New York City is the most walk-able city in the United States. It’s also the most dangerous place to walk in America, too. Quite the conundrum, huh? As a friend pointed out while walking down 7th Avenue, “I’m trying not to look like a tourist, but it’s impossible not to look up. I’m going to get hit by a cab soon.”
(Don’t worry, he didn’t.)
When you come to New York, odds are you’ll be on foot quite a bit. Sure, all the cabs and subways are an extremely convenient (and mostly cheap) way to get around but, especially during rush hour, pounding the pavement is the best way to get around.
However, if you’ve never been to NYC, there are a few things you should know in advance before you’re ready to walk in the Big Apple. You may be embarrassed to read this, but you’ll thank us later when, ya' know... you’re not dead. Here are a few tips for walking around in New York City that can use on your next trip.
- Cars do not slow down under any circumstances for pedestrians
Rather, they continue at the same pace (and have even been known to SPEED UP) while honking their horn in your general direction. If you find yourself playing chicken with a raging vehicle, run. Seriously… RUN.
- Prepare to walk (really) fast
If you’re from the west coast, then you’ll consider the pace on the Manhattan streets akin to a slow jog. People are making moves here. Don’t let one of those moves be them trampling you.
- Rain makes the streets that much more crowded
Why? Because now all of a sudden these Madison Avenue steamrollers have a surface-area dominating mechanism hovering above them; their umbrellas, of course. Keep your head on a swivel, and prepare yourself for more ducking and dodging than Adrian Peterson on a Sunday afternoon. Speaking of rain…
- When it starts to poor, head for the door (way)
Eventually, someone may yell at you to get off what would be the NYC equivalent of their lawn (i.e. a small stoop with an awning) but, for the most part, New Yorkers are OK with sharing their space. (For obvious reasons.)
- Don’t stop suddenly to take a picture
Move to the side, or you’ll end up getting pancaked pretty good from behind. And bad things happen when concrete meets face.
- Wallets up front, gentlemen
It may feel weird to pack your prized possessions in the front pocket versus the back, but you’ll feel safer knowing that all your cash is packing heat by your thigh. You may have to ditch the skinny jeans, but, it’s better than wearing a fanny pack.
- You will hear horn honking everywhere. REPEAT: Everywhere.
Did you know that it’s actually ILLEGAL to honk your horn in NYC? Seriously, it’s a $350 fine that is literally NEVER enforced. And we’d like to see you try to make a citizen’s arrest. Lastly...
- Don’t be afraid to ask a New Yorker for directions
Surprised? Don’t be – they get this all the time! Somewhere along the way, New Yorkers lost that familiar disdain for tourists and now seem to accept that, in fact, tourists are a huge driving force for their local economy. (That's our theory, anyways.) So yes, if you need directions and Suri isn’t cutting it, don’t be shy…