In New York, you’re always in somebody’s way and somebody’s always in yours. If you manage to avoid one person, you’ve thereby become, as if by pre-established disharmony, the obstacle for the next. And no matter how flawless your plan of life, you’d do well to act as if each step were improvised, each word that of a travel writer. The social experiment that is New York never fails to elicit a mixture of wonder and horror: imagine scarce resources, an island measuring but 23 square miles, the wealthy bestride the poor, and 8 million Gatsbies and Barnums all out to hustle. The result is war by other means: an agon governed by banal theatricality. In order to improve, if only slightly, your scant chance at making it, I suggest you learn how and when to pardon, excuse, outflank, inveigle, network, apologize, give, inquire, exploit, thank, nudge, ignore. No flourishing, brother, without cunning.