11 Things Tourists Do That Drive New Yorkers Crazy

Rob Grams Rob Grams

11 Things Tourists Do That Drive New Yorkers Crazy

Happy world tourist day!!! Now that’s out of the way, here’s a healthy dose of reality. We get our fair share of tourists all year round …and it’s no secret that they aren’t our favorite people. Fall is our favorite time of year, and tourists clogging up our favorite parts of the city makes us a little salty, so while they’re swarming the city like locusts, here’s a little reminder of all the reasons tourists are the worst:

1. They will just stop apropos of nothing


I imagine their internal dialogue going something like this, “wow, look at that stop sign. I must stop immediately and gaze at it.” That sudden halt in foot traffic leading to everyone bumping into each other making the whole world salty. Of course, if you say anything you are perpetuating the stereotype of the rude NYer, so you keep shtum while you rage on the inside. KEEP IT MOVING TOURISTS!

2. …to take selfies… with a damned selfie stick

If you could just reign in your rabid vanity for just one-second tourist …or curb that unshakeable desire to get in on a picture with a yellow cab or monument in the background …maybe the 8.5 million people that live here can get past you without being clotheslined by your dumb selfie stick. thanks.

3. They walk without purpose


We have places to go, people to see. If you want to generally meander moronically you shouldn’t have left the Shire, Frodo! With your eyes fixed permanently on the top of the buildings like they are going to fall on you at any moment, no wonder you can’t walk in a straight line. Walk fast and walk straight. It’s not rocket science… oh yeah, and while we’re on the subject of sidewalk etiquette:

4. They walk 4 across

Walk in single file whenever possible, ok! We get it, you dragged the whole brood to the big city and if anyone walked in front they’d be asserting dominance and you’d have to fight to the death… or something like that, I don’t know how it works in the sticks.

5. They break your concentration by asking for directions


Hey, tourists, you know that incandescent light coming from the buildings in the evening? It comes from a little invention someone cooked up a few years ago called the “light bulb.” Well, golly gee, if you liked that, you’ll absolutely love what this one company out of California cooked up for just this occasion, it’s called GOOGLE MAPS. Use it.

6. They are the only ones that wear I ♥ NY t-shirts, unironically, in public.

Oh yeah, let’s get a shot of grandma in front of the Flatiron Building in that  I ♥ NY t-shirt… she’s blending right in! She’s a local now.

To be honest, this is the most nitpicky item on the list, but it doesn’t go un-noticed without a little passive aggressive “tut.” Why? Because we love this city, and we live here, and in a way, those t-shirts reduce it to a theme park attraction.

7. They encourage “Show Time” street performances


Ever laugh at a naughty child, only to have their parents tell you “don’t laugh, you’ll only encourage them.” Well, that is the key to the relationship New Yorkers have with their street performers. The more you stare, all goo-goo eyed, at their street gymnastics, the more they do it. Take a cue from us. Two steps; avoid eye contact, and keep moving.

8. They can’t master the complexity of swiping a damn Metro Card


Remember the opening scene from 2001 a Space Odessey? The one with all the monkeys, head scratching and confused over the appearance of a black box, hitting it, threatened and confused …that’s what it is like watching you trying to swipe your Metro Card.  Oh, no, you take your time, really between the state of the subway and the time it takes tourists to get through the turnstile, it would just be quicker to wait for our destination to get to us.

9. Their over-politeness makes you uncomfortable


Look, I’m not your sir/ma’am, I’m your complete stranger. If you can’t master the subtleties of the mild disdain we have for strangers on the street you really aren’t going to get along well here. …and while we’re at it, when you are ordering a coffee it’s “get me a…” not “If you would be so kind, and it’s not too much trouble, could I please have a coffee, please, thank you, please.” we don’t have all day to wait for your order. And the answer to “Whats good here” is ALWAYS the most expensive thing on the menu.

10. They photograph EVERYTHING


If you insist on visually documenting every square inch of the city, can you at least do it at 3 am? You are turning our precious sidewalks into an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course …and while we’re at it, if you want to take that special family photo, preserve that precious little moment of you all together in the greatest city on earth, then maybe don’t do it in the middle of a major pedestrian thoroughfare. Especially don’t give us that passive aggressive tutting if we walk in front of the shot. We can always think of an excuse to walk back.

11. They accuse us of being rude.

Really, dude? See above.

Featured image source [Wikimedia Commons]


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