Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Real Don'ts for NYC Frosh

Welcome, Students. Now Watch It - This NY Times feature lists things college students newly arrived in NY should not do, supplemented below courtesy of As Good As News.

- Don't sleep in the Subway - always nice to start with a song lyric - Petula Clark also warned about the pouring rain - however, if you are lucky enough to pull an assignment to one of NYC's historic dorms (roach infested and 200 years old) you might actually prefer the subway. Make sure your valuables are very secure before nodding off. The Time's warning here misses the real problem - never wear an outfit like the one pictured above in a public space in NYC - you invite mugging and molestation and if you can't produce a student ID on short notice you might find yourself in the middle of a psychiatric consult at Bellevue before you can say you're from Kansas.

The real scoop here is that you will not use the subway as much as you expect. No - you will not be driving in Manhattan, silly - you will be walking. By late September you will have your CitiLegs and a brisk jaunt of two or three miles, complete with strategic jaywalking, will seem like nothing.

-Don't Drink Too Much and [Don't] Use The Street as a Toilet - You probably will drink too much at some point and the NY Times is unlikely to stop you, but if you are accustomed to using the street as a toilet then just stay at home. The $250 and ten days in jail for public urination is the tip of the iceberg. Look at what is happening to Sen. Larry Craig.

-Don't mispronounce Houston Street - As a college freshman you will make many mistakes, this one is hardly worth agonizing over. If you mispronounce Houston and someone notices then quickly add a comment about HoSo or Big Italy so you can pass the entire conversation off as irony.

-Don't Play Chess for Money with the Hustlers in Washington Square Park - sage, if somewhat obvious advice. Presumably 3 card monte, available at select locations throughout the city, is acceptable?

-Don't Count on Following the Highway Signs to Yankee Stadium - And where exactly would a college freshman arriving in NY after Labor Day be getting Yankee tickets and a car in which to lose his way while attempting to follow this whimsical signage? Save this one for the tourists.

-Don't Spend Money on Condoms - OK, but please read past the headline on this one.

-Don't Order Bottled Water - The notion that a student would drink bottled water because he or she does not realize the high quality of the NYC tap water is fundamentally absurd. Students drink bottled water so they can look cool, waste their parent's money and avoid the hard labor associated with refilling a squeeze bottle. The fact that NYC has drinkable water is beyond irrelevant.

-Don't Light Up in a Bar - I'm sure things were different in the bars you went to at home while you were still in high school, college frosh, but here in NY we frown on smoking in bars. Why not skip the bar and the smokes, isn't drinking bottled water enough cool?

Welcome class of 2011.

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