One of my favorite pastimes is hating on tourists. I realize that they support our local economy and over time, this would probably come back to haunt me in one of karma’s mysterious ways. But still, I can’t resist making fun of their inability to look straight ahead when walking or the way they take pictures of every Starbucks and McDonalds they see.
This week my friend and I had plenty of tourist material to laugh about as we walked through Chinatown. We saw a group of girls frantically yelling “Taxiiiii!” from inside one of those fake Chinese purse shops. No seasoned New Yorker actually yells “Taxi” unless it is on a movie set. Rather, they stand impatiently with their hand in the air (and most likely blackberry/ iPhone in the other) and any yelling that occurs in the direction of a cab usually contains explicatives.
We then continued tourist bashing as we discussed the various ways tourists always manage to clog up sidewalks around a cross-walk. This is why most New Yorkers actually stand in the street while waiting for a cross walk to change, risking death every time a city bus blazes by. Ironically, during this discussion I noticed the cross-walk we were crossing (Broadway and Bond St.) had been artistically altered by someone (pictured right).
I’d say my friend and I probably dedicate 15 minutes each day to this us versus them elitist analysis— it’s an important dichotomy to establish, after all! Well, today karma came back to get me and I had one heck of a tourist moment. I was on my way to work and boarded the subway like I normally do. Once inside the train, I realized there was an empty seat in the middle of the aisle. I maneuvered around briefcases and tourists and as I began to sit down in the available seat the train lurched forward! Since I was mid-squat at the time, I ended up swan diving across three people. It looked like I was trying to pose Burt Reynolds style, only instead of a bearskin rug, I was laying on the laps of three horrified New Yorkers in work clothes. I quickly apologized and pulled out my Wall St. Journal to show evidence that I am, in fact, one of them and not another clueless tourist. I’ll chalk that up to another getting NYC’d experience.