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14 things tourists need to do to pass as New Yorkers

14 things tourists need to do to pass as New Yorkers
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/feeney1982

Whether this if your first time in the Big Apple or you visit here so often you tell your townie friends, "I practically live there" (you don't), it's tempting to want to fit in with New Yorkers. We're the best, obviously, and it's understandable that you want to fit in here in the best city on earth. Here are a few tips to blend in with the crowd. 

1. Bring cash. Yes, NYC is more credit cardfriendly than it used to be, but plenty of bars, cafés, delis and restaurants still only accept paper.

2. Use that cash to tip. No New Yorker would be caught dead not tipping their waiter, barista or cabbie. 

3. Don't wear clothes inappropriate for the weather. In other cities you might be able to get away with bare legs in December or wearing a long-sleeved button down for a casual event in July, but in this city, where everybody walks and air conditioning is far from guaranteed, you've got to pay attention.

4. If you can't keep up with the latest fashion trends, do as we do: wear black.

5. Walk faster. If you're moving at a normal, comfortable pace we can spot you for the slow tortuous-like tourist that you are.

6. Don't look so shocked when someone drops how much money they spend on rent in open conversation with strangers or if somebody starts painting their nails on the subway. Just be cool.

7. Know your landmarks and use them as navigational tools. If you look up in the West Village and see the World Trade Center in the distance, you know you're heading downtown. If you're in Union Square and spot the Empire State Building, that's uptown. 

8. While we're on the subject of skyscrapers, don't ever be caught mixing up the Chrysler Building with the Empire State Building. Ever. 

9. Let passengers off the subway before you push your way onto the train. It's common courtesy and will stop us from yelling at you. And don't block the doors!

10. Before you get out of the cab, check for bikers—again, it's the good thing to do and we won't yell at you.

11. Stop smiling as you walk down the street. You're freaking us out.

12. Don't ask, "Can we walk there?" Our answer will always be yes, because there are walkways everywhere. Also, New Yorkers will walk 20 blocks after work to the bar just because they need the "fresh air." The question you want to ask is: "How far is the walk?"

13. If you want to appreciate the lights of Times Square, have a better excuse than a way-overpriced salty dinner at a multi-story themed chain restaurant.

14. Pick your moments to scream "I love New York" wisely. We all want to do it, but it's really most appropriate from a gorgeous roof with a view or while riding a ferry to Ikea.




Sylvia V

I don't agree with if you can't keep up with the fashion trend, wear black like New Yorkers. I'm a NEW YORKER and the one thing I love, is you can stop at any corner and people watch and you will never see the same outfit twice and if you do (which is rare) it won't be worn the same way. I love that individuality. So that statement has got to go. Its simply not true. Also who shouts out I love NY from anywhere. Riduclous.

Steve B

As an impending tourist this all makes sense, and promise to follow all of these except no 11. As an Aussie I love smiling and I love freaking people out :-)

Ni-Ann J

This article is on point! Who ever created this is a true new yorker...It touches on the principles of how to live in NY ..i like that..😊 4,7, 8 and 12 , especially .

Kevin L

God, how I hate these types of lists! Tip a barista?!? Maybe some spare change, but please spare me. And tourists aren't standing in front of the subway doors and every NYer knows it -- it's almost always a grumpy, entitled NYC brat playing music so loud on his/her earphones s/he might as well be sporting a boombox on their shoulder 80s-style.

Nina A

@Kevin L you are the brat, what do you have against tipping a bartender