New York City is a vibrant mix of cultures, lifestyles and personalities. But tourists always stand out from the crowd. Whether you’ve muddled through town for a while or are just visiting, here are some surefire ways to spot tourists in New York City.
by David Stone
Sadly, one of the most distinguishing characteristics of tourists in New York City is their apparent good health. They have rosy cheeks and lack that distinctive edge of disgust and impatience New Yorkers carry like a badge.
New Yorkers are always a little world-weary. Tourists are excited.
The way they dress: Tourists often overpack for their trips (especially in winter) and can be seen wearing multiple layers of clothing, no matter what the temperature.
But, also, if someone’s wearing shorts and sandals in January, you know they’re not from around here.
And what’s with all the bright colors? We don’t do that, at least not for long. We wear black or something nearby.
Tourists in New York City Don’t Know Where They’re Going
They’re constantly checking directions: Tourists tend to wander aimlessly around the city as they try to get their bearings. Most have only a general idea of Brooklyn and Queens and don’t understand that Staten Island is in New Jersey. (Isn’t it?)
It’s common to see tourists consulting Google Maps for directions. Confusion is a dead giveaway when staring at a cell phone.
They take pictures…a lot of pictures: From Times Square to Central Park, no tourist experience is complete without plenty of photos of iconic landmarks to remember it by. Never mind that they will bore their friends to death with them before they’re buried behind the next round.
You can always identify a tourist by their camera or phone that never leaves their hands.
They take public transportation like they’re maneuvering through a puzzle: Navigating New York City’s public transportation system takes practice – even locals have been known to get lost. The hopeless look on their faces when an incomprehensible announcement mumbles out of the public address system is revealing.
When you see someone looking confused on the subway platform or bus you can bet they’re not from New York. New Yorkers get confused too, but they have the good sense not to let anyone know.
So, if you ever find yourself walking down the street in Manhattan, wondering if everyone else is a tourist too – just keep an eye out for these telltale signs and you won’t be fooled again.