Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tips to Travel By: Like a Local
I talk about going to New York City so much, it's about time I gave you some tips on how to act like a local the next time you visit. These tips will help you blend in and have a more enjoyable experience.
There is strict sidewalk etiquette in the City. Please treat sidewalks like roads, slower traffic to the far right, pass on the left, stay in your lane, and above all DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK. Tourists are especially guilty of this when stopping to take a picture. If you see something you like, pull over and wait for the traffic to clear. New Yorkers aren't rude for running you over, you are inconsiderate for not paying attention to those around you.
In many places I've been it is considered polite to greet a random person with pleasantries before asking for directions. In New York however, it is considered rude if you waste people's precious time. New Yorkers would be glad to help you find the fab restaurant you are looking for, but they are busy, so ask quickly.
Know what you want to order when you reach the front of the line. This goes for coffee shops, bars, and fast food restaurants. Similar to above, no one has time for you to decide if you want decaf or regular. We have important places to be, like 10 minutes ago.
It is not only OK but encouraged to carry coffee with you wherever you go. It's a thing. Just do it.
If at all possible, make reservations at every restaurant where you plan on eating. Unlike many other cities, it isn't necessary to wait for a table here. You will get better service if the wait staff expects you. If you don't make reservations or the place you want to go doesn't take them, you will have to wait for a table, sometimes for an hour or more. In these situations, I recommend taking a seat in the bar area. There are two benefits to this: you don't have to wait for a table and you get personal service from the bar tender. Gman and I do this often. We like the convivial atmosphere of the bar too.
Lastly, if you do find yourself getting frazzled by the fast pace, go to Central Park and take a stroll around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. I used to run around it as often as I could to de-stress.