Archive for the ‘Tourist Terms’ category

Tourist Terms: THE “IS THAT…?” QUESTION

January 24, 2009

When a local goes sightseeing with a new-to-the-city tourist, the local will find their friend and/or relative constantly staring at things with a confused look of possible recognition before they squint their eyes and ask, “Is that…?” A question they never finish but which would be finished with such things as: “…that famous tall building?,” “…that place where Liz Lemon works?,” and “…that Naked Cowboy?,” etc.

The answer to any “Is that…?” question is always:


Tourists, everything in New York City is famous. So, if you assume you recognize something, you do. The whole city is an icon.


December 29, 2008

Most prevalent during the holidays and at particularly touristy hot spots (i.e. Rockefeller Center, Times Square, any Cold Stone Creamery locale, etc), this phenomenon occurs when so many slow-, non-moving, and obese out-of-towners congregate together that human quicksand is created, making it virtually impossible for brisk-walkin’ locals to move.

(coined by reader Pitch’nPutt)


December 24, 2008

Us New Yorkers pay no heed to crosswalks, red lights, and walk signs, only monitoring traffic and when to safely cross, sometimes only having a fraction of a second to dart from one side of the street to the other.  Many a time a New Yorker will cross–technically illegally–during a green light because he or she sees an opening, causing a herd of tourists to absentmindedly start to follow suit without paying attention to cars and the fact that they are about to get fucking creamed.


December 14, 2008

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.


December 9, 2008

When a tourist so badly needs to look at their fold-out map/take a photo of a high-end store they will never enter and actually shop at/point at a lame attraction that they immediately halt in the middle of any busy Midtown sidewalk, forcing those “fast-paced” and “rude” New Yorkers to do a shifty spin move or commit a personal foul.

Tourist Terms: WALKING SHOES

December 8, 2008

You may notice most tourists wearing stark-white, brand new tennis shoes.  This is due to the fact that many visitors, a few weeks upon leaving for their New York City vacation, realize that a) they will inevitably have to walk a block or two once in the city and b) they don’t own any appropriate footwear for such a Herculean feat.  Thus, would-be tourists are forced to buy new pairs of sneakers for their trip.  Preferred brands include:  Reebok, Avia, New Balance, or anything that is white and ugly and matches well their tapered jeans.


December 2, 2008

Many tourists in New York City walk with a pronounced limp.  Are they injured?  Old?  Leg just fell asleep during a three hour lunch at the Carnegie Deli?  Perhaps, but that’s not why they limp.  They limp because the massive girth of their usually sedentary bodies forced into “exercise” (ie: locomoting themselves from place to place as opposed to using drive-thrus for all their needs) for the first time in decades has caused their atrophied legs to reject the movement and thus create a limp in order to slow things down.  So called the five block limp because that is the threshold at which the affliction first begins to occur.  At the ten blocks of walking point, most limping tourists just say, “Fuck it,” and hail a pedi-cab.