tips for succeeding in new york as a holiday tourist

theromanticFriday, Friday, Friday! Ahhh this week has been a long one, and I’m excited for a seriously Christmasy weekend ahead. We have wine & cheese parties to attend and presents to open and cookies to bake. It’s going to get real festive up in here. One thing not on the list? Anything remotely close to midtown. Though we had a lot of fun, hubs and I checked the obligatory Rock Center tree visit off a few weekends ago while hosting family, and I’ve had my fill of the craziness that is midtown during the holidays. However, for those of you who will be headed here this holiday season, a few words of wisdom:

1. Be prepared to walk. I overheard a very sweet couple on the subway exclaiming their surprise over how cheap the cabs are here. At first I wasn’t paying much attention, but then he said “Only $5.50 to get from Times Square to the tree!” …? Hate to break it to you kind sir, but you just paid someone $5.50 to drive you somewhere you could have walked in under ten minutes.

2. When you are walking, walk like a normal human being. As one friend declared after hosting family last weekend, moving a large group of people through Rockefeller Center is akin to herding cats. You know how we can all help fix that? Stay within your personal space and keep moving. Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take photos. Don’t stop to look up at all the tall buildings, don’t stop to turn to your friend and scream “OH MY GOD! A STARBUCKS!” For the love of all things holy and bright, Just KEEP MOVING.

3. Take the subway. But do it right. If you aren’t going somewhere within walking distance, skip the traffic and take the subway. (Though chances are, if you’re here to do all the typically Christmas-y things… you probably can walk everywhere). HOWEVER, just because you’ve never been on the subway before, don’t be an idiot. Don’t yell loudly to your group from across the train car, don’t hug the pole with your entire body so no one else can hold onto it, and don’t put your bags on the seat next to you–keep them on the floor. I’m aware this all seems like common sense, but apparently it’s not and I’m here to stop the madness.

4. Stay to the right. If you’re walking, running, subwaying, dancing, prancing, going up the stairs, I don’t care: please, just stay to the right.

5. Don’t walk more than two people wide on the sidewalk or subway stairs. There is nothing worse than getting stuck behind a group of slow-moving tourists walking five-wide and having no feasible way of passing them. Can’t go over you, can’t go under you, so I will break up your little herd and go right on through you. (No I won’t. I’ll huff and puff and the second I’m able to shoot past you, I’ll passively give you the evil eye). But just know: if looks could kill, my friends.

Take note: these tips apply to New York all year round, and really… when visiting most cities, I think. But as long as you stick to them all and do it with a smile on your face: welcome to New York, my friends!


the romantic


1 Comment

  1. guest
    December 16, 2011 / 13:28

    Two wide! Never more! Love this tip – it should be a pedestrian traffic law on the street, in malls, at sporting events, etc…

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