You = Tourist = Jerk
October 5, 2013 8:05 PM   Subscribe

 
Why do I feel like I should be fumbling to press the mute button on those damned touchscreens in the back of cabs?
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 PM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


That made my week. Thank you.
posted by tristeza at 8:20 PM on October 5, 2013


but where will I go in those other boroughs

help me, mouthy puppet

I lack imagination
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:25 PM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Fresh Kills landfill has been closed for over a decade now. (And they're trying to build a fancy park with skiing and stuff over it but no native Islander I know will deign to set foot there.) And you have to get off the ferry, whether you like it or not. But we have pizza too! staten island represent
posted by Soliloquy at 8:47 PM on October 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


That was very well done. Thanks!

(Except who keeps their wallet in their back left pocket? You know, besides southpaws?)
posted by dobbs at 8:56 PM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


That puppet is a jerk. After 9/11 tourism was dead in New York and a lot of small businesses went under. The city spent millions in an aggressive ad campaign to get tourists to come back and help revitalize the city from all the lost revenue.
posted by cazoo at 8:59 PM on October 5, 2013


That pupppet is a jerk. Stop sending the tourists to Brooklyn. There is nothing to see in Brooklyn. Go back to Times Square.
posted by deliquescent at 9:01 PM on October 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


Stop sending the tourists to Brooklyn. There is nothing to see in Brooklyn.

Uh, I'm pretty sure Brooklyn is where I went to a bar that had a bathroom that was actually a TARDIS so YEAH, there is PLENTY to see in Brooklyn, because it is bigger on the inside.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:04 PM on October 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Way Station is exactly the first place I bring people new to the city, Mrs. Pterodactyl.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:24 PM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Way Station is exactly the first place I bring people new to the city, Mrs. Pterodactyl.

I think the reason deliquescent was telling people "there's nothing to see in Brooklyn" was because we're afraid cool spots like that will get overrun with tourists and we would end up getting crowded out. Shhhh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 PM on October 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Way Station is exactly the first place I bring people new to the city

YES! My best friend from college (wonderful, awesome woman, maid of honor at my wedding, &c.) lives in Brooklyn and we visited her a couple of months ago. She is less nerdy than we are (NOT A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT -- I have a tattoo of the Magic: the Gathering symbol, so, uh, yeah) so she listed a bunch of options for bars to which we could go and I managed not to be like "Yes yes TARDIS we must see the TARDIS take us there TAKE US TO THE TARDIS" because I am a reasonable person but I was very, very pleased when that's where we ended up and I'm so glad I went.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:28 PM on October 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the reason deliquescent was telling people "there's nothing to see in Brooklyn" was because we're afraid cool spots like that will get overrun with tourists and we would end up getting crowded out. Shhhh.

I do get that. I will also say that, visiting from DC, I hadn't really realized how huge New York is; Central Park alone is massive and that's just part of Manhattan. I think of myself as living in the city and my in-laws think of me as living in the "big city" but wow, DC is actually really small relatively speaking.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:44 PM on October 5, 2013


My sister, having lived in NYC for years and then moved to DC, said she liked DC much better once she stopped thinking of it as a small city and started thinking of it as a dense town.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:59 PM on October 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, that's about how I feel -- I really like it here partially because the neighborhoods are still manageable so it's kind of like living in Stars Hollow but with a Metro.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:03 PM on October 5, 2013


mamaluke of the year.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:12 PM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man those bars could be anywhere no reason to go to Brooklyn to go to a bar.

You guys should go to buzz a rama. Also greenwood cemetery. Check out the Christmas lights in Shore Road, if they still do that. Take a day fishing trip from sheepshead bay. Go camping at Floyd Bennett field. Walk on the promenade, where most of this video is shot. Check out the Brooklyn anchorage and the park under the brooklyn bridge, There is also a tiny lighthouse type thing down down there with an ice cream shop. Look at the Warren Street Mews and all the turn of the century carriage houses. Go buy lard bread at Caputo's.

Check out City Island too, nobody ever goes there.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:33 PM on October 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wait, what? No Original Rays? But the guy swore the one I was at was the original.

But what I really go for is Gray's Papaya.
posted by sammyo at 12:28 AM on October 6, 2013


There is nothing to see in Brooklyn.

That is precisely what I used to tell people about Brooklyn throughout the 11 years I lived there. "Yes, it's dangerous", I'd say. "Yes, full of crack and dark, dangerous streets!" All in an attempt to keep my wonderful little corner of Brooklyn affordable. To keep the well-to-do riffraff out.

Alas, it didn't work. My misinformation campaign was a failure. By 1995, the writing was on the wall: people with money, lots of money, had deemed my ghetto neighborhood *desirable*. The New York Times wrote about how beautiful it was. It was sayonara Brooklyn for me...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:03 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Visiting NYC four or five years ago, every time we had cause to unfold a map to check directions we could be certain that within minutes someone would approach and offer to help. On more than one occasion we were actually accompanied to our destination, just so the stupid Scottish couple didn't get lost on the way. Our wallets were untouched, people couldn't have been nicer.
posted by Wrick at 2:20 AM on October 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Check out City Island too, nobody ever goes there.

City Island is where the local Bronx folks stop to eat on their way to or from Pelham Bay Park. There's no other reason to go there. Seriously.

Unless you have a boat and are stopping there to provision for a trip to the eldritch. Be forewarned.
posted by digitalprimate at 2:25 AM on October 6, 2013


Definitely don't go to Bistro SK.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:44 AM on October 6, 2013


I love NYC for many reasons, but last time I was there it occurred to me that the edifice of my love is that I am a fast walker.

I am a fast walker, and slow walkers fill me with impatience and the nearly unstoppable urge to punch them in the butt*. Yes I make allowances for those who cannot walk fast through no fault of their own and yes I know it is more about me than them but seriously when the slow walkers spread out and take up the whole sidewalk or stairwell so you can't pass them come on.




*DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT IN REAL LIFE GOING TO PUNCH ANYONE IN THE BUTT. I AM HYPERBOLICALLY EXPRESSIVE, NOT VIOLENT. PUNCHING PEOPLE IN THE BUTT IS RUDE AND I DO NOT CONDONE THIS PRACTICE, NO MATTER HOW UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLY SLOWLY THEY ARE WALKING.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:18 AM on October 6, 2013 [18 favorites]


I am a fast walker, and slow walkers fill me with impatience and the nearly unstoppable urge to punch them in the butt

Oh GOD you'd hate Tokyo. After 11 years of living in NYC I moved to Tokyo and was APPALLED by how slowly people walk. Still bothers me sometime, when I'm in a hurry, but I've realized, after 18 years in Tokyo, that my speediness in NYC was a kind of culturally imposed one. I mean, one is *supposed* to be in a constant hurry in NYC. Because everything you're doing there, there in the center of the world, is so damn important!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:35 AM on October 6, 2013


NOOOOOOO I don't wanna hate Tokyo.

I live in a city that is generally slow-walking but isn't quite as dense. I am accustomed to walking as transportation, though and have been since I was a kid in a very, very small town, so my fast-walking isn't necessarily culturally imposed - I even walk fast on the treadmill and am filled with rage if the speed arbitrarily drops below 3.5, like who can even walk as slow as 2 and why do you think you are doing me a favor, treadmill, I hate you.

And on a treadmill, I am not going anywhere, just binge watching Adventure Time or something. Me going faster is not going to have any effect on the speed at which Adventure Time is conveyed into my face.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:44 AM on October 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


If Johnny T is so New York, why is his medallion the logo of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority?
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:22 AM on October 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


I loved the "So why the hell would you (come all the way to New York just to) go eat at Applebees?" bit. It reminded me of several years ago when a friend of mine had just come back from a week vacation in Maui and was raving about how great the food was. Having just been there a few months earlier myself, I asked about some of the specific places he had eaten to see if we went to any of the same restaurants.

"The best was probably The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company"
posted by The Gooch at 6:01 AM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Missing from this awesome video are the correct directions for biking around Central Park and the fact that you are not allowed to bring a bike or a stroller to the reservoir. Sigh.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:04 AM on October 6, 2013


That puppet is a jerk.

Only when he's visiting your town. I mean, we dealt with that in the first minute.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:27 AM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Those puppets make other puppety videos too, if you're interested. I'll get outta the way now.
posted by orme at 6:29 AM on October 6, 2013


I live in a city that is generally slow-walking but isn't quite as dense. I am accustomed to walking as transportation, though and have been since I was a kid in a very, very small town, so my fast-walking isn't necessarily culturally imposed - I even walk fast on the treadmill and am filled with rage if the speed arbitrarily drops below 3.5, like who can even walk as slow as 2 and why do you think you are doing me a favor, treadmill, I hate you.

I am a fast walker, and I feel your pain. It is really bad on the East Coast, where sidewalks are like 3 feet wide, and, when you get slow walkers, it's like a taste of hell. Especially when they want to walk next to each other. I almost wish a jogger would appear and run into them. That would teach them the error of their slow-walking/inane-talking lifestyle. And it might convince the hogger to go like 2 block to the boulevard with the jogging path rather than running on the 3' sidewalk. Jeeze, people!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:30 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a fast walker even by NYC standards. I don't want to hate Tokyo.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:45 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That video should be played on every airplane just prior to landing at any of the area airports. It is a pretty concise version of what every New Yorker tells visiting friends.
posted by etc. at 8:19 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not even the slow walking for me, it's the stopping. Stop stopping tourists. Stop. Stopping.
posted by sweetkid at 8:52 AM on October 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sidewalk stopping is bullshit but what gets me is people flouncing out of an entrance without looking to see who might be coming. I will manhandle people out of the way while whispering "Look next time" right up in their ear. I find that raising my voice is ineffective, what works best is physical contact and muttering.

One day I will be stabbed for pushing the wrong person, but at least when the crowd forms to watch me bleed out, I will be blocking the sidewalk with good reason. Don't step on my blood or I'll curse you from the morgue.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:12 AM on October 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Hey, wasn't that... yes, it most certainly was Red Basil Thai on Steinway! Not sure if it deserves to be the representative of "we got Thai food in New York," but always happy to see stuff in my hood shouted out.
posted by DLWM at 9:42 AM on October 6, 2013


I'm a very fast walker. I haven't found relief from slow people since moving back to New York, but at least here I can share an eyeroll or disgusted expression with likeminded people.

It was bad in DC where I was the only person squaring up on the fannypack'd patriarch of every oversized tourist family and forcing him out of the way with a shoulder. Now I just take a number.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:22 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Johnny T forgot to say that, unless you're outside of a hotel, you're going to have a heck of a time finding a taxi in Manhattan on weekdays between 4-5pm, because that's when a lot of drivers are going off their shifts. I learned that my first week here.

Can I get this off my chest, though?

I used to live in a very wealthy neighborhood near a couple of famous NYC attractions, and aside from the slow walkers, I had no issue with tourists. Where I live now is also near a famous NYC attraction, and the tourist behavior couldn't be more different. Look, folks: while the area where this attraction is located isn't Park Avenue, the people here aren't freaks, nor are they going to try and rob/clip you at the soonest opportunity. They're just not upper middle class or rich, OK? So: Stop gawping at my neighbors like you're at a zoo. Stop acting like you'll be imminently murdered at the crosswalk by the little old brown lady and her shopping cart coming out of C-Town. Calm down and carry on normally. You aren't in a war zone. It may help you to remember that 1977 was a long, long time ago - and even back then, this area wasn't that area you thought you saw on Barretta. Thank you.
posted by droplet at 11:05 AM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


A few days ago I got out of the train at Wall Street and a coupla tourists asked me if that big building right above us was the Empire State Building. Uh...no.
posted by sweetkid at 11:37 AM on October 6, 2013


It's not even the slow walking for me, it's the stopping. Stop stopping tourists.

Actually, it's the people who are so focused on their cell phones that they aren't looking around them that bug me - and those are more often locals rather than tourists. I was on a bike once and three people walking abreast were blocking the way - I rang the bell, and two moved, but a third didn't, she was so fixed on her phone. I rang again like crazy; no dice. She didn't look up until I hollered "Hey! Eyes front!" at her, and then she only looked up in a trance like "....that's odd, is someone shouting?"

A few days ago I got out of the train at Wall Street and a coupla tourists asked me if that big building right above us was the Empire State Building.

My absolute favorite question from a tourist was when I still lived on the Lower East Side and a couple stopped me to ask for directions to Cannery Row. They mistook my slack-jawed surprise for ignorance, chided me for not having heard of it, and walked away before I could tell them ".....that's in California, you doofuses."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:32 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]



Actually, it's the people who are so focused on their cell phones that they aren't looking around them that bug me


People with headphones in are like this.
posted by sweetkid at 1:00 PM on October 6, 2013


Nuts. The fun's all in Bensonhoist.
posted by Twang at 1:09 PM on October 6, 2013


I've been planning a sightseeing trip to Co-op City, having been fascinated with the completely un-Marylandy scale of the place as I've passed by for decades. It'll go in my diary with my first ever solo road trip, way back in '86, when I decided I needed to see the site of the '64 World's Fair and explore the neighborhood where Kitty Genovese met her sociology class-provoking demise. If you think you look like a touristy jerk in Manhattan, try being a pimply teen with a Datsun and a righteous mullet asking the locals for directions to landmarks from a murder in Queens in the center of the horrifying Reagan years. I should have been holding a turnip in each hand and wearing a t-shirt that reads "YES, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME."

I love the city, a little less now that it's been Guilianized out of some of its local color (I mean, seriously, hardly any of the Village smells like urine anymore) and the internet now makes it no longer the best destination for rare records and porn, but I still go and visit my favorite landmarks and seek out strange new worlds and civilizations.

It's weird to think of flying into the city. The shuttle bus from the Newark airport one way costs more than a round-trip ticket on the Megabus from DC.
posted by sonascope at 1:41 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I should have been holding a turnip in each hand and wearing a t-shirt that reads "YES, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME."

Yes, camouflage is often a better option.
posted by fings at 1:51 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


People with headphones in are like this.

Not all people who have their headphones in are oblivious in a bad way. Maybe they just don't want to talk to anyone.

I have a special hatred for the people who try and get you to take your headphones out, especially the guys who constantly do it to the women I know.

Just because I don't want to talk to you doesn't mean I'm somehow failing some social contract. At least any one that isn't bs.
posted by emptythought at 1:57 PM on October 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


the fact that you are not allowed to bring a bike or a stroller to the reservoir. Sigh.

Or the people who run in a clockwise direction. And the people who bring dogs. There's a SIGN, people!

(Okay, so it's a really small sign. But come on. Can't the runners at least see what direction the vast majority of other runners are going in?)
posted by imnotasquirrel at 2:04 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]



People with headphones in are like this.

Not all people who have their headphones in are oblivious in a bad way. Maybe they just don't want to talk to anyone.

I have a special hatred for the people who try and get you to take your headphones out, especially the guys who constantly do it to the women I know.

Just because I don't want to talk to you doesn't mean I'm somehow failing some social contract. At least any one that isn't bs.


I didn't say that because I want to talk to people with headphones in. People with headphones in on the subway often don't pay attention and don't hear you when you ask them to move in, or let you out of the subway.

Trust me enough strangers insist on trying to talk to me in public (and try to get me to take headphones off to tell me I look nice or whatever).

I don't know how you got that I want to have a little chitchat based on that one comment. I just meant if you say "excuse me" to some people with headphones in, so you can, you know, get past them and off the train during rush hour, they can't hear and don't acknowledge. Which is a pain.
posted by sweetkid at 2:12 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend and I were walking along Bowery in Chinatown when this older Japanese tourist asked us if we knew how to get to Carnegie Hall. My friend immediately yelled "Practice!" The man stared blankly at us for a few seconds before we gave him directions.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:17 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yea, ok, good point. I guess it's just that most of the time i hear any argument against people wearing headphones in public it stems from some sort of "it's antisocial!" thing. And your post was so short that i thought it was just a leadin to more of that :x

Because oh god, i've heard so much of that.

I'd still much rather deal with a random oblivious person who wont move and possibly be that person than talk to most people on public transit though. Even as a dude, a lot of the people who ask me to move over so they can sit down want to start some dumbass conversation with me.

And for a lot of the women i know, it's entirely a defense mechanism when they sit on the outside and don't move in so no one will sit next to them.

If you simply meant meander into the train/bus or down the hall a bit though, then yea... that is annoying. But sort of an acceptable side effect of the rest. Anyone who actually wants to communicate with a random stranger on public transit for pretty much any reason almost always is doing it for a shitty reason in my experience, as a lifetime transit rider all the way down to being a baby.
posted by emptythought at 3:47 PM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


No, I mean when I need to get by someone to get out of the train, and they have headphones in and can't hear me say "Excuse me." I just want to get off the train before the doors close. I don't want to be social on the train. I'm a woman and have a lot of experience with people motioning me to take my headphones off just so they can harass me.

I'm not big enough to physically move people and think that's much ruder/intrusive anyway. Even tapping on the shoulder is tough - it's better if people, headphones or not, are just aware that there will be people behind them trying to get out and can be ready to move out of the way.
posted by sweetkid at 4:50 PM on October 6, 2013


You got elbows, they got kidneys. There's nothing rude about crushing someone who's blocking the subway door and refusing to entertain polite requests to move.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:57 PM on October 6, 2013


All I'm responding to is the suggestion that I'm trying to chat people up when they have headphones on. That is like, the opposite of what I want to do on the subway.
posted by sweetkid at 6:59 PM on October 6, 2013


Oh yeah, I thought that was pretty obvious from what you said to begin with: in the context of a conversation about oblivious people in high traffic public situations, the headphone thing was about them not paying attention, not you trying to spark a connection.

I simply meant that I've been moved when I was in the way by people who were tiny compared to me, and I knew I was the rude one by standing in their way. Sometimes pushing or shouting isn't rude at all.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:09 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I should have been holding a turnip in each hand and wearing a t-shirt that reads "YES, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME."

Consider: we are talking about a city in which I once got into line behind someone at a movie theater box office and failed to notice that he was wearing a tuxedo to which he had sewn several dozen white plastic forks, and was also riding a unicycle. I didn't realize there was anything unusual about him until I got up to the window and saw the whole staff was watching him ride away.

That would have made you look like a local.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:59 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


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