How to walk in NYC

With over 18,000 restaurants, scores of museums, and thousands of shops, New York City is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the world. According to the New York City Conventions and Visitors Beaurau, The Big Apple had 38.4 million visitors in the year 2000, who spent 16.1 billion dollars (for more statistical info, visit

Naturally, we're happy to take visitors' money - the taxes generated by the tourism boom fund our subway system, pay our garbage men, etc. But, as any New Yorker can (and will sooner or later) tell you, tourists can cause problems. Lots of them.

The biggest problem is crowded sidewalks - go to Times Square, or Lower Broadway in Soho on a Saturday if you'd like to see a fine example. While these fine visitors may be intelligent, suave, or sophisticated in their own right, they clearly don't have a clue as to how to walk in NYC. Hence, the following instructions apply and should be followed like your life depends on it:

1.) Walk on the right side of the sidewalk. Not the left. You will notice that cars drive down the right side of the street. People tend to intuitively imitate that behavior. Imitate them.

2.) Do NOT suddenly stop walking in the middle of the sidewalk. Ever. That is why people keep bumping into you from behind and get pissed off. If you really want to stop walking midstride, you should do it in front of an speedy, oncoming taxi or subway car.

3.) No more than 2 people should walk next to each other. People may want to walk around you or by you, and they will be seriously annoyed. Example: If there is a family of 4 mulleted idiots walking in a single row down the sidewalk at a snail's pace, the only option residents have for getting to work on time is to barrel through your group the way the The Kool Aid guy breaks through walls. Oh, Yeah!

4.) Don't stand in the middle of the subway staircase trying to figure out if you're going to the correct station There are signs outside. If you were able to board your flight from Berlin to get here, you should be able to know if you'll be able to catch the Times Square Shuttle at this station.

5.) Don't rubberneck and bump into people. Watch where you're going.

6.) If you walk around with your face in a map you deserve to be bumped into, have your feet stepped on, step in dog shit, etc. Don't be surprised, indignant, or pissed off

7.) If you are lost, ask someone - most New Yorkers love to show off how well they know our great city. It will yield you a faster result than causing sidewalk traffic jams will.

8.) Remember, you are constantly surrounded by people on their way to work, dates, meetings, or to get that cup of coffee or heroin fix. Let us get where we need to go on time, please!

If you're on a crowded subway standing near the door, EXIT THE TRAIN WHILE PEOPLE GET OFF AND THEN GET BACK ON WHEN THEY'RE FINISHED. Do NOT stand there in people's way with a bewildered expression wondering why people push you as they walk by.

If you follow these simple suggestions you will be able to enjoy your vacation while knowing for certain that you are not causing problems or putting yourself at risk by alienating the residents of New York City, where the murder rate rose 12.4 percent last year.
Over and above all other considerations - if you wish to learn how to walk in NYC the best possible advice that can be given is walk like you know where you're going.

See, for the most part unless you've done something to deserve it, the less savory elements of NYC life tend to target outsiders. Whether that be outsiders to a given neighborhood or tourists makes little difference.

If you look like you don't belong in a given place your likelihood of being fucked with by someone you don't want to be fucked with by increases significantly.

Walk with confidence, don't dawdle, keep your eyes in front of you or down and you can walk relatively at ease in any neighborhood in the entire city and never be hassled for all your days...

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