NEW YORK -- Six years after moving to Manhattan from Ohio, Nathan Pyle has come up with some useful observations about life in New York City, and the tips work as well for tourists as they do for transplants.
For example, beware the empty subway car on a train -- you don't want to know why nobody's in there. And here's how to ask for directions without annoying the natives: Be succinct.
In his cartoon book, "NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette," Pyle has compiled dozens of humorous do's and don'ts -- including how to tell the difference between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. (It's not that hard, people -- metal vs. blocks!)
"The ideal reader is anyone who wants to stay sane in New York City," says Pyle, adding that he quickly realized that New Yorkers talked fast, walked fast and didn't have a lot of patience for those who didn't do the same.
Among his other tips: Adhere to the "ideal walking formation" for a pedestrian quartet (not four abreast, but two by two). One $20 umbrella will outlast four $5 umbrellas. Close restaurant doors quickly on a cold day or everyone inside will hate you, and don't expect to be served if you are also talking on your cellphone.
Also: Don't be THAT person -- who sits on the subway with your stuff taking up the next seat; who walks side by side with friends, blocking the sidewalk, or who gets to the front of the deli line without knowing what to order.
"There are things we can all agree on," he says. "I'm talking about the beauty of conformity. This is what we do to make this city work."