Tourist Terms: THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS’ BURDEN

Walking the streets of New York, one is deluged with people that want something from you: homeless that want spare change, sandwich-board-wearing immigrants that want you to accept their flyer, and rapping dilettantes that want you to pony up for their newest amateur album. Were a local to actually interact with all these people, by the end of each block we’d be out several bucks, completely cleaned out on coinage, and holding a stack of worthless papers. Even taking the time to kindly rebuff all these folks would make us lose our voices, each sidewalk becoming a cacophony of “No, thank you, sir,” “Not interested, ma’am,” “Sorry, I don’t use paper money,” and “Get your grubby paws away from me PLEASE.” Thus, though it may look rude and uncaring toward one’s fellow man, New Yorkers duck their heads down like a fullback and surge through the streets, forced to ignore everyone that interacts with them. We don’t like it, but it’s a necessity for survival.

However, tourists don’t understand such a thing and, wanting to appear nice and kindly, will gladly give bums money, gladly take your brochure, gladly listen to your spiel about this restaurant you want them to eat at or this store you want them to shop at, this dumb structure you want them to pay $50 to summit, and, yes, they might even buy your crummy rap CD when that’s not even really their preferred style of music.

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3 Comments on “Tourist Terms: THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS’ BURDEN”

  1. the guy who just walked into you Says:

    I have to say, the homeless guys on the subway who sing and sing well, always get some spare change from me.

    Also on Christmas eve, inside the moving N or the R train, 3 14 or 15 yr olds, started up a cd player, danced then did various somersaults.

    Gotta say these guys give the drunk and drugged up beggars a run for their money.

  2. Aaron Goldfarb Says:

    I don’t consider street performers, even poor ones, even ones that are most likely bums, to be homeless per se. And, yes, I totally appreciate the little joys that an old Asian mandolin player, a didgeridooist, a breakdancing team, or a Mariachi band gives me as a wait for the fucking train. Up with street performers! I always give them all my change.

  3. the guy who just walked into you Says:

    these two guys, one on the 1 the other on the 2, just came out and said they had no home or money so thats why i called them “homeless”


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