Welcome to New York City, or if you like it, call it the Big Apple! This city never sleeps and for good reasons. Each year, this part of Manhattan receives nearly 50 million visitors. The number makes New York City one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
New York City is home to a staggering 8.6 million people, turning it into a vibrant metropolis and a leading economic hub in the US. As a visitor, the city will usher you to a whole new world of attractions not found anywhere else. From historical monuments to ultra-modern structures and mouth-watering cuisines to endless entertainment spots, the city keeps you yearning for more.
While there are too many good things to do in New York, there is plenty of stuff to avoid if you want to make your stay a memorable one. Let’s delve deeper into what you should not engage in when in New York.
1. Avoid Making Eye Contact with Some Folk in Times Square
They say, “ When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” But when you are in New York City, avoid doing something that might make your stay unpleasant.
One of those things to avoid in NYC is making eye contact with some characters when you visit Times Square. Some of these people are crooks and are out there for no good. First, their dressing code is questionable, and you can easily get carried away, thinking they are typical street performers.
Don’t be fooled by their appearance, but keep walking, don’t look up and don’t stop to even shake hands with them. If you do, then be prepared to part with a few dollars, which might affect your budget.
In fact, it can get worse if you are visiting this famous section of the city with your kids. These characters can get super creepy and harass you in the presence of your children for money. So, be careful who you make eye contact with when you visit Times Square.
2. Avoid a Ride in a Horse Carriage When in Central Park
Central Park is another fascinating place to visit when you are in NYC. Despite its fame, unique flora and fauna, and breathtaking sceneries, you need to be fully aware of horse carriage rides.
There is a growing concern about how horses are treated in this park. As a matter of fact, animal rights groups are advocating for a ban on horse-drawn carriages, citing poor living and working conditions for these animals. Therefore, you should show solidarity for ethical animal tourism by avoiding rides on horse-drawn carriages in Central Park.
Besides, the drivers will most likely harass you relentlessly the moment you set foot in the park. Some will overcharge you for the services once they get to know you are a newcomer. For this reason, avoid such drivers and walk along as if you have not seen them. Alternatively, you may grab a City Bike to save yourself from the agony of being harassed by shrewd drivers.
3. Avoid Blocking the Sidewalk
As you may know, sidewalks are public spaces shared by pedestrians everywhere, including your own city. So, it will sound rude to block the sidewalk, especially when visiting New York City.
Remember, in NYC, sidewalks are more or less the same as highways. Just in the same way you would avoid creating unnecessary stops on a highway, you should also not stop in the middle of a sidewalk.
Whether you are texting, checking a map, or taking a picture, never stop to do any of the things mentioned above. New Yorkers are busy people and won’t take it kindly when you try to slow them down.
The golden rule is to find a better place and step aside to avoid causing any inconvenience to passersby. You may stop at the curb, next to a mailbox, or under an awning, but not in the middle of a busy sidewalk. If you do it, be prepared for an evil eye, an elbow knock, or something worse from those who will get offended by your action.
4. Avoid Disrupting Escalators
In most cases, escalators come in two lanes to serve their purposes. The right side is meant for standing while the left is for climbing up the escalator steps. This unspoken rule can come as a shock to you if you are touring NYC for the first time. It is vital to have it at the back of your mind to avoid problems during your vacation in this big city.
5. Avoid a Random Pickup at the Airport
Sometimes you may be tempted to take the first taxi that shows up when leaving the airport. No matter how tempting and convenient it may seem, avoid random pickup at the arrivals area. Just ignore them by all means.
It is better to be safe in a taxi-stand line than risking paying more or finding yourself in weird places with an unidentified cab. Alternatively, you can rely on a tax app or call NYC car service for advanced airport-pickup reservations.
6. Avoid Getting Scammed
NYC has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to charitable causes or legitimate hard-luck stories. Again, the city is a haven for fantastic performers. If you are not smart enough, you will definitely become their prime target.
If you meet someone claiming to have lost his wallet on his way to, let’s say New Jersey, just know that you are encountering with a talented actor. To avoid falling into such scammers’ traps, always keep the wallet in your front pocket or your purse secured. Never wield your purse or wallet openly to show off your “riches” in public spaces. You never know who’s watching you.
7. Avoid Skipping Fare in the Subway
Subways in New York City seem to test the integrity of those using them. So, you might find it tempting to skip over the turnstiles located at the entrance to avoid paying your fare. Even though no one will ask you to swipe your card, it is prudent that you do so to be on the safe side.
The fine for jumping over the turnstiles and not paying fare is $100 or more. It is not worth saving $3 only to find yourself spending a better part of your NYC tour in a jail. Well, you may enjoy free accommodation in jail, but that is not a nice way of spending your vacation in Manhattan!