How to walk the city streets of New York
Ok. Get your mind out of the gutter. This post is about how literally to walk on the streets of New York. I recommend you pay heed and use a cheat sheet if need be going forward. Admittedly, I am a bit of a walking snob but I offer these in the vein of helping my fellow humans out. Here are some bits of advice on how to navigate those sidewalks of New York.
- Don’t stop short at the curb. We jay walk in New York. We take great pride in that fact. If the little red hand is flashing, we still have about ten seconds more to cross the street. Ten seconds is a lifetime in New York. Go for it. However, if you are not going to make a run for it, please don’t stop short at the curb. Most of the New Yorkers in back of you will hiss and sigh if made to lose the light. Just step aside.
- Don’t take up extra space. New Yorkers bob and weave in and out of foot traffic. If you are holding hands with your honey –good for you but stop it immediately. We view that as a moving roadblock. Furthermore, if it is raining do not use a golf-sized umbrella. That is just obnoxious.
- Be on the lookout …always. Always walk scanning the environment 50 feet ahead. Is there a person talking to themselves? Is someone agitated up ahead? Watch out as well for doors opening onto sidewalk. There are many Starbucks in the city of New York (hardly any mom pop coffee shops..but that is a whole other blog topic). Their doors all open outward onto the sidewalk and people are in a major hurry carrying very hot liquids. Beware. Look out for open grates on the ground that allow for deliveries day and night. I saw someone once fall down into one. Lastly, if you are already looking down, look for dog poop that pooper scoopers didn’t pick up. We are not as bad as Paris, but still be cautious.
- Watch out for moving items. Bicyclists in New York scare me the same way that cab drivers scare tourists. I’ve bene run over by a bicyclist. Nicole Kidman has been run over for god’s sake. I couldn’t help myself. Seriously, bicyclists on the sidewalks and in the parks should not be there yet they do readily bike through those areas. I really do not understand those that weave in and out of traffic with no bike helmet on. That is a nutty thing to do in New York. Also, be careful when walking by mothers with baby carriages. They tend to use the carriages as battering rams to get through foot and car traffic.
- Walk away from the ladders. If you are superstitious like I am, some streets really drive one batty. There is a ton of construction in New York going on at any one time. As such, there are ladders everywhere. I try to get as far away as possible from ladders. Number one, my mom instilled in me the horror of walking under a ladder. It was to be avoided at all costs as it would bring a major dose of bad luck. In New York, I also avoid walking near ladders because I am always afraid something is going to fall down and hot my head. Yes, I’m paranoid.
- Avoid cops. I don’t know about you but I do not like walking near cops. I just avoid it. This is probably god advice anywhere.
- Look both ways. Even when you are crossing a one-way street, look both ways. You never know if a bicyclist is biking down the wrong way. Further, there are those cars that are just confused by the city layout and go down the wrong way on the street. Luckily, traffic doesn’t move very quickly so they often don’t get far before realizing their mistake.
- If you want to stroll…If you are looking for leisurely stroll through the city streets of New York then either 3pm or 3am is your time. At 3pm, you have way less people walking the streets as many people are locked in their office or cubicle looking at the clock tick. At 3pm, most stores have shorter check-out lines. At 3pm, you can actually sip a cup of coffee with way less fear of being bumped into. At 3am, you can scream and shout and run all around with all the other weirdos walking around at that time. At 3am, you can still shop and eat in the city that never sleeps- you just get to do it with slightly less people.
That’s some good advice I’ll have to take to heart whenever I get up there… really, this could be used anywhere too. Thanks for the tips/reminders. 🙂
This is a light-hearted post, right? Because if it’s not I can understand why so many people tell me that New York is a rude place to be with no consideration given to anyone 🙂
Lol. Yes, most of my posts are that way. Although i will note this..past surveys have found that new yorkers are not the rudest in the country. Many have found that to be san fran. I know that i for one when asked for directions have actually walked people or had them follow me. We are just very fast. But we get up from our seats for others, we provide directions, etc. Its a bad stereotype ppl have but if they give new yorkers a chance they will see we are quite helpful 🙂
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Great post! Having lived in NYC for 8 years I can totally relate! I just became a follower of your blog. Keep up the great work 🙂
Thanks so much. So nice of you to comment and follow. Walking New York streets could be its own college coyrse, eh? Is your new hometoen similar in walking vibe? Hope you are having a fab day.
Most definitely…there is a great deal of strategy involved for successfully maneuvering through the wild streets of NY! I live in Los Angeles now. No one walks here except to get to their car! But I love the weather here, so I can’t complain. It’d be great if you could check out my blog and let me know what you think. Thanks!
This is amazing! Not just for New York, any big city. The Jay walking thing/couples holding hands trips me daily!
Can’t get one when you need them-can’t avoid them when you make the slightest mistake.
Was that good advice or God advice?
Either way, I’m with you no matter whether divine intervention plays a part.
New York sounds riotous and full of life, cannot wait to make visit to some friends in NYC.
What about some tips on Japan next, I think a trip there is on the cards next year?
As I drink my coffee having a break from renovating, my ladder now stands idle and confused, unsure of its place in my life now that I view it with such suspicion. B
I never knew there were so many things to avoid in New York…great response to the prompt! If I ever visit NYC I’ll be sure to consult this post again or write it down.
😺 walking the streets of NYC when you are not a tourist anymore is sometimes like a marathon with obstacles. I was a bit intimidated in the beginning, but then learned intuitively some of the things you advise. And it’s so different than the tourist way of walking slowly and looking at the skyscrapers 😄
Hahah, it might sound a bit funny but that is so true! I don’t live in New York (never even been there actually) but as a Londoner, I can definitely relate! You should write about public transport – subway or tube (that’s how we call it here) ethics too! 🙂 A small group of tourists or a family visiting the city can make Your journey to work a complete nightmare… (Bless them all though!) Great post! 🙂
Ah. thanks for the blog idea. May have that coming up soon 🙂
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This is a great post. You might add “And don’t forget to take a good look around every couple of blocks or so, at the sights so many people on the planet wish they could see in person. Savor that moment.”
that is so so right on point!