Nathan W. Pyle's quest to explain the basics of living in New York City started with a GIF.
After teaching high-school theology classes in Ohio for two years, Pyle decided to move to New York City to pursue creative work. He got here in 2008 for an unpaid TV-production internship and noticed it was a different world than the one he left.
"The most important thing I learned was to stay out of everyone's way," the 31-year-old told Business Insider. "Assume everyone's trying to get somewhere important and have spatial awareness."
Pyle noticed that New Yorkers are constantly thinking about 10,000 things as they navigate their daily lives. He wanted to create a guidebook of easy tips, covering everything from how to tell the difference between the East and West villages to the acceptable food to eat on the subway. And, most important, where to never, ever stop on the sidewalk.
"I knew GIFs would create viral attention," said Pyle, who recently began a job at BuzzFeed. "Viral art doesn't usually sell well, but I knew I had a really deep well of resources that would be useful for people."
He said one of the most under-used tips he offers city dwellers is to always have cash, especially if you want to avoid that awkward moment at a group dinner when you have to split the bill seven ways on credit cards.
His 136-tip book, NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette, came out this week. It's the result of just over a year of work. It's available as a real book, e-book, or animated e-book (with all the fabulous GIFs you see below, and more).
At less than $10, that's some pretty cheap life-saving advice.