With high-tourist season about to begin, a New Yorker tells visitors how to navigate New York like a native. Or close enough.
NYC has a love/hate thing with tourists. We need you. You stay in our hotels, you buy stuff, you fill the seats at Broadway Shows starring b-list celebrities. You go to the Olive Garden. Thank you for being a big part of what keeps my city afloat. We love you for it.
But we also hate you.
Why? Because you don’t follow the unspoken, unwritten rules of NYC that we New Yorkers feel in our bones but clearly need to explain to visitors so we don’t
kill get too frustrated with them.
I’m here to help. How do you know I know what I’m talking about? My great grandparents came to Manhattan in 1898. My grandparents were born in Manhattan, my parents, too. My kids. All of my aunts and uncles, all of my cousins, my siblings, my husband, my husband’s parents, his sibling, aunts, uncles and cousins. Me? I had the great misfortune to have been born across the river in my parents’ momentary blip of suburban fantasy play – but I’ve lived in Manhattan for 30+ years. I have ROOTS, baby.
So here are real rules and dictates from a real New Yorker. Heed them. Or else.
- Jaywalking is a way of life. New Yorkers do not wait for the light to change to cross the street. Simple, right? Evidently not: I’ve watched countless tourists watch New Yorkers cross against the light, aghast, then smile, decide they’re going to be just like the natives, and attempt to cross too. Right into on coming traffic.