Tourists in New York are getting dumber by the second

Maybe I’m noticing these things more because I haven’t really had a regular commute since October 2008, and my last full-time job was located in an area that doesn’t really draw sightseers. But since I’ve been commuting to the Grand Central Terminal area every day for the past month or so, the skyrocketing stupidity level of tourists has shocked me.

Welcome to New York!

The easiest tourist trait to notice is how pitifully slowly they walk. City people tend to walk at a brisk pace, and New Yorkers take it to an extreme, so I don’t expect visitors to keep up. But when it’s taking you five minutes to get from 43rd Street to 44th Street, and you’re under the age of 80 and not reliant on crutches or a cane, there is seriously something wrong with you. Move your asses, people.

I’ve also seen them walk three, four, or, in one case, five across through places like Grand Central Terminal, looking puzzled and trying to figure out why most passers-by are giving them the stink eye. People: You are in the way, and common sense should be telling you this, not some angry blogger. People are trying to get to work, or get home from work. Not everyone is on vacation, although we all wish we were. Stop rubbing in the fact that the euro is kicking the dollar’s ass right now and get the hell out of the way.

I’ve seen them get up to the counter at restaurants and delis, after waiting several minutes and having plenty of time to think about their orders, yet not having a trace of an idea what the hell they want to eat. What exactly were you waiting for?

But the thing that’s baffled me the most about tourists is their uncanny ability to stop in the absolute worst possible places because they have no concept, clue or theory where they are or where they’re going.

I’ve seen them stop at the top or bottom of stairwells or, worse, escalators, blocking the path of everyone else who is trying to use them. I’ve seen them stop right smack in the middle of subway platforms, so no one else can pass, or, even worse, right in the middle of train doors, so no one can board or disembark.

Really? You might as well come to a dead stop in the middle of a freeway and pull out a map.

I’ve lived in the city my entire life — 42 years and counting — and there are still times when I find myself slightly confused upon encountering a subway station I’m not familiar with, or one I haven’t passed through in a while. So, do you know what I do when I find myself in that situation? Are you ready to grasp this concept? I get the hell out of the way until I reorient myself and know where I’m going, rather than standing in the middle of a passageway, slack-jawed and clueless, and blocking everyone else’s way.

Why do New Yorkers have a reputation for being impatient, abrupt and rude? BECAUSE YOU PEOPLE ARE IN THE GOD-DAMNED WAY! Use your heads!

Oh, yeah, and have a nice day!

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4 comments on “Tourists in New York are getting dumber by the second

  1. Deb says:

    “Stop rubbing in the fact that the euro is kicking the dollar’s ass right now and get the hell out of the way.”

    That, my friend, is gold. And then there’s:

    “Why do New Yorkers have a reputation for being impatient, abrupt and rude? BECAUSE YOU PEOPLE ARE IN THE GOD-DAMNED WAY! Use your heads!”

    Yes, yes, yes. Where, oh, where is the common sense?

  2. Jeff says:

    You da man, Cheese! This is a critically important essay which should be required reading for all mankind. What I appreciate most is that any tourist who shoud encounter this blog will not only get the message, but they will also grasp how they make so many people FEEL with their inconsiderate behavior. They are like the slow foursome on a golf course–completely oblivious the fact that their slow play offends and aggravates everyone unfortunate enough to fnd themselves behind them, not just the group immediately behind that keeps asking to play through. Get the message people… Time has value to others even if it doesn’t have any to you!

  3. […] a commute that usually takes me about 50 minutes (and probably would be 45 minutes if not for the fucking tourists in and around Grand Central Terminal) to one hour and 15 […]

  4. […] commuting one bit. Commuting sucks no matter what your destination is, but when you’re forced to navigate a tourist-laden landmark like Grand Central Terminal, it’s much worse. I certainly don’t miss the once or twice every winter when I caught a […]

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