New York City Local Custom Tips by shutterlust Top 5 Page for this destination
New York City Local Customs: 430 reviews and 393 photos
Going up stairs, going down stairs, on the escalators, walking down the street, moving in GENERAL:
Please STAY TO YOUR RIGHT. New York City is a city of people, vehicles, bikes, and skates. It is a city of TRAFFIC. To keep things moving, we need people to follow the same rules as everyone else, which is to keep to your right. Just like driving in the US, the left lane is the FAST lane. If you're strolling, move it to the right. People here typically pass on the left (yes, you native NYers, you KNOW you pass on the left, even if its subconsious!)
So please, for your sake and for ours, stay to the right. You really don't want to be yelled at on your vacation, do you?!
Many tourists either depart or arrive at Grand Central or just come to stare at the ceiling. If you insist on staring at the ceiling, please either stand still while doing (don't walk around with your head toward the sky), because people are triyng to run of trains and you just get in their way. Also, you're not allowed to sit on the grand staircases, you block commuters and its dangerous. Go sit downstairs in the concourse.
PLEASE DO NOT STARE.
Now I know that in some foreign countries, it's completely normal to stare. However, eye contact IS considered seemingly hostile in New York. Call us paranoid, but we just don't like eye contact with strangers (unless they're especially cute).
It's rude, hostile, annoying and creepy. Don't do it. Even if you're admiring someone's outfit or something, at LEAST be DISCREET!!
I understand that people are tourists in a big city where they haven't been before. I realize that large suitcases are part of the deal. I also understand that tourism in New York boosts the economy. However, PLEASE if you are touring New York, STAY TO THE RIGHT or KEEP MOVING.
People do live and work in New York. Please try to stay to the right or keep the line moving. Do not suddenly stop in the middle of a busy street. Move yourself and your luggage over to the building side of the sidewalk and peruse your maps from there. Do this to save yourselves from any harsh reprimands from people trying to get to work on time.
Also, NYC subways DO get VERY packed. More packed than some people might realize. There may be a point where you have less than an inch space from the next person and you might very well have your face stuck into someone's chest (if you're short like me!) Please try to make yourself compact because the subway mantra here is: You can ALWAYS fit in one more person.
If you have little kids, sit them on your lap if you can. If you have large suitcases, you can move yourself on top of them (sit on them?) to try to make room.
Basically, try to be considerate. The favor will be returned when you're trying to figure out directions to a restaurant downtown.
Since 2003, smoking indoors has become illegal. Which is great. Because I don't like breathing in thick cigarette smoke.
However, since I've moved to Europe, I've actually become accustomed to the smell of cigarettes. I think I'm actually starting to "like" the smell of secondhand smoke!
Yet, unfortunately for those of you from Europe visiting New York, you're gonna have to stamp out that butt because it is now illegal. In bars, restaurants, pubs (do we even have pubs??) etc. I believe it's also illegal to smoke within a few feet distance from the entrance of any building (the reason being that people don't want to walk through a cloud of smoke to get inside a building)
This is what I usually do (of course, this varies person to person, budget to budget)
Taxi: Nothing outstanding- round the total up to the next dollar, then add a dollar. (i.e. total is $5.45...round up to $6...add another dollar $7, paid)
*some taxi drivers may say they "don't have change". Make sure you have singles to avoid overpaying them out of frustration of not having change.
If they were really great drivers (helped outstandingly with luggage, gave tips about travel, etc) add whatever else. If they were horrible, you're not obligated to give anything. (you might want to at LEAST round up to the next whole dollar to avoid waiting for change)
Restaurants: typically, double the tax (Tax is about 8%...so tip is about 16-20%)
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