Playing Tourist in New York, Without Looking Like One
By Joetta L. Wagner
New York City is a great place to visit and a great place to live. There’s something that can happen to life or long-term residents, though. We all get focused on the “why” of being in the city, whether it’s for work or education.
When that happens, we can end up bypassing the aspects of the city that draw the tourists in. Whether this’s architecture, events, or finding some beautiful place tucked away in one of the boroughs, NYC is brimming with…stuff. So now and then, turn off work or school, and go exploring. If you’re considering moving to New York, check out this great article. It’s always fun to play tourist in New York
What Not to Do
Some things scream “tourist” to passersby in the city. No matter what city you visit in the United States, specific actions (and possibly wardrobes) identify you as a…non-resident. Entrepreneur Eden Ashley wrote a funny, insightful article about actually being a tourist in NYC. Now the point of this article is to do touristy things but retain the non-touristy attitude. So here are two tips via Ms. Ashley:
NEVER wear this on a shirt. Or keychain. Or bag. Unless you are a rocker, found the shirt in the trash, used safety pins to close up a large tear and have further decorated the fabric by adding cigarette burns and grass stains.
How to Walk Like a New Yorker
If you’re walking, do it with purpose. You do have a purpose, of course. You’re going somewhere to see or hear something that’s a tourist attraction on some level.
When you’re living in New York, there are walking commandments of sorts. They are:
• Thou shalt not look up. That’s for out-of-towners.
• Thou shalt stay on the right when walking down a sidewalk. It’s just like driving.
• Thou shalt walk with confidence.
• Thou shalt see the (sometimes dreaded) outer boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, as they hath cool places and events too. Once upon a time, people who lived in the non-Manhattan boroughs were derisively called the “bridge and tunnel crowd,” which also include New Jersey residents.
Subways & Busses Are Your Friends
Use public transit to get around. It’s come a long way from the graffiti-scarred and felony-heavy decades of the 1970s and 1980s. Although there can still be delays, the trains and buses are pretty good now, both in appearance and scheduling. Of course, the exception is rush hour. No city does rush-hour crowds like New York. The alternative? Drive. Unless you’re touring Manhattan. Seriously. Playing tourist in New York is always fun, but use these tips to look like a local.