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Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : guests

Brain Links: NYC Hosting 101 Guide In 5 Minutes

I’ve been in my apartment sans roommates since September ’07 and it has been a blast.

2008 was my first year in NYC that I was able to host guests in my real lair. I LOVE living alone. One of the many benefits is that you can have long term guests over. In 2008, several family members came to stay with me, I had a friend stay for 30 days and over the New Year’s holiday I had a small party that ended with everyone sleeping over. Good times.

This week I am hosting someone I met through (something I could not do when I didn’t own a couch). She is surfing my couch until the 9th and today I discovered, while giving her some pointers, that my preparation and advice I give everyone who is visiting the city as a newbie is pretty relevant across the board.

Here is my mini guide I like to call “NYC Hosting 101 In 5 Minutes”


These basics will ensure that your guest doesn’t freeze, starve or die in your house while visiting you.

* set of clean towels

* set of clean bedding

* paper plates

* extra toothbrush

* mini soaps/shampoos (you can get these at most 99 cent stores)

* extra toilet paper

* extra batteries for smoke/carbon monoxide alarm

* lint roller (to remove animal hair if you have a pet)

* tea bags/tea pot/tea cups

* bottled water (sometimes people are anal about water)

* local restaurant menus

Nice to haves:

* Wireless internet access in your apt so you can give them your password and they can use their laptop in private/not hog your computer.

* Extra camera they can borrow

* Extra Subway map they can borrow/keep


If you have to work while people are visiting, don’t be a jerk and not give them tips. They will end up calling you all day with questions – help yourself by helping them.

* Explain and show them how to use it

*  Show them how/where to buy a metrocard

*  Show them

* Show them

* Tell them where they can pick up the latest copy of L Magazine (even better, have one in your house for them)

* Tell them about Time Out New York (if they don’t know)

Nice to have:

* Before they arrive, make a list of places you wish people had told you about before you moved to NYC and then give it to them

* Lady products you can share (new) like razors, tampons, PMS pills, etc. Maybe move this to must-have. Yeah. Do that.

* If (in advance) you know of friends who aren’t working or are on vaca, hook them up with your visiting guests (ONLY if you think they will hit it off). I don’t mean in a sexual way, simply that they can hang out together (without you) sometimes so you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving them alone… when you don’t want to hang out with them.

Ground Rules = Less Drama

I’m not going to hit you with a ruler (unless you want me to) if you don’t set up ground rules with your guests, but know that this tiny step saves a lot of heart ache. Think about the requirements you have for someone staying in your house without you killing them and then share that info with your guest, BEFORE they arrive. This can be as small as saying “I don’t like people smoking in my place” or “remember to bring a towel”. People aren’t mind readers and they will use your butter and shampoo unless you tell them you don’t want them to (weirdo).


This prep and info sharing won’t take up much time at all and will prevent a lot of work and questions later on.