Formulate opinions based on a totality of information rather that snippets of it, and be prepared to back up that opinion should you choose to express it.
Contribute by helping other members. Provide good information when you know what you're talking about, or sit back and read when you don't.
Again... use search. Read. Contribute. Lots of people start out with a negative rep, and quickly earn it back. You gain rep at double the rate that you lose it.
Edit: For all it's flaws, NYC is an incredible place to be... That said the rent is astronomical... to get an ok 1 bedroom (not even decent, or great, just ok) is 2-3k a month. Personally I prefer to save on rent, pay a whole lot less for a bigger place, and drive in when I want to go there.
Also to be clear, NYC is Manhattan. Not Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or especially Staten Island.
What is truly appealing about NYC is there is always something to do, somewhere to go, some party, some event, some parade. There are always people out and about.