Now you may be wondering what hints for tourists has to do with parenting and/or kids. Initially I would’ve said you’re probably right, it has little to do with those things. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that you, visitor to my city, could be doing the kids whose parents work in this area a wonderful service by strictly adhering to these suggestions. You will send parents home who are much less aggravated and frazzled at the end of the day. That means less yelling and strife in the homes of many a New York City child. So please read on with a thought for those poor, deserving children.
New York City’s Financial District encompasses a whole lot of cool things and places to visit, like the Stock Exchange, Bowling Green Park, the statue of the Charging Bull (and now the Fearless girl, although I’ve never actually laid eyes on her because of the ridiculous crowds). There’s the 9/11 Museum, reflecting pools, and a host of other ‘attractions’ if you will. However it is worth remembering that this isn’t like a theme park where everything is geared toward the visitor experience. There are literally thousands of people who have to work here. Which means they also have to come out of their offices at times for things like meetings and lunch and commuting home. At which point you, the tourist, can potentially become a major source of stress.
- Don’t use street corners for anything other than crossing. When the walk sign turns green, WALK. Decide your next group move anywhere other than a street corner. Should you choose not to heed this advice, don’t be surprised if speeding New Yorkers whiz past you with churning elbows that could potentially jab you.
- Don’t ever buy from the first vendor. If you happen to be in Zucotti Park (the site of the famous Occupy Wall Street protests,) let the vendors see you walking back and forth between them trying to decide. Doesn’t matter if it’s a t-shirt you want or a gyro. The competition will drive your ultimate final price down if a vendor thinks his competitors are willing to undercut him by a dollar.
- Be prepared to wait around in crowds. If you’re standing in a huge group inching up to the Bull at the rate of about 9 inches every other minute because you just have to take a picture holding the Bull’s balls, then you deserve to get jostled and stepped on and wait an hour in the heat with bus exhaust choking you. When I first started here I was so amazed at this phenomenon that I actually snapped a couple of pictures of people taking smiling pictures doing that. The novelty soon wore off for me though as I see it happens EVERY DAMN DAY AROUND THE CLOCK. What the hell people?
- Never stop short and look up. Never. If you’re walking down Broadway at a brisk pace and you stop suddenly and look up, there’s a 92% chance that someone is going to crash into you. Now if it’s another tourist that walks into you, you’ll be alright, a simple “oops, sorry” should suffice. However, if it’s a native New Yorker with somewhere to be, your physical safety could be in danger. And now you can’t say you haven’t been warned. Which finally brings me to the last thing:
- Just keep moving. Ideally you’ll make your plans of where you’re going when before you get off the train. But if you’re going to play it by ear, find a spot that is not the middle of the sidewalk being traversed by speeding New Yorkers. Seriously, give us a break, get out of the way. We have meetings to go to, lunch to pick up and ultimately a train or bus to catch. Thanks for coming and spending your tourist dollars, enjoy your stay and please get the hell out of the way.