Z. Madison

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Gothamist's On To Something

Most every NY blogger has rolled out the Bitching About Tourists post at some point. Yes, yes, they walk 3-5 arm deep on the narrowest of sidewalks on which they abruptly bump fannypacks stopping to gawk up at some building and in general annoy the fuck out of those of us just trying to get where we need to be going.

Yet truth be told they're as much a part of New York as, well...New Yorkers. I'll admit, I actually enjoy helping the helpless halfwits out. Not everyone can be a human OnStar, you know.

Bloomie and the city council are feeling the same way and recently launched an ad campaign speaking to the 'Rists. Here's some of their helpful hints:

1. Call 311 or (212) NEW-YORK for all information about the city.
2. Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan into the East Side and West Side.
3. When getting directions, always ask for the cross streets (i.e. 810 Seventh Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets).
4. In Manhattan, if you walk 20 blocks north or south, you have walked one mile.
5. If the number on the top of the taxicab is lit, it means the cab is available.
6. It is customary to tip 15 to 20 percent to wait staff, bartenders and taxi drivers.
7. MetroCards work on both buses and subways, and transfers between the two are free.
8. Free wireless Internet is available at many public parks.
9. Many businesses, including pharmacies and delis, are open 24 hours.
10. Have a question about NYC? Just ask the locals, or to go to nycvisit.com.

Numbers 2, 3 and 5 should be mandatory welcome signs at any entry point to Manhattan but the rest I believe can be spruced up a bit. The folks over at Gothamist agree.

I'm not going to wade into the Fuck Them I'm A Fucking NYer Hatefest, but here's my suggestions:

1. Maps are your friends. Learn the layout of the place you're visiting, especially if it's a GRID.

2. Stay to the right - on stairs, escalators and sidewalk. Simply put, you're slower than us and road rage ain't got nothing on Pedestrian Pique.

3. You have every right to pay your respects downtown. Just don't ask me how to get to Ground Zero like it's an amusement park. And never phrase it as "Where's 9/11?" unless you really want your kids to hear some colorful colloquy.

4. Save you money, ladies. No one's going to believe that Katie Spade or Louis Wuitton is real anyway. Instead, after visiting Ground Zero, walk across the street to Century 21 or scout out Loehmanns in Chelsea.

Fellow NYers, feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section...

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