'Real Housewives of New York' star Jill Zarin's 10 rules for NYC living.
Monday, April 27th 2009, 4:00 AMIn the nonstop world of NYC, manners matter. Jill Zarin has spent this season of "Real Housewives of NYC" dodging talons and tennis balls. Here's her 10 top tips for city living. 1 PRACTICE ELEVATOR ETIQUETTE When you see people coming, don't franticallyÂ push the "door close" button just because you want to ride alone. "That happened to me yesterday," says Zarin. "In my own building! [My husband] Bobby and I were walking to the door and it closes three feet in front of us. You know the lady in there was hitting the panic button." 2 DON'T BE STINGY "Tip people," says Zarin. "People work hard; tip them. You won't go broke if you pay the cab an extra dollar, or the doorman, or the waiter. In this economy, people live on it. I can't emphasize this enough." 3 DON'T KILL THE (BIKE) MESSENGER When you're getting out of a cab, look both ways before you throw open the door. "I literally almost killed a guy on a bike working for a Chinese restaurant," says Zarin. "I almost had a heart attack! I will never forget it! Thank God he got up and ran away." 4 DON'T PULL RANK If you want perks, like a better table at a restaurant, make patience and persistence your friends. "Ask nicely if they wouldn't mind putting you at another table, and say you don't mind waiting," says Zarin. "For me, it's about being in the wrong place because I'm always cold. Don't sit me near the air conditioner." 5 SAY 'PLEASE,' 'THANK YOU' AND 'GOODBYE' Don't let a New York minute make you forget your manners. "My mother has this very bad habit of hanging up on me," says Zarin. "She doesn't say goodbye. I've inherited it. When I have a conversation with my husband and I think it's over, I just hang up. It's not polite." 6 SAFETY FIRST "I asked my driver, Juan, for a tip," says Zarin. "He said don't step too close to the subway when you're waiting on the platform. It's dangerous and people are stupid. Also, he's a driver, so he hates jaywalking." 7 BRING YOUR BAGGIES "The most important of all: Scoop your poop," says Zarin, who adores her Chihuahua Ginger. "And if you still smoke, pick up your butts." 8 WATCH THE BARK AND THE BITE Speaking of dogs, don't let kids pet yours, no matter how cute the kid or dog. "It could be dangerous," says Zarin. "I don't let anybody near Ginger because she looks cute, but she's mean. Do you hear her going insane right now? Because my assistant had the nerve to walk into the bedroom." 9 WALK WARILY Keep an eye on the sidewalk. "Or else you'll be wearing heels and step in a grate," says Zarin. "We've all done it." 10 THOU SHALT NOT STEAL A CAB "We've all stolen someone's cab once," says Zarin, "but don't let it happen again. You only get one pass â€” when it's snowing and it's every man for himself." And consider sharing. "Make eye contact. 'Oh, you're going where? I'll drop you off.' If it's a gentleman, he'll sometimes pay for it."