Lies to tell tourists: Fool visitors with these funny fibs

We don’t hate tourists or anything (really, we don’t), but we couldn’t resist the urge to confuse them with these NYC-centric lies

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We love a good joke over here at Time Out. We’ve already presented our favorite quips about our fair city and each of its boroughs. So as part of our roundup of cool alternatives to tourist traps, we bring you our favorite fabrications to say to sightseers.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    It’s customary to tip a taxi driver $1 each time they run a yellow light.

  • Photograph: Wikimedia Commons user 'Beyond My Ken'

    Houston Street is pronounced just like you think.

  • Photograph: Wikimedia Commons user 'Rob DiCaterino'

    Pro wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage ran for mayor in 1993 with a series of unorthodox “Free Slim Jims!” ads—and lost by a mere 6 percent.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    “Coffee regular” comes with milk and sugar, but at some delis you can get “coffee turbo”: milk, sugar and a little bit of cocaine.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    As a courtesy to blind people, each set of subway steps has an even number of stairs.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    The top of the Chrysler Building is constructed of recalled Ford vehicles.

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Bloomberg was planning to outlaw the cronut after his ban on big sodas, but can’t push legislation through as a lame-duck mayor.

  • Wes Anderson’s original title for The Royal Tenenbaums was My Big, Wacky New York Family.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    Jaywalking anywhere in the city after midnight carries a $25 fine.

  • Photograph: Flickr user 'spencerdallen'

    As a struggling young actor, Dustin Hoffman worked as the freak in Coney Island’s now-defunct Shoot the Freak.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    If cabbies don’t get you home in 20 minutes or less, your fare is free.

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    You can get any deli sandwich for half price if you speak your order in pig latin.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    The spooky scene at the New York Public Library in Ghostbusters is based on a true story.

  • Photograph: Beth Levendis

    The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was erected by the Vikings when they explored North America in the 11th century.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    During the Cold War, Liberty Island was remade into a nuclear-weapon-proof command center for directing American forces in the event of a Soviet attack.

  • Photograph: Jon Klemm

    Once every two months Jay Z can be found in his reserved booth at the Times Square Red Lobster.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    Due to a surveying mistake in Colonial times, the West Village is actually east of the East Village.

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    To signal you’re a local, wear a “Fuhgeddaboudit!” T-shirt.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    You must use both handrails on subway escalators and never walk—lest you incur a fine.

  • Photograph: AJ Guel

    When he’s not playing well, Eli Manning likes to recharge by staying in a hipster squat in Bushwick for a few weeks at a time.

  • Photograph: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

    If you sing the opening horn line from “New York, New York” in public, any native New Yorker within earshot must call back, “Start spreadin’ the news!”

  • Photograph: Wikimedia Commons user 'Beyond My Ken'

    The giant inflatable rat often seen on the streets of Manhattan is placed by a political group that wants to elect a rat to city office by 2015.

  • Photograph: Shutterstock

    The population density of Manhattan is such that on windless days, the air contains 0.02% human skin.

  • Voyeurism is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged; just make sure to wave when anyone sees you looking into their building.

Photograph: Shutterstock

It’s customary to tip a taxi driver $1 each time they run a yellow light.


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1 comments
Kimo B
Kimo B

This is almost as ridiculous as people always saying "People who live in New York City are so rude". That gets me every time. I don't know what makes them say that but every time they tell me that I have to stop them and let them know that I have lived in many major cities and those of us that choose to live in New York City are just simply in a hurry and with a population that we have we just simply have enough time in the day to stop and chat with everyone passing by. Generally the majority of these people don't come out at night when we finally have time to slow down and enjoy life a little more. The fact of the matter is I was raised on the West Coast in LA and I know rude! People who live in New York City are the happiest people on earth! :-)

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