Tomorrow (August’s theme, remember?) is what I like to call “Polyester Day.” Wednesdays are matinee days on Broadway, and that means all the tourists and suburbanites in their polyester pantsuits come in and invade the city every Wednesday. Hey, I’m a suburbanite too- don’t get the wrong idea. I love that tourism in New York is flourishing despite the downturn in the economy. And I’ve been a tourist many times in NY. But I think I can give all the tourists and the”polyesters” a few tips so that they don’t piss off the people that actually have to commute and work alongside them.
Tip#1: Walk like you’re driving. Walk on the right side of the sidewalk. When entering or exiting the subway, keep to the right. Don’t “double park” on the sidewalk- pull it over to the side so that people can pass. Don’t hog the highway. If you’re with a group, don’t walk side-by-side, four abreast and slow so no one can get by. And mostly- don’t talk or text on the cell in the middle of the sidewalk. Pull over!
Tip#2: Be conscious of people around you. If you’re walking down the streets of Manhattan, chances are a thousand other people are walking down the same block as you. If you suddenly stop to look up at the Empire State Building, someone is going to run into your ass. Know this, and do not be pissed off. Again- pull your ass over. And if you stop to take a picture without looking around to see if anyone is going to cross into your picture, do NOT call that person a bitch because she ruined your picture. Take your socks and sandals over to the side of the sidewalk and look around and WAIT if necessary until the coast is clear. We did NOT get the memo to vacate Manhattan so that you can take pictures at your leisure.
Tip#3: Do your research before you come into the city. There are TONS of websites and books devoted to making your stay in Manhattan a memorable experience. Just because the LIRR goes to New York doesn’t mean you should just get on it and figure it out when you get there. Plan your trip. Find out what train goes where you need to go. Standing at the subway map blocking the platform is inconsiderate and pisses me off when I can’t get by. Take a map with you- it’s downloadable from the NYC Transit website.
Tip#4: If you don’t know, ask. Native New Yorkers and New York City commuters are not as scary as people have been lead to believe. If you can’t figure out where you’re going (see Rule #3) ask someone- a security guard, the hot dog vendor, the guy holding the Wall Street Journal, the woman smoking on the sidewalk in front of her building (thanks lady!) I can’t vouch for everyone, but I know when I’m asked a question like which way is Madison Avenue, I’m happy to help out.
Tip#5: Orient yourself. In midtown, if you’re facing uptown (street numbers going up) then the East side is on your right and the West side is on your left. Reverse facing downtown.
Tip#6: Don’t wear matching outfits. This only works if you’re in a large group and need to keep track of everyone. Mom, Dad and the kids? You look like morons.
Tip#7: Speaking of groups- If you’re all together and waiting to get into the matinee of Mamma Mia, don’t all stand around blabbing and blocking the sidewalk. Stand next to the building. You had time enough to blab on the bus.
Those are my tips for a happy healthy symbiotic relationship with New Yorkers. Now if we can get the inconsiderate New Yorkers to work on the SAME TIPS it’ll be a happy place for everyone. Especially me. Cuz you know how cranky I get…