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New York City "un" tourist

Old Mar 25th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #1  
kch
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New York City "un" tourist

What are your top 2 or 3 tips for NOT looking like a tourist in New York City? Thanks. We're heading there in mid-April.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 08:28 AM
  #2  
ryan
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The one dead giveaway for me are those people who walk really slow and actually stop when it says "Don't walk", even when there aren't any cars.

Carrying a map around is usually a pretty good indication, as well.

If you are concerned about looking like a tourist because of pickpockets, a simple solution is to keep your wallet in your front pocket on trains and on crowded streets.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 08:44 AM
  #3  
lisa
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wearing pastel colors or anything with applique.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 08:53 AM
  #4  
Sue
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Fanny Packs!
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 08:59 AM
  #5  
Liberty
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Looking at people in the eye when your walking down the street. Wanting to distinguish a personal space when you talk to a new yorker (they just love to be 2 inches away from your face).
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:04 AM
  #6  
me
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I'd agree with the map thing. Unfolding and looking at a map anywhere in town is a dead giveaway.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:05 AM
  #7  
me
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And don't get on a subway and starting talking like this:

"Do we want to go uptown"
"I thought it was downtown"
"Well, we want to go to 23rd. Is that uptown or downtown"
"I don't know. Let's ask someone"
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:07 AM
  #8  
John K
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As a lifelong New Yorker I would have to say that one sure give away is speaking loudly in public places like buses and subways. I've noticed that Americans from outside New York and especially from the midwest have a tendency to bellow. Another is walking 3 or 4 across. Sidewalks are like two way streets and you have to let oncoming traffic get by! Have a nice visit.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:10 AM
  #9  
GP
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Walk and Talk. Don't stop at a busy corner to decide your next destination. Especially if there are more than two in your party. Keep moving or find steps or a bench to sit on.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #10  
Alex
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You're question is actually more complicated than you realize.

If you are trying to look like a Manhattanite, and are younger, then stick to wearing black, day or night, and avoid all the usual tourist paraphenalia.

However, NY is pretty diverse region geographically and socially. You may pull off a non-tourist look, but come off as a "BATT" (Bridge and Tunnel Type)
If you want that look, then tease up the hair (the higher the better), let those nails grow and get them painted (don't forget the painting on one of them) and break out the gold jewelry.

For men, clothes straight from Saturday Night Fever can still cut it. Better yet, a nice shiny suoit with a black shirt and black tie, shows "real class!"

For a more casual look, the dressy track suit, "wife-beater" t-shirt, and gold chain will immediate make people think "Don't screw with me, I'm from Brooklyn."
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:31 AM
  #11  
Abbey
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If you don't want to look like a tourist leave the wind suit, visors, and fanny packs at home! Don't laugh, I'm serious - I've SEEN this! Also, follow the advice of GP - don't stop to have a major discussion on the corner of a busy intersection. Have a great time!
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #12  
Statia
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I've always thought that another dead giveaway is when people stop in the middle of a sidewalk and look up at all the buildings.

Actually stopping in the middle of the sidewalk in general seems to be a giveaway, too.

Just my two cents.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:43 AM
  #13  
NewYorker
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What's wrong with looking like a tourist when you are one. Believe me, when New Yorker's go elsewhere they look like tourists also. How are you going to find your way around if you don't open a map? How can you navigate the subway, the first time on it, with out asking questions and looking at maps. Just enjoy yourself and feel free to look like a tourist because that's exactly what you are! My only advice is to stay in the tourist areas and don't go to far afield where looking like a tourist can in fact create problems.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #14  
Carol
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Definitely leave the white sneakers at home ... if you must wear sneakers go for a darker color. Better yet, skip the sneakers all together (usually a dead give-a-way for a tourist) and wear a funky looking, black walking shoe (with a thicker sole so will be comfortable for walking). This is the perfect all around shoe ... you can wear with jeans or with black pants and it will be OK in most restaurants and for theater shows. Also, women wearing the shoulder strap for their purse across their chest, and then clutching their purse as they walk is a dead giveaway!
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 09:59 AM
  #15  
me
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OMG LMAO! I clicked on this thread to see if it were a slam against NYC. I just came back last night from my 1st trip to NYC and I LOVED it. Started planning a couples weekend for May this morning! I am LOL though. I was likely one of the people you saw looking up at the buildings. What I think native New Yorkers forget is that most cities in the US are not as large, full of people 24/7 and do not have such tall buildings. I am from Boston and there are some tall buildings here but not like NYC and not so many so close together! Being from Boston and going in frequently, we already knew not to wear fanny packs, wallet in an inside pocket, maps out, and all that. What we weren't prepared for is just how huge the city and buildings are. Just an absolute great city. After 5 minutes it became pretty obvious to us that as long as people were walking during a NO WALK sign and we checked first it was ok to go, lol. We had a great weekend and found everyone to be very friendly and the city very clean and safe. My best advice to those who plan to go for the 1st time is to research the sites first, make advance reservations for dinner, and plot your day and route before you leave your hotel.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 10:01 AM
  #16  
Suzanne
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The bright, white sneakers and fanny packs are a dead giveaway. Wearing flashy clothing to a Broadway show also pinpoints you as a tourist.

The most annoying tourist behavior (please avoid this) is stopping in the middle of the sidewalk. Please pull over when you need to stop! Walking is our major means of transportation. We don't come to your town and stop our cars in the middle of the highway to look around or read a map! (sorry for the rant...I try to stay away from Times Square at all costs because of this...) ;-)

Oh, I also find it hysterical that in Times Square, the tourists all stand on the curb waiting for the light to change. I've got to take a photo of that sometime...

And yes, as someone mentioned, we NYers look like tourists when we go other places. I wasn't thinking when I went to San Francisco last month. I wore black pants, black boots, and a black hat, and my boyfriend was in all black also. Yep, we stood out. I didn't even think about bringing my hiking boots and fleece, which I don't wear at home but always wear on hiking vacations. I felt a little stupid.

Anyway, kch, have a great time in NYC.

 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 10:05 AM
  #17  
No worries
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One good thing about NY is that you can wear just about anything and get away with it. So what if you look like a tourist? Wear something with the name of your hometown on it. Be proud of where you're from -- you're better off than we are. After all, you've been to NY AND your hometown. Most of us have only been to NY.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 01:11 PM
  #18  
Philip
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Sorry if this gets posted twice. Fodors' new website seems to like eating my replies.

One piece of advice when crossing at an intersection:

WATCH THE CARS, NOT THE LIGHTS/PEOPLE!!!

There are several times when I will start to cross a street and the people on the other side will start to cross too. I have lived in NYC for many years. I know how to play "chicken" with an oncoming taxi. I have the time/distance ratio down to a science. If you are not used to moving in a big city, make sure you are watching what the cars are doing and not just following other people's lead.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 01:16 PM
  #19  
I beg to differ
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I work in NYC, but am from the midwest. I guess I am "on assignment". I find that New Yorkers actually wait for the stoplights to turn green, for the most part. I was expecting this aggressive, independent, I'll go when I want to. but I haven't seen that. At least not where I am in midtown.
 
Old Mar 25th, 2002, 01:21 PM
  #20  
midwestern
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"We don't come to your town and stop our cars in the middle of the highway to look around or read a map!"

Yes... you... New Yorkers... DO!!!

(We've read your license plate... But we love ya anyway!)
 

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