What NOT to do in NYC

Hey there! I’m Sarah a New York local. I normally do videos about things you should do in New York, places you should see. Stuff like that. But today I actually wanted to dive into a different category of things you shouldn’t do when you’re here in New York. There are tons of them and tourists make the biggest mistakes. So I just want to save you from, you know, embarrassing yourself in New York in the nicest way possible. Let’s dive into some of the things you shouldn’t do when you’re here visiting New York City.

Please don’t stop at the top of the subway stairs when you get off to figure out where you’re located. I’ve totally been guilty of this one before. Sometimes you get to the top and you’re like “Oh my god, where am I? What direction do I go in?” But the problem is that there’s a lot of people behind you and then they can’t move and then people get mad because we’re New Yorkers. So instead just step to the side and then like figure out where you’re going. That’s it! So simple!

I hate to break it to you but there are sadly tons of tourist traps here in New York City so don’t fall for any of those things I have a whole video about all the tourist traps that you should avoid. Check that out, it’s linked below.

Please don’t forget to tip your waiter. Here waiters depend on tips. New York City is an expensive city to live in so they really appreciate it when you leave a 15 to 20 percent tip. That is the normal. Anything less than that normally means that their service wasn’t very good so if you like their service 15 to 20 percent, please.

Please don’t eat at a chain restaurant while you’re here. There are so many great local restaurants here in New York that there’s no reason that you should ever go to a chain restaurant. Most of the chain restaurants are located here in Times Square, which is a giant tourist trap. If you’re looking for a great restaurant to go to, head over to Yelp and look for any restaurant that has over four stars or you can watch my video on best restaurants in New York City. I highlight some of my favorites in the city, these ones are all fantastic but there’s also tons of really fantastic restaurants in New York so you can’t really go wrong.

Don’t make eye contact with strangers. I know this may sound weird. It’s not that we’re trying to be rude or like “Ew, who are you?”. It’s just that’s the way it is here, like no one makes eye contact. So when you do it’s really uncomfortable, and they’re like “Ohh!” and I’m not talking about like quick, I’m talking about like extended. Like… don’t do that please. It really creeps us out.

When you’re walking on the streets, don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to look at something on your phone. It’s really annoying. Instead, just step to the side and let the people pass. We will really appreciate it.

Don’t get on an empty subway train during rush hour. I know it may seem very enticing because all the others are packed but trust me there’s a reason why it’s empty. Most likely because there’s a really horrible smell inside. So just avoid that and just get in the crowded one.

When you’re on the subway, please just bring headphones to listen to your music. I know you love your music, but people around you don’t want to hear it. It’s so annoying when people blast it. Just use headphones. Thank you so much!

Please do not wear an “I Love New York” shirt while you’re here. That is the biggest sign you’re a tourist probably. No locals ever wear that.

New Yorkers are known for walking fast so please don’t walk at a very slow leisurely pace while you’re walking here in the city. Especially on a busy street. Walk just as fast as we are. Just please walk faster than this.

Do not walk in a bike lane. I’m in a bike lane right now and bikers just hate it when you’re here. This guy – see he has to go around me. Very inconvenient. As a normal person just walk on the sidewalk. Look, so much space! The bottom line is that there’s not that much room in the city for bikers because of the traffic and the foot traffic so this is their place and this is our place.

We have a street here in New York that’s spelled like this. Now if you’re from Texas you might say “hey that’s Houston!” Well yes, you’re right in Texas it is Houston. But here in New York we pronounce it Houston. And the way that we know that you’re not from New York is when you say “Hey how do I get to Houston Street?” No. We always call it Houston Street. So make sure you pronounce it Houston. Houston. Houston. Got that? Houston Street. You can do it. I believe in you.

I hope that video helped you guys get a bit of an understanding on what you should and should not do when you’re in New York. I have tons of other videos on things you should do or see or eat in New York City. So head over to those to get a deeper understanding of the city and if you like this video subscribe, follow me on instagram at @SarahFunky, and I’ll see you next time.


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