Friday, January 13, 2012

How Not to Look Like a Tourist in NYC

Every time I travel, I want to explore new places and visit the attractions. But I also want to blend in and be a local. I don't really know why, but it's always been an unconscious thing. I've avoided whipping out the maps on every street corner, wearing sneakers and fanny packs, and having the camera hanging from my wrist (although now having a camera around doesn't necessarily scream "tourist!").When I was in New York this summer, I really wanted to experience more than just the tourist bits. Here are four things I learnt about blending in, New York style:

  1. Walk with confidence. It works wonders! Someone even asked me where the Ralph Lauren boutique was on Madison! Luckily for them I walked past it every day to get to work. When I was a bit confused about directions, I stopped and checked the map on my phone. If that's not enough, don't be afraid to ask someone.
  2. Shoes. I didn't even bother bringing running shoes with me. I brought my Converse sneakers and wore them with pretty much anything: shorts, jeans, dress pants!
  3. Pace. I didn't run on the sidewalks but I didn't meander extremely slowly. I generally kept pace with the locals. Well, often that was necessary so that I could get to work on time!
  4. Crossing the street. In the smaller streets of the big city, I crossed when it was safe and traffic free, even if the pedestrian light was not signalling go. I noticed New Yorkers don't really pay attention to the running man or red hand on the other side of the street!
That's all I've got for now but native New Yorker, Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo has even more fabulous tips!
Enjoy and happy travels!
Images from: weheartit, nyc


Broot said...

Heh I was talking about this with Hubby the other day. The city where I live gets a lot of cruise ships that stop and let the touriss out. We can always tell which ones are which, and the Americans stand out like a sore thumb. But you know, we can't really put our finger on it, how we know they're the tourists. A lot of the time they do look just like the locals walking down the street. But you can just tell!!

Stopping by from SITS! :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I would totally look like a tourist.