New York, a global destination where over 50 million tourists flock annually to feel the hustle and bustle of it all. The game, the competition and the overall atmosphere of the city is what drove me here, and is a large part of why I continue to stay. There are a few surprises that I find utterly terrifying, surprises that will ruin anyone's day. While some are more realistic than others, here are nine New York surprises.
1. Aimlessly walking through the streets only to have your life be cut short by a variety of falling objects. Recently, potential fatal softball-sized ice caused havoc outside the World Trade Center PATH. As if ice weren't enough, there is also the possibility really anything falling from the sky. Air conditioners, storefronts and empty beer bottles are just a few objects that can more than ruin your day.
2. Forced communication with sidewalk salespeople, picture taking with the costumed characters in Times Square, or being stuck behind a set of slow-walkers that take up the entire sidewalk are three of my biggest fears.
3. Uber has recently exploded across many large urban areas. I love it, however, taking an Uber during surge pricing will put a serious dent in your wallet. Countless New Yorkers have taken an Uber rather than waiting for a cab in the snow/rain. Those hefty price increases will transform a reasonable cab ride into a limousine service for the one percent. Be careful out there, especially when intoxicated.
4. Reenacting a scene from Titanic, one of the greatest movies of all time, only to hit choppy water and fall overboard. Not only are you at a low point of going to IKEA and riding the ferry back, but now you are caught in the industrial shipping lanes of the East River. While the chances of falling into the water may not be likely, being stuck in IKEA on a beautiful Sunday is bad enough.
5. Walking on or over subway grates, especially during the rain or snow, is something no one should really ever do. As documented in Along Came Polly, there is a 1/25,000 chance that you will fall through the grates. While falling through the grates to a dank, dirty and dismal death may not be very likely, slipping on the wet metal grates (or having your dress fly up out of nowhere) is a bigger concern. Ask or watch any New Yorker, they just don't walk on the grates when it isn't absolutely necessary.
6. Another unexpected joy is when your iPhone dies right as your board the subway. Rather than zoning out in your own musical universe, you are now forced to listen to the sounds of New York. My personal favorites include the noises people chewing their food, tourists gaggling about how they hate Times Square (but are really just trying to sound cool), and ample B&T (bridge and tunnel) crowd talking about how bombed they will be getting at the trendy and unlimited sushi happy-hour.
7. Penn Station used to be a beautiful train station that rivaled the most beautiful train stations in the world. Specifically between the hours of 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Penn Station is nothing short of a living hell. The overused station was designed to handle no more than 200,000 passengers a day, while over 600,000 currently commute to and from daily. The station is a great place to people watch, however. The only Krispy Kreme in Manhattan is also located inside the gut of Penn Station too.
8. Being outside on St. Patrick's Day, Santacon and previously Fashion's Night Out.
9. You made it through the terrible journey of apartment hunting and finally found a steal of a deal. You proudly rep the "up-and-coming" neighborhood you now call home, only to later discover your landlord plans to jack up your rent when it comes time to renew. Crazy rental increases are just a few of the joys New York City renters get to experience. On the whole, New York City real estate is always adding new and terrifying surprises for its renters.