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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Victor Villanueva

13 things New York tour guides are probably saying about you

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

One odd thing about living in New York is that at any moment you could become a minor fixture in someone else’s tour of the city. Whether you’re running late for work or on a first date or even just leaving your apartment to grab a coffee, out of nowhere a giant, double decker bus could careen around the corner packed with photo-hungry tourists observing you in your natural habitat. In a second, you go from anonymous New Yorker to background prairie dog in the mammal enclosure. When that happens, even the most confidant of us can have some dark thoughts about what that guide is pointing out.

1. “New York was actually the first capital of the United States. Coincidentally, this is the first time Steve has been out of his apartment today."

2. “On your left, a chronically late Midtown workaholic once again running late for the office.”

3. “It can sometimes cost as much as $1 million to get a license to operate a cab in New York. And that’s still less than the amount Becky spent on brunch today.”

4. “Quick! Be sure not to miss that guy in all black to your right currently making a real, authentic New York walk of shame.”

5. “Two fun secrets for you: There’s a secret train platform under the Waldorf Astoria and that pizza is Zach’s second dinner.”

6. “Straight ahead, a poor NYU undergraduate whose parents are paying for everything.”

7. “Almost 40% of calls to 911 in New York are butt dials. Almost 40% of calls Jen made last night were to her ex-boyfriend.”

8. “The rumpled-looking man currently crossing the street hasn’t picked up his laundry in four days. It’s just sitting there!”

9. “There’s a whopping 400 billion dollars of gold under the Federal Reserve and two Chinese takeout boxes under Chris’ bed."

10. “Idling to the left here, a girl who still doesn’t have a dentist in New York yet.” 

11. “The island of Manhattan was purchased from Native Americans in 1926 for about $1,000 in modern currency. Unlike Phil, they didn’t make the mistake of paying a broker’s fee.”

12. “We’re currently passing a man who grabbed not one but two of the check-out line chocolate bars at Trader Joe’s.”

13. “On your right, a guy who kind of wants to take one of these tours.”

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