Whether you’re moving to a new country, a new city or just a new neighborhood, it can be pretty intimidating to find your way around. There are more map applications and websites to count: MapQuest, City-Go-Round, Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps, etc. Modern technology has made finding places pretty easy. But knowing where to go to get what you really need? That’s more of a challenge.
Though the best way to familiarize yourself with a new place is to just walk around, you probably need more insight that just where things are. Looking up “Mexican restaurant” in the phone book won’t tell you if it’s good or not. An address and phone number isn’t a great way to figure out if there’s good service. So here are a few things you can do to find places, products and services that fit your needs in your new city.
Every city has a local newspaper. Scouring the business and features sections are good places to get some idea of what’s in the area. Also, check out local magazines, both the glossies and the alternatives. Those are great for long-form features on local restaurants, boutiques, salons and nightlife. And the smaller alternatives aren’t as advertising-dependent as larger publications; that means you’ll get a more honest review of what’s in town.
Google Maps is great for giving you an address as well as reviews of a lot of places. But sites like Yelp are much more thorough when looking for something in particular in a new city. Let’s say you need a haircut. Head over to Yelp, type in “haircut” and the site will list local businesses that list “haircuts” as a service. To further narrow down your search, you can click on certain price points as well as areas and features. Once you’ve found a few you like, you can read the reviews of others who’ve been there.
Social networking sites
Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare are excellent tools for getting good information straight from actual consumers like you. A simple tweet or status update – “Does anyone know where I can find a fun cooking class?” – can net responses from people familiar with your new city. And sites like MeetUp.com can not only introduce you to new places, it also connects you with current residents of similar interests.
Here at Golan’s, we’ve got getting to your new residence covered. But we want to make sure that everything after the move goes smoothly as well. Trying a few of these tips will familiarize you with your new city and help you meet a few new people along the way.