Handy Hacks for Savvy New Yorkers

April 12th, 2018

Ever wonder why some of your NYC friends always have the edge? Why is their Uber rating higher than yours? How do they always manage to nab cheap tickets to great theatrical performances? Chances are that they’re gaming the system! We really can’t blame them; life in this city is surprisingly complex, confusing and occasionally annoying, so finding secret shortcuts is always worth your time. We’re here to hook you up with some of the most popular ‘life-hacks’ that every savvy New Yorker should know. Here’s how to...

Skip the Line at Starbucks

We challenge you to find a New Yorker who doesn’t start the day without a giant cup of caffeinated bliss. Starbucks is the most ubiquitous and popular spot to grab a decent cup of joe. The only problem is the insanely long line that forms at every single Starbucks on every single morning. If you’re ordering something more complex than black coffee, chances are you’re going to be waiting around in a packed Starbucks for at least a few minutes. Savvy New Yorkers have already figured out a work around. The Starbucks app allows you to order your coffee in advance via your phone and pick it up without the hassle of standing in line. You can even pay for it through the app. Obviously, you’ll need to time your order so it’s fresh and hot when you get there. Just skip the line and ask the barista for your mobile order. Try to avoid eye contact with everyone who wasn’t as savvy as you as you sweep in and pick up your coffee like a legit VIP. shutterstock_695489623

Never Waste a Swipe

In this town it’s the minor annoyances that add up and eventually drive people insane. It’s best to avoid small irritations wherever you can. One particularly dastardly annoyance is the failed MetroCard swipe. The annoyance is only further compounded upon the realization that you’re all out of money on your metrocard! Now you have to line up behind twenty other unfortunate souls as you watch your train arrive, load up, and then pull away without you. There has to be a better way. The MTA, in their infinite wisdom, have released the EasyPay MetroCard. This new MetroCard is linked to your credit or debit account so that it never runs out of rides and automatically refills. Just be sure to keep an eye on your bank account to make sure they’re taking out the correct amount. You can’t get one of these from any old MetroCard dispenser either. You’ll need to apply for one on the MTA website. If you’re getting a 30-Day Unlimited card, you’ll also need to provide an extra payment option. It’s that simple. Your card will be charged every month and you’ll keep swiping like there’s no tomorrow. XPress

Get a High Rating on Uber

Your Uber driver’s rating is a quick way to know if they’re safe, clean and reliable. You probably don’t want to ride with a low-ranked driver. That said, your Uber driver is ranking you too!  Your performance as a passenger can earn you a rating that encourages drivers to pick you up or to steer clear. In the old days, you had to go through a whole process to uncover your ranking, but Uber has recently made it easier. Simply tap on the menu. Your score will be listed right below your name. Hopefully, you’re rocking the highest possible score of 5 stars. If not, you can make a few adjustments to get that average a little higher:
  • First of all, always be sure you’re right there at the pick-up spot when your Uber arrives. Drivers can get frustrated when their riders don’t show up on time, or if they take a long time getting in the car. The main idea here is to avoid wasting their time.
  • Befriending your driver is a sure fire way to get a high rating. Remember that drivers are people too. Ask them how they’re doing; maybe carry on a bit of a conversation with them. At the very least, simply acknowledge them as a fellow human being. Treat the car as if it was your own. Don’t eat messy food, kick the seats, or abuse it in any way. If you don’t like the music or want them to turn on the AC; ask politely. There’s no need to make demands. They’re far happier to help a polite customer and far more likely to give you a high rating.
  • Finally, tip well for great service. Uber has finally added a tipping option for Uber, so it’s incredibly easy to throw a little more cash at your driver. A reasonable tip will brighten their day and earn you that 5-star rating.
Before Get Some Free Shakespeare Tickets: Broadway tickets can be expensive and hard to obtain, even if you’re willing to jam yourself in line outside of an endlessly-swamped TKTS booth. What if we told you that you could get free tickets to plays by the most popular playwright in human history starring A-List actors? The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park program has long been a favorite for theatre fans on a budget. This summer they’re putting up two excellent Shakespearean productions in the heart of Central Park. Settle in for their darkly romantic production of Othello, directed by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson or enjoy a whimsical romp with Twelfth Night. On the day of the show you’ll need to get up before sunrise and head to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. No matter how early you get there, you’ll probably find a long line of theater fans already waiting. It may seem intimidatingly long, but once it starts moving you’ll get your tickets quickly. Best of all they’re totally free. Camping out with your friends on a sleepy morning in Central Park is half the fun!