Most New Yorkers would agree that having to move around a tourist taking a leisurely stroll is one of the most annoying things of living in New York, apart from the nose wrinkling smell in the MTA tunnels. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the ways in which you can spot a tourist in the streets of New York.
1. Keeping Up
Be it Grand Central, Times Square, or the subway, the guy whose moseying down like they’re in a park is usually the tourist. And while it’s understandable that a tourist is not qualified to push past the huff of the Big Apple, us New Yorkers will still complain about their languid ways. While the loss of 5 whole seconds won’t seem much to a tourist, it will get the inaudible grumbles from a New Yorker.
2. Stopping and Staring
While it will take something exceptional for a New Yorker to stare at something or someone, the same does not hold true for the tourist, who will probably stare at everything, from the cloud piercing skyscrapers to the guy in a tiger costume, while the more seasoned New Yorkers go about their business unfazed.
credit: Geoff Stearns
3. Rules of the Subway
The MTA subway system can get a bit overwhelming at times, even with the automated voice telling everybody what to do, and the police officers watching each and every person like a hawk. But, when it comes to New York City’s subways, only natives know the unsaid rules. For instance, if all the cars of the incoming train are packed except for one, the tourist is always the guy who rushes to fill one of those empty seats. A native New Yorker would never do that because we know that car is empty for a reason!
4. Street Rules
New York is the one place people go to when they want to make their dreams come true, and why not? Wall Street is, after all, the financial capital of the world. But, apart from the suited up businessmen, the city is also home to the homeless, the downtrodden and the mentally unstable. So, while the native New Yorker knows not to make eye contact when fate brings you face to face with someone who is clearly a few clowns short of a circus, the tourist, on the other hand, is easily amused and open to their sermons or monologues.
5. Metro Rules
We talked about keeping pace with the native New Yorker earlier, but that rules doesn’t only apply to the sidewalk. Moving fast in the subway is equally important. While a New Yorker will swipe their Metro card without effort and move through the turnstiles, the tourist is the one who needs to swipe their card three to four times before getting it right.
6. Celebrity Spotting (Oh My God, is that Sting?)
New Yorkers have their fair share of celebrity sightings, with many well known names being New York natives. This also means that a New Yorker knows how to handle the situation without having a panic attack. A tourist on the other hand isn’t that good with handling the pressure of spotting a celebrity.