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City Essentials

Personal Space

Living in a big city like New York means living with people. Outside of the home or office, personal space can be a premium. Personal space is more than just the touch perimeter between you and that stranger on the subway. Other senses are also involved.

Hearing
Noise is a big issue in the city and with the popularity of portable devices, it’s easy to have music or mom on call all the time. The neighbor’s yippy Yorkie or the delivery trucks missing a muffler may be out of your control but the ipods and cell phones are not. Limit your range and don’t over share. Not everyone will be a fan of your playlist or your mom’s, sibling’s, BFF’s latest trials and tribulations.

Smell
There is a reason that department stores no longer spritz every time you walk by the fragrance counter. Scent is a personal choice but smell is pervasive and lingers. Less is more and in a crowded subway, fresh and clean is usually the best choice.

Touch
Still the biggest issue when it comes to personal space. Different people will have different tolerances, which needs to be recognized. It’s also situation dependent: a crowded elevator or subway car will test everyone’s tolerances. So make it easier by taking that huge backpack or purse off your shoulder, tuck in and suck in. Though word to the wise, if you see an empty subway car during rush hour on the NYC subway, don’t get on.

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