Photo by myself, around Second Avenue and 9th Street.
We New Yorkers can be an informal bunch.
Most New Yorkers don't have their own front or back yards, and apartments tend to be small. As a result, you'll find people doing private things in public spaces.
It's not uncommon to see women putting on their makeup outside, for instance. I've seen people brushing their teeth and shaving their beards with battery operated trimmers (!). It's not for the squeamish.
Related posts: Working the Streets, Surprise, Surprise, and Waiting for the Train, at Atlantic-Pacific Streets, Brooklyn.