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13 NYC pet peeves that drive New Yorkers crazy

#4. When someone gets too close to us.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Even though New York City is the best city in the world, there are still things about it that drive us absolutely batty. Ask anyone who lives here for their pet peeves, and they'll rattle off a list as long as a CVS receipt. 

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That's what one New Yorker did on r/nyc on Reddit and there were over 500 responses in just two days! Here are the most common NYC pet peeves: 

1. When the train is 15 minutes away and the next one is 16 minutes away

It's bad enough when the train is ages away from arriving, but what's more infuriating is when the trains are so bunched up that there's essentially no wait after your train comes. Of course!

2. Shitty subway behavior

It's every man for himself in the subway, but that doesn't mean common courtesy isn't applicable down there. It's unimaginable when someone lights up a cigarette on board, refuses to wear a mask during the pandemic, forces their way onto the train before people disembark or shoves a stroller onto a crowded train. We also hate when people listen to their music without headphones on as if they're doing us a favor by DJing our rides home. Sometimes it feels like the subway is the wild west.

Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Dog poop on the sidewalk

New Yorkers love our dogs, but their poop is a different story. There's nothing as gross as stepping in a pile of it and nothing as maddening when someone went to the trouble to put it in a bag only to leave it right there on the ground.

4. When someone gets too close to us

It's likely this pet peeve has become more common after the past two years, but we hate it when someone is right behind us as we're walking. If we have to turn, we shouldn't be walked into, ya know? Likewise, we like our space when we're waiting on line. We live in a dense city, sure, but it's like social distancing was never a thing to some people.

6. When people walk side by side on the sidewalk and stand on the left side of escalators

New Yorkers walk single file when sharing the sidewalk with strangers so that the flow of traffic isn't impeded. It's just what we do and those who don't are considered oblivious, rude and probably tourists. Likewise, escalators have their own etiquette. The left side is for climbing or descending the escalator while the right side is for those who want to stand still and ride the escalator. Standing still on the left will almost always cause a backup.

7. Bikes and scooters on the sidewalks

There's already not enough space for pedestrians to walk (we're already battling it out with slow, side-by-side walkers) so when a bike or scooter leaves the bike lane or street for the sidewalk, it feels like an invasion of our safety. It's illegal for a reason! 

citi bike, bike share, new york city, citibike
Photograph: Lauren Reddy

8. Alternate Side Parking

One of our biggest pet peeves is having to move our cars every other day so that the city can sweep and blow around debris. Do they know how hard it is to find parking in the first place? Do they know how many hours we've circled our neighborhoods just to abide by Alternate Side Parking? The actual alternative is a ticket.

9. Annoying city noises—dirt bikes, boom boxes, shouting, mufflers, subway trains, honking

Look, we know part of being a card-carrying New Yorker means we must put up with noise, but some noises are just worse than others. New Yorkers especially hate dirt bikes revving up on their streets, the mufflers of "fart cars" that have been altered to sound like gunshots or like they're trying to break the sound barrier, yelling matches out on the street, people who serenade apartment dwellers with their loud boom boxes, the screeching of subway trains and the honking of cars (especially when the driver lays on the horn for more than a second). It's a cacophony we just can't stand!

10. Oblivious umbrella users

Somehow, a lot of New Yorkers don't know how to properly use umbrellas. We've all been nearly poked in the eye by the tip of an umbrella so many times going into the subway or whacked in the face as someone opens their umbrella on the sidewalk. When it starts to rain, we know it's going to be a shit show out there. User Lost_sidhe recommends the following: "If you're tall, RAISE your umbrella when you walk past people. Also, if you're short, how about getting those umbrellas where the points curve DOWN."

11. FaceTiming in public

FaceTime has been great by connecting so many people face-to-face but we hate when people subject us to their private FaceTime calls whether on the street or on the subway. We've all had the weird experience of seeing someone talk to someone who is laying in bed or sitting in the too many times. What's weirder is when you're at a performance and someone is FaceTiming someone in to watch it with them.

12. Littering

There are trash cans all over the place, and yet, our streets are full of wrappers, empty soda bottles, disgusting food packages and undeterminable refuse. What's even crazier is watching someone litter in front of you like it's their god-given right. It's already enough seeing and smelling all the trash on garbage day.

13. Radiator heat

We're #blessed to have heat in the first place, but damn these radiators make our apartments feel like the fifth circle of hell. And there's nothing we can do about it except open our windows and blast the AC in the dead of winter.

What are your biggest NYC pet peeves?

Photograph: Shutterstock

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