Top 10 NYC etiquette tips, from our very own Ms. Demeanor

Share this Article

New Yorkers get a bad rap for being rude. We just think they haven't read enough of Ms. Demeanor's Sex, Laundry and Vertical Etiquette column. Below, 10 common etiquette questions, solved by the wise woman.

(Note: If your pressing question isn't answered here, or in the column at all, feel free to leave it in the comments section below and you may just get a response from Jamie Lauren Sutton — a.k.a. Ms. Demeanor — herself.)

1. How to get your new neighbors to like you
Ms. Demeanor suggests you introduce yourself, and reciprocate any and all invitations. And be sure to reach out to building staff, too. Nobody likes a grumpy/aloof neighbor.

2. How to inquire about buying your neighbor's apartment
This will depend on your relationship. If you're close, invite them over for cake and coffee. If you're not, a formal letter might be best.

3. How to thank building staff for watering plants/collecting mail while you're away
Cash is king.

4. How to quiet neighbors who have noisy sex
A politely worded note is best. Here, Ms. Demeanor offers you a form letter.

5. When it's socially acceptable to take the neighbor's paper from their front door
Note: not two minutes after it was placed there. Wait at least five days.

6. Whether it's okay to nanny cam your dog walker
Short answer: Yes.

7. How long you can hold the elevator door
Never more than a minute. Some new elevators will beep when it's time to get moving.

8. How to win the toilet paper wars with your roommate
Take the high road and deal with the problem head-on.

9. How to handle strong cooking smells in the hallway
See if you're the only one with a problem. If not, "confront" in the friendliest way possible. Try to act interested rather than annoyed.

10. Handling in-laws (or any other family and friends) who want to stay at your place for too long
"Guests are like fish and they start to smell after three days," she says.

But remember, as Ms. Demeanor says in her column on asking neighbors how much they pay in rent, when it comes to vertical living, often there are no rules. "This is Manhattan real estate... This is war!"


Ms. Demeanor's Sex, Laundry and Vertical Etiquette column


Also Around the Web