New York City is a city of immigrants, a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities so it doesn’t really have any indigenous customs and traditions. However the city does have an unspoken code of conduct that cuts across all boundaries of race, religion and color.
New Yorkers do have a reputation for being rude and brusque when, in fact, the opposite is true. They are usually helpful and friendly and quite easy to talk to. In fact it is customary to greet people while riding the elevator in an apartment building or even to discuss the weather or transport woes with strangers who stand alongside you at a bus stop or at a subway station.
While walking on the street if you happen to bang into someone or need to pass ahead of someone then a polite ‘excuse me’ is the accepted norm.
Similarly while riding on the city’s extensive public transport network you are expected to give up your seat if an elderly or disabled person gets in after you. This same courtesy should also be shown to pregnant women or to a woman who is accompanied by young children.
New Yorkers greatly value their privacy and if you want to visit someone at their home you have to call ahead to arrange a meeting rather than just drop in unannounced.
The city is quite accepting of everyone and generally New Yorkers are quite non-intrusive as they seem to be perennially busy with work, school and other personal commitments