USA in a Motorhome – How to Act Like a Local in New York

Even if it seems logical that it would be easy to find your niche in a city that welcomes foreigners on a daily basis, New York can be a merciless place for the uninitiated. Here are some tips on how to blend in as one of the natives in case you come here at the end or start of your USA trip in your RV.

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–        Flag down a taxi but only if the central light on the roof is on. If only lateral lights are on, that means the vehicle is not in service

–        The most audacious won’t blindly obey the “walk” signs at crossroads and will cross on a “Don’t walk” when there aren’t any cars in sight

–        On the pavement, act as a car does in traffic – don’t stop suddenly, do follow the crowd  pace and do go to one side to look for your map or umbrella. Even though most New Yorkers respect others’ personal space, they’ll still bump into you if you’re in the way

–        In the underground, let people get out of the carriage first, then move out quickly and don’t let yourself be pushed around.

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Tipping for service

In New York,  like in most American cities, tipping isn’t simply a polite reflex: it’s an obligation. In restaurants it’s appropriate to tip between 15 to 20% of the bill (most customers tip 20%). It’s the same for the taxi driver. In hotels a tip of $1 to 5 per day for the cleaner and $1 for the porter is very welcome.

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In New-York like in most cities around the world, the online world is part of life. New Yorkers always want the latest great deals,  and they like sharing the last information on Facebook, Twitter or blogs. Here our selection of members of the NYC Twitter community with great tips that are worth checking out:

–        Michael Bloomberg (@mikebloomberg). New-York Mayor

–        Soraya Darabi (@sorayadarabi). Social Media expert and founder of

–        Hyperallergic (@Hyperallergic). The favourite art blog of locals

–        Brian Braiker (@slarkpope). Inhabitant of Brooklyn and journalist for the Guardian

–        Colson Whitehead (@colsonwhitehead). Born in Manhattan, writer, former critic for the Village Voice and laureate of the McArthur

–        Paul Goldberger (@paulgoldberger). Winner of the Pulitzer award, architecture critic for the NewYorker (writer of the Sky Line section)

–        Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio). Charismatic chef and owner of the famous restaurants Craft

–        Sam Sifton (@samsifton). Editor-in-chief at the New York Times

–        Everything NYC (@EverythingNYC). For the latest news, things to see, to do and eat in Big Apple


Going out on the town

New Yorkers love to cultivate the motto of the “city that never sleeps” and contradict the old-fashioned principle that only the weekend is for going out. In New York, most agree that that going out on Fridays and Saturdays is for suburbanites. For a real New Yorker a party can happen any day of the week.

Book a table

A certain flexibility with regard to the hour of meals will increase your chances of getting a table in a top restaurant. Be prepared to have dinner at 8.30 pm.

The charms of lunch

If you’re itching to try a classy restaurant but don’t want any trouble with your banker make do with lunch when prices are lower and tables are available. You favourite chef possibly won’t be there to prepare a foie gras but you’ll have the opportunity soak up the atmosphere and taste 5-star meals.

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Enthusiasm for brunch

A long queue, curt wait staff, a mimosa cocktail, two cups of coffee, an egg dish, brioche bread and friends with a hangover are the ingredients of the favourite culinary hobby of the New Yorkers. Brunch is an integral part of the social structure just as tea time is for the British. Even thought the word “Brunch” stems from the contraction of “breakfast” and “lunch”, this weekend meal (especially Sundays) is neither of them – it’s a unique event that goes from 11 am to 4pm.

What trip to the USA east coast would be complete without a few days in New York? Let us know how you go!

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