It is a day-to-day city with streets and buildings much like any other city. But to involve yourself in your neighborhood is the trick. One thing to do is get to know the local shop and restaurant owners and employees. You can always be polite to the cashiers and food servers even at the coffee franchise. A good thing to establish relationships is to ask questions. I like to ask small business owners questions about operating a small business in such a large city, things like questions about building rent, is this location a good location for sales, what is their best-selling item, etc. Then when I frequent the local shops, I can offer a friendly hello to the cashiers, food servers and shop owners in the neighborhood, and when I recognize them again and again, they recognize me in return. I can then feel more relaxed to make a funny comment or politely ask them how their business is going based on the daily news of bad or good. Over time I have made friendly acquaintances with shop owners, so when I visit their store, I have something to say. Sometimes I find out interesting things about them. A lot of movies about finding depth in a relationship with another person start by one character being willing to be friendly and interested in another person. You don't have to be a hateful New Yorker like everyone else, you could be the one friendly person who does remember their manners and says "please" and "thank you" to the people behind the cash register or preparing your food. When I am the one person who treats the employees kindly, they remember me better and more often, and the neighborhood becomes a little more familiar. Still, good luck wherever you go!