What You Should Never Do In New York
A visit to The Big Apple can be overwhelming, with so many things to do, see and experience! It’s easy to get caught in tourist traps that result in wasted time and unnecessary headaches. The key to visiting New York, hassle free, is like most other destinations and can be summed up by the simple cliché, ‘when in Rome, do as the Roman’s do’.
1. Don’t Stand in The Middle of The Footpath
This one sounds super obvious, but it’s actually quite hard to avoid, especially when you get your first glimpse of The Empire State Building or you’re blinded by the bright lights of Broadway. By all means, get your camera out, but move to the side of the footpath so that being shoved or sworn at is less likely.
2. Don’t Fall For Scams or Pickpockets
Like any big city, New York has its fair share of scam artists, especially around the main tourist areas. There’s a very simple rule of thumb in avoiding scams and that’s to keep your wits about you at all times. Easier said than done, in a thriving metropolis, however if you keep your possessions close (not in your back pocket!) and exercise caution when anyone approaches you on the street for any reason (because most scams include distracting you while someone steals your stuff) you’ll be absolutely fine.
3. Don’t Wear Your ‘I Heart New York’ Souvenirs
So, you’ve bought your cap, shirt, bag and banner with this famous New York slogan, and fair enough, it’s a lot of fun to do so! Having said that, if you actually wear it in New York, you’ll look like a tourist and, therefore, you’ll be treated like one. This means you could get charged higher prices and be a beacon for scam artists. Wait until you get home to show off your souvenirs.
4. Don’t Eat At Chain Restaurants
Even if you have a craving for familiar, comfort food, eating at chain restaurants is practically a sin in New York, simply because there’s so much choice for gourmet delights, you absolutely must discover them! No matter where you are, there’ll be a local restaurant serving exactly the type of food you feel like, so look past the golden arches.
5. Don’t Block Subway Doors
Of course you wouldn’t intentionally try to block subway doors, however in the middle of peak hour, you can feel insanely rushed in order to compete with the crowds piling into the packed cars. Resist the urge to push forward as the subway comes in, thereby blocking the commuters getting off, even if it means you have to get the next one.
6. Don’t Be Scared to Ask Questions
It can appear as if New Yorkers are rushing around in a somewhat unfriendly way. This is not the case, it’s more a product of negotiating the busy environment. If you need directions, don’t be scared to ask. If you want a recommendation to the best restaurant in the area, a local will probably love the chance to advise you.
7. Don’t Eat or Shop in Times Square
Times Square is loved and hated, regardless, it warrants a quick exploration, especially at night. However, resist the urge to buy anything or eat in the restaurants, simply because they’re pretty much entirely catered to tourists, meaning most products and food is below average standard and very expensive. Go a couple of blocks in any direction and you’ll stumble onto what you want anyway.
8. Don’t Wear Your New Shoes
Even if you’re catching taxis or touring on a Hop On Hop Off Bus, the likelihood of having to walk further than you thought is extremely high. New York is a walker’s paradise, but this means a lot of pounding on a very hard pavement. Skip your new shoes and take your comfy, worn-in ones, because the blisters simply aren’t worth it!
9. Don’t Spend All Your Time in Manhattan
Manhattan is all-consuming and you could spend months just trying to cover all the nooks and crannies, however, it pays to cross the bridge into Brooklyn to check out the fabulous restaurants, leafy streets and edgy art scene.
10. Don’t Disobey Taxi Etiquette
When you’re looking for a taxi, you’re always going to be in competition with others. If you see someone waiting and decide to walk a block in front of them, in order to get the next taxi first, it’s much the same as shoving somebody out of the way as they’re actually getting into a taxi. Hailing taxis is a New York way of life, so it pays to fit in with the etiquette rather than rush – a yellow cab will always be followed by another yellow cab.
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