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Things To Do

Not Illegal, But Frowned Upon: 8 Questionable Things All New Yorkers Do

Katherine Ripley Katherine Ripley

Not Illegal, But Frowned Upon: 8 Questionable Things All New Yorkers Do

“It’s not illegal; it’s frowned upon…” And yeah, you know the rest. Here are eight questionable things that every New Yorker has done, and has probably gotten away with:

 

1. Using the bathroom without buying anything

paying customers only

It’s understandable that stores and restaurants don’t want just anyone dirtying up their bathroom, but when you’ve got to go you’ve got to go. You’ll apologize when NYC gets more public restrooms.

 

2. Stealing someone’s taxi

[Louise Ma/WNYC]
[Louise Ma/WNYC]
Yeah, that was probably meant to go to the guy standing 20 feet down from you. But it’s raining and you really need to get somewhere. And you’ll never see him again.

 

3. Slipping into the subway through the emergency exit

[Scott Beale/Flickr]
[Scott Beale/Flickr]
No one does this frequently, but everyone’s tried it once, even if it was just to see if you could get away with it.

 

4. Taking a subway seat when you don’t really need one

[Richard Yeh/WNYC]
[Richard Yeh/WNYC]
You’re tired and you’ve had a long day so you don’t give that seat to the possibly pregnant woman who just got on. You think, “Is she pregnant or just fat? Better play it safe. I don’t want to accidentally offend her.”

 

5. Occupying two subway seats

[Jen Gallardo/Flickr]
[Jen Gallardo/Flickr]
Sometimes you’ve just had it with people. So you sit down and let your coat or your bag occupy more space that it should. Sometimes you get away with it, and sometimes another assertive New Yorker (rightfully) comes along and asks you to make room.

 

6. Lying and saying you have no spare change

[Todd Shaffer/Flickr]
[Todd Shaffer/Flickr]
Hardly anyone has absolutely no spare change on them, unless you pay for absolutely everything with your credit card. But it’s easier to say you don’t have anything than to say, “I could give you some change but I’m not sure what you’ll do with it.”

 

7. Lying to get a student discount

[Allie Verbovetskaya/Flickr]
[Allie Verbovetskaya/Flickr]
Be honest. How many of you are still carrying around your college IDs to get cheaper prices at the museums? We get it, but some of you are delusional thinking that you still look even remotely like your freshman photo.

 

8. Not tipping for take-out

[David C/Flickr]
[David C/Flickr]
The jury is still out on whether tipping for take-out is required. Some say it’s fine not to tip, but when you don’t you still hurry out of there with your eyes down before anyone can accuse you of being a bad customer.

 
Cover photo credit: Christophe LEUNG/Flickr