Paula Rosenberg Freelance Writer: Online Portfolio

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Viewshound Article: Tourists in NYC

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Check out my humor article on viewshound about tourists in NYC.

Viewshound Article on Tourists

(Please note Viewshound’s website was closed in January of 2012, the link no longer works, but you can read the article as it appeared below)

New Yorker’s aren’t rude…but watch out for those tourists

New Yorkers have a rap for being rude to tourists, but perhaps it is the visitors who are guilty of bad behavior.

By Paula Rosenberg – Saturday 29 Oct 2011


Image: S.Borisov /

My friends like to tease me because when we are out together I inevitably am the person that tourists will single out to ask for directions. I like to think it’s because I seem approachable. My friends’ theory however, is that despite my half a decade as a New Yorker, I still haven’t shed my Midwest accent. “People ask you for help because your accent tells them you won’t bite their head off,” said one of my friends.

I know that citizens of the Big Apple have a reputation for their gruff demeanor. There are dozens of arguments that people will give you for why our residents aren’t known for being warm and fuzzy. Perhaps it’s the fast pace of city that rubs off on us or maybe too many of us are tense from the stress of trying to make it in a metropolis where the monthly rent on a shoebox sized apartment is a small fortune. Well I’d like to defend my fellow city slickers because I don’t think New Yorkers are rude.

I’ve witnessed people with medical emergencies have numerous locals stop to assist them. When I’m riding the subway, it’s not the tourists I see give up their seats for those unable to stand, it’s people coming off a 10 hour work shift. The only time I’ve ever observed crotchety behavior from inhabitants has been when it’s directed towards tourists. Despite my Midwest niceties, I’m siding with the home team on this one.

Tourists in this city engage in ridiculous and often rude behaviors that I haven’t noticed nearly as much in other urban settings I’ve lived in over the years. So if you are planning on visiting our fair city, please remember that engaging in any of the following activities may subject you to the wrath of a Gothamite.

1. When you are in a crowded area, such as Times Square don’t stop suddenly in the middle of the sidewalk

Remember we are a city of pedestrians. You don’t have break lights and you will cause a back up, not to mention risk getting your heels stepped on. Just remember to step to the side and out of the way. This also goes for the staircases inside the subway stations. Please don’t stop there to adjust your backpack or check your cell phone and wonder why everyone who just missed their train is miffed at you.

2. You may be on vacation, but remember we’re not

Don’t take offence if the businessman rushing through Grand Central station doesn’t want to stop and take a photograph for you. He may have a meeting he needs to get to.

3. Please handle your rolling suitcases with care

My friend almost lost some toes the other day to some tourists who felt the need to plow through a busy intersection with their bags.

4. I’m sure your town has ambulances and fire trucks too

Ours do not look any different, so there is no need to hold up traffic by taking photos of them. This also goes for taking pictures of people getting arrested. I once saw a shoplifter escorted out of a store and no less than three tourists took photographs of her being placed in the back of a police car. Again, your hamlet probably has a Forever 21 too and I doubt you take pictures of teenagers at your mall being haled off to the station.

5. Don’t get mad at the locals if they can’t direct you to where you are going

I once thought a tourist was going to smack a man with her map because he couldn’t tell her which train to take to Century 21. We’re happy to help you if we can, but living here never obligated us to be walking Frommer’s Guidebooks.

Article category: USA
Article tags: tourists, new york city
Disclaimer: the views of the author are not those of ViewsHound or Publisha Limited.
Copyright © Paula Rosenberg, all rights reserved.

Written by paularosenberg

November 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Humor, NYC, Published Work, Travel

Tagged with ,

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