If you live in a tourist town for an extended period of time (hand raised – Central Florida for going on 21 years), you learn how to pick out the tourists. Here in Orlando, we can even usually pick out the Brits, just by looking at them! 😉 Of course, fair is fair…here’s how you can spot an American tourist from a mile away.
Heck, some tourist towns even have (sometimes not-so-nice) names for tourists (that they usually use behind their backs).
New Yorkers (full disclosure – before I became a Floridian, I was a native New Yorker, born and bred…or, if you prefer, “native New Yawka, bohwn ‘n bred”) probably could pick out where their tourists come from too, if they paid that much attention to them.
This isn’t to say that New Yorkers aren’t well aware of who’s a tourist. They are. That’s because tourists make themselves pretty obvious. 😉
What they wear
New Yorkers wear a lot of black and other very dark colors like browns and navys – especially in the winter.
Bright-colored coat in winter (except if it’s a kid)? Belly bag? Anything that says INY or NEW YORK CITY on it? Tourist.
Oh, and any sports jersey that isn’t a NY team? Tourist. 😉
How they walk
New Yorkers walk fast and keep their heads down.
Lollygagging on the street? Stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, so everyone has to walk around them, to check their GPS? Looking in awe at the skyscrapers? Tourist. 😉
Because NYC is relatively small, and Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and some TV shows are all in Manhattan, it’s not unusual to pass celebrities on the street, or to see them as a fellow audience member in a show.
New Yorkers take it all in stride, give them their space and privacy, and ignore them like they do everyone else. I’ve personally ignored Joy Behar, Jason Robert Brown, Robert DeNiro, Laura Benanti, Jackie Mason, Jeremy Jordan, Richard Thomas, Ben Platt, and a few other celebs whose names escape me. The only one I ever acknowledged was Ben Vereen…we were both in the audience of the same Broadway show and mistakenly made eye contact as we were exiting the theater. I smiled slightly and nodded. He did the same. End of interaction.
Tourists? They make a big deal out of these chance sightings. A lot of them stare, approach, ask for autographs, etc. Really y’all, they’re just people on their way to or from work, like everybody else!
Crossing the street
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the law technically says you’re not supposed to cross the street until the light turns green. New Yorkers don’t have time for that. If the coast is clean, and there are no cars coming, you go, regardless of what color the light is.
Tourists? They wait on the corner until the light turns green.
When it rains
You’ll never see a New Yorker with one of those big golf umbrellas. They know there isn’t enough space on the sidewalk for those.
See someone with a golf umbrella? Tourist.
The whole pizza thing
There are a few things that go on with the whole pizza thing:
What kind you get
We don’t care what you put on your pizza. It can be pepperoni, anchovies, pineapple, whatever. But if you’re getting Ray’s Pizza (or Rays. Or Ray’s Famous. Or ANY sort of pizza made by a guy – who most likely doesn’t exist – named Ray), we know that you’re a tourist, because only tourists eat at pizza places with the name Ray in them. They make crap pizza.
How you eat it
How you eat that triangle of pizza also counts. Knife and fork? Tourist. Flat? Tourist. Folding the slice down the middle, so you can let the excess grease escape from the tip? Much better.
Speed & Indecisiveness
New Yorkers are fast. They talk fast. And when they get to a place and have to order food or a drink or whatever it is they’re standing on line for, when it’s their turn, they know what they want and they say it quickly and decisively, to keep the line going. “Gimme a baconeggandcheeseonabagel, and a regularcawfee.” Done.
People won’t figure out what they want until it’s their turn? And then talk slow? And maybe change their minds? Tourists.
Going into an empty subway car
It’s a little less of an issue now, since less people are taking the subway. But New Yorkers know that if a subway car is empty, it’s for a reason. Maybe the air conditioning is broken. There could be some nasty bodily fluid in there. So they don’t go into those kinds of cars.
Tourists? “An empty subway car! YESSSSS!” (you’re welcome to get off at the next stop and switch cars. We won’t judge)
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