There’s nothing better than getting around New York City like a local when in reality you’re only a tourist. I remember getting asked directions when I was just visiting NYC, and I had this moment of pride that I looked like I belonged. Now after living here for 4 years I’ve seen the NYC locals perspective on tourist traffic. It’s the worst when tourists aren’t considerate of the fact that over 8 million people live here. We have to get to work, meetings, dates and our commutes often involve at least one subway ride and a 10-minute walk. There’s a certain level of respect that has to happen on both sides in order for everyone to live harmoniously. Master some of these simple tips to avoid the trauma of an NYC shoulder check!
Don’t lean on hand-rails and poles on the subway in a crowded cart, this is incredibly rude and leaves other people without anything to hang on to.
Take off your backpacks when heading onto the train and stow them between your legs during travel.
Let people off the subway before getting on. This is a big one and will
Give up your seat on the subway to the elderly, disabled, pregnant and small children.
Don’t take up the whole escalator, stand to the right so people can pass on the left.
If you don’t know the lay of the land, don’t stand right in front of the light to cross, locals will shove past you to cross the street when it says not to walk.
Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk or worse right in front of the crosswalk to take a photo or check directions, please pull over and be considerate.
Sidewalks must be treated like roads; stay to the right, don’t stop in the middle of traffic, pull over to text, take photos, or look at a map.
A lot of people are ready to lend a helping hand if you ask for directions. Don’t be afraid to ask from someone who looks like they know NYC but isn’t in a rush. New Yorkers really aren’t that cold, I usually feel like we’re all looking out for each other. Getting around New York City can be as easy as asking for help.
New York is sprawling with celebrities. Yes, it’s very exciting to see Danny Devito chilling in the movie theater or Demi Lovato running in the park but be nice, don’t ask for a photo, video or autograph. They’re not at a press release, they’re just hanging out in Soho or grabbing a bite, don’t be that person.
Don’t rent a bike and ride on the city streets! It’s incredibly dangerous for everyone, especially if you don’t know New York’s laws. It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalks or against traffic. Bikes are held to the same standards as cars in NYC. The only safe place to ride is in Central Park and even then pay attention to the flow of traffic and signs. Central Park is a one way throughout the entire park. Leave the bike riding to the professionals!
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