My Week in NYC (and tips for visiting the Big Apple)

I don’t have much to report on this week…

Of course, it all started off with a 3-day weekend that was much needed and much appreciated! I went shopping and slept-in and had a spa day! It’s so important to have a pamper evening every now and then! I got a mud mask and a mani/pedi and a massage and watched a chick flick and it was just perfect. I felt so energized and rejuvenated on Tuesday!

After going shopping on Monday, I hopped off the train to get my nails done and ended up right in the middle of a street carnival. That’s one of the many things I love about NYC. You get off the subway some days and land right in the middle of live music, good food, fun arts and crafts, carnival games and rides, and lots of really cool stuff for sale! So I walked around that for a bit and browsed a just enjoyed the gorgeous, sunny weather.

And now my dear friend Ryan is in town! We’re spending the weekend together and it’s going to be so much fun! We’re off to Lips tonight for what’s supposed to be the best drag show in NYC! Then I’m sure we’ll have some adventures on Saturday, as well. I hope to attend BookCon on Sunday and get some of my favorite books autographed, too. It’s looking to be a really fun weekend!

Right… so that’s all I really have to say about my week. I mostly just relaxed and did some shopping then went to work. I also spent a lot of my evenings in reading (I finally finished Girl, Online and Jurassic Park. Both great reads! Highly recommended!)

So, I suppose I should do something a bit different for the rest of this post…

Let’s see… what would you guys want to know about New York that only people who live here know? Ugh, this is hard. Um….

Oh! Got it! Say you’re not from New York but you want to visit. I have advice for you!  It’s finally summer, which means it’s prime tourism time in the city. Tourists are flocking everywhere! How do I know? Because it’s actually SUPER easy to spot tourists in this city. So, here are five tips on how to blend in and enjoy NYC the right way!

#1: Don’t be a tourist. This is number one for a reason. I say this about any place you travel to. Never travel as a tourist. You should always experience a new city as the people who live there do, not as an outsider. Immerse yourself in the culture so you can get the full experience. If you want to see Times Square, fine. Want to see a Broadway show? Awesome! But don’t hop on a tour bus or only eat at restaurants that have been featured in magazines or shop at all the gift shops. Walk around the city, take the subway, hop on a bus (the regular kind), eat at a local joint that smells delicious, go shopping at boutiques in the East Village. Buy a dollar slice of pizza or get take-out in Chinatown. This city has so much more to offer than the main spots most tourists hit up. Wander around and get lost and just let the city work its magic.

#2: Dress normally! Don’t wear shorts, a t-shirt, sneakers, and/or a backpack. Don’t dress like you’re out for a day at a theme park. This is literally how I can spot all tourists. They all dress like they’re at freakin Disney World. Wear black. Wear cute shoes (yes, it’s possible to buy cute shoes that are comfy. I walk around the city all day and I don’t have any blisters). Find a cute sunhat. Don’t worry that someone will swipe your purse… the city is really not that scary, and you’re probably not going to be cruising around the more crime-ridden areas if you’re here on vacation. You don’t need a backpack (unless you’re going to the gym or school)).

#3: Don’t stand in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures. DO. NOT. DO. THAT! Take all the pictures you want of the amazing landscape and gorgeous architecture and beautiful parks. Just don’t stop walking right in the middle of the sidewalk to do it. If you decide you need a picture, swiftly move off to the side, against the side of a building, and take the picture there. Do not stop walking to figure out where to move to. Don’t look around in confusion. Just ease on over to the side, take the picture, then merge on back in. We treat our sidewalks here like we treat our roads. If you’re driving along to work, you’re not going to suddenly hit your brakes. So don’t do that when walking, either. Because you’ll get run down and yelled at. This is probably the main reason why tourists think New Yorkers are rude (we’re really not). Because we all have somewhere we need to be, and if we keep having to stop or keep tripping over people, we get annoyed.

#4: Don’t walk in a horizontal line with your group. Again, when you’re driving, if you end up right beside a car, you either speed up or slow down so other cars can get by if they want to. Same rule applies to our sidewalks. Don’t form a human chain with your friends that takes up the entire sidewalk, making it impossible for others to get by. Again, you will get pushed and shoved and yelled at.

#5: Learn your subway etiquette! This is seriously the easiest way to find a tourist in this city- because they have no idea how to politely ride the train. This one is going to get sub-points. It’s that serious.

  • Don’t try to hold the door. The subway door is not an elevator door. It does not bounce back open. It will just continue to shut and smush your body in the door, making you look like Johnny from The Shining with his head through the door. Then the train conductor has to re-open the doors so it doesn’t crush and kill you, allowing more people to run down the stairs and try to hold open the doors unsuccessfully… lather, rinse, repeat. When you’re already running late for work and this happens at every stop, it can add up to 10 minutes to your commute. Do you see the problem, here? If you’re gonna miss the train, just wait for the next one. On week days, you’ll have to wait no more than 3 minutes. On weekends and the middle of the night, 10-15.
  • If you’re standing on the train, move to the middle. Don’t walk in and just stand by the door. Because then other people can’t get on the train and there’s all this empty, open space in the middle that no one can get to that just remains unoccupied.
  • Before entering the train, stand to the side so passengers on the train who need to get off can actually get off. Common sense, really.
  • Don’t talk really loud. Most passengers are trying to enjoy some time to themselves before work, or trying to unwind after work. We don’t need people yelling into our ears.
  • Don’t stare at/observe the other passengers. The worst thing in the world is when I glance up from my book and there is an entire family of tourists staring at me. One of the reasons I moved to this city was for a bit of anonymity. Everybody stares in the South. Don’t do that here.
  • Ask for directions BEFORE the train comes. Don’t frantically try to find out where the train is going once it pulls into the station. People will gladly give you directions and tell you what stops the train makes when they’re waiting for the train to arrive- they don’t have anything else to do, after all. But if they’re trying to get on the train before the doors close, or you’re trying to hold the doors, or you’re asking everyone who’s seated already and reading a book or listening to music, you won’t get an answer.
  • The train moves. It stops, it starts, it jolts. Be prepared for that. Please stop falling in my lap.

Now check out all these tips for getting cheaper Broadway tickets!

  • Hit up Tkts Discount Booth in Times Square, Seaport, and Brooklyn. They sell same-day discounted tickets. Click on the link to get exact locations and times the booths open
  • Download the TodayTix app. Not the best seats in the world, but definitely the best prices. The “concierge service” will meet you outside the theater before showtime to hand-deliver your tickets to you.
  • Rush tickets are your best friend! Again, click on the link for the rules and policies regarding buying these tickets. And click HERE for a schedule of when the rush tickets go on sale!
  • Head to the box office half an hour or so before the show. They’ll usually have tickets left over for a cheaper price than what’s available online.
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One thought on “My Week in NYC (and tips for visiting the Big Apple)

  1. THANK YOU! Tourists are totally welcomed in our city, but not when they stand in front of the subway doors!! Lol.

    Like

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