daylight saving. Usually, on the second Sunday in March, at 2 am, our daylight saving time begins and we forward our clock in one hour. On the first Sunday of November, also at 2 am, we back the clock in an hour. Pay attention to this detail, because it can influence the time zone difference.
5. There is no priority queues – in Brazil, pregnant women, older adults or disabled people have priority queues in places like banks and other public services. New York doesn’t have something like that. In every subway car and bus there are seats designated as “Priority Seating.” The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that these seats be made available to people with disabilities. It’s good to remember to look for the back seats on the buses, because the front ones are for seniors.
6. Tickets for concerts need months in advance – New York is always a stage for the big names from music. Certainly, a trip to NYC is a chance to check one of these concerts – have you ever thought about going to a Beyoncé concert? Or Mariah Carey? Yes, for many people this can be a dream. But this requires planning. There’s always someone asking: I’m coming to New York in three weeks, is there any cool concert going on at the time? Look, it may be, but what happens is that big shows are announced months in advance – as a result, tickets are also sold months in advance. And then, I think everyone knows, buying last minute tickets means: 1. not finding any tickets or 2. only finding tickets for exorbitant prices. And before I forget, a good website to check out the concerts that are going to happen here is the Ticket Master. Also, check the website of your favorite artist and check the agenda.
7. Uber and other apps only accept credit card – this is also a recurring question, since Uber began taking cash in Brazil and other countries – in addition to the credit card registered on the app. But here in the US, Uber does not take cash! The payment is all through the app, with your card. Remember that in addition to Uber, there are other apps here, like Lyft, Gett and Via, and it’s the same thing, just credit cards. There’s a post explaining about each of these apps here on the blog – and it has discount codes for the first rides.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.