This headline is a cleaned up version of a popular t-shirt sold in New York stores. As tourists and out-of-towners descend upon our great city for the upcoming holidays, many of them feel this curt shirt accurately reflects our general unfriendliness and in-your-face rudeness.
Nothing could be further from the truth! For starters, we will stop and give you accurate directions to anywhere in the city (no, not with a smile, but give us a freakin’ break, alright?) and despite what many say, welcome tourists to our city with open arms–especially in these tough economic times, when we can use the cash. We will make your stay more pleasant until you do get the hell–excuse me, go home spreading the news about how sweet and friendly New Yorkers are–if you just follow these few simple rules:
1) While crawling strolling down our wondrous streets, please stay to the right, allowing us to whip by you. Until they install sidewalk commuter lanes, this will improve our attitudes toward you immeasurably.
2) We know you mean well, but please don’t advise us to slow down. We don’t want to “stop and smell the roses”, take a picture of the roses, or take a picture of your family taking a picture of the roses. We have places to go and people (including bosses) waiting for us. So move it along and keep your folksy wisdom to yourself. Thanks!
3) Please don’t hold hands or link arms as you stroll, forming human chains. Nothing gives us apoplexy more than seeing tourists walking down the street three or four abreast holding hands and blocking our way. This isn’t roller derby, and we certainly don’t want to blast through your sweet family chain to get by–but we will if we have to.
4) Don’t tell us that our streets are too crowded, we have too many foreigners, or any other unrequested advise. We believe there is no better city to live in, love it here, and don’t tell you if we had to live in a small town cluttered with fast food joints and provincial minds we’d blow our brains out. So let’s respect each other’s unfathomable choices, ok?
5) If you get around town by subway, please heed the words of our automated friend and “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Please.” Yes, you may want to hold the door for your chubby, out of shape sister as she huffs and puffs up the subway stairs, but remember, your vacation is someone else’s commute to work. They’ll be another train coming along shortly. And hey, stop and smell the roses, right? (although the smell underground will never remind you of fragrant flowers, trust us).
6) Don’t give 10% tips to our waiters, cab drivers and other service employees who depend on such tips to make ends meet. A cheery smile doesn’t make up for a penny-pinching gratuity–which you’ll find out loud and clear if you leave a $3 tip for a $40 dollar meal. 15% to 20% (more like 20%) is consider the standard now–so get in the damn Christmas spirit you relentlessly espouse and open up your wallets!
If you follow these simple rules, you’ll find not only your stay, but the New Yorkers you encounter, pleasant as can be.
You’ve been warned.
Click on the special Thanksgiving entry on the Food page.