by: Stacy Liberatore
It’s okay to look like a tourist at Disneyland, but in Manhattan, your money will go a lot further when look like a local. We hate to say this, but if you look like a tourist, the odds are greater that the hot dog vendor, shoe store or even cab driver will add some extra cost to your ride. Here is a Top-10 List on how to be an undercover tourist and fit in with other New Yorkers.
So a man dressed up as a chicken play a guitar just sat next to you on the subway. You’re thinking “WTF”; everyone else doesn’t even see him. New Yorkers have seen it all, they are immune to anything out of the norm, to them it’s just another day. So don’t stare or point to him.
No Gym Clothes
The only time anyone should be wearing a pair of running shoes is when they are actually running at the gym. New Yorkers typically don’t wear running shoes and it’s one of the easiest ways to spot a tourist. I know you’re going to be walking around from sun up to sun down but there are fashionable ways to be more comfortable.
Don’t look Up
This is the most obvious way to look like a tourist- Looking up! If you want to look like a New Yorker look down, but you’ll be missing everything you came to see- are you willing to make the sacrifice to fit in?
Learn the Subway System
When asking about trains use their numbers or letters – not the colors. If you ask a New Yorker where the blue line is they might think you’re asking about a restaurant. No one will have any clue to what you’re talking about. Stick with the information inside of the colors.
The Sidewalk is like a Street
When traveling on the sidewalks of the city, the same rules apply as those on a six-lane highway.
-Walking at a slow pace- Stick to the right.
-Checking your map, taking a picture, or gawking at a landmark- pull over!
-Making a turn: Make your way over as close to you can before you get to the turn you need to make. Cutting some one off will cause an accident or even a fight.
Be on the safe side, walk with caution.
Of course you LOVE NY so do we
DO NOT wear, carry, or even hold anything with the “I LOVE NY” logo plastered all over it. You might as well wear a neon sign on top of your head that flashes “Tourist”. And it’s okay if you need to look at a map, but instead of unfolding a large paper map, download a map on your cell phone. Even New Yorkers get lost downtown, where numbers lose value, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Learn the pronunciation
Houston Street is pronounced “how – ston”, not like the city in Texas. Yes, it is spelled like the city, but pronounced like the street. If you call it Houston (the city), you will be labeled “tourist”.
Speak “New Yorker”
When taking a cab ride give your destination as cross streets, not the exact address. They driver will know you’re just here visiting, that you have no idea where you are or how to get where you’re going- that 20 minute trip can turn into an hour long ride as you charges you by the minute.
Don’t walk around in circles
If you’re lost, you’re lost. Don’t walk around aimlessly, stressed because you can’t find your way back to your hotel. Stop in a store or restaurant and ask for directions. Remember this when asking, stupid and specific questions are two different things and will be the deciding factor on how fast you get home with their directions.
The only fear you have is fear itself
Don’t act or be afraid when walking around the city. It has become much safer over the years; all you need to do is show consideration for the other people using the streets, sidewalks, and subways with you. Its not just tourists who break these rules, every now and again you’ll see a New Yorker be reminded of their first day in the city and even gaze up at the sky in wonder themselves.
And for those who are more visual, here is a video to learn how to not look like a tourist.