A New Yorker’s Guide To New York: Sidewalk Etiquette

FEBRUARY 4, 2019

New York is a lively, fast-paced city, and like any other travel destination, there are tips and tricks to help visitors feel a part of the energy and enjoy the ride. Luckily, we New Yorkers are generally a pretty friendly bunch—if you make a little effort to go with the flow.

So let us be your local connection and dispel some myths, provide some helpful hints, and ease your anxiety about looking like a tourist. Since New York is a walking city, this time we’re talking about


Sidewalk Etiquette:
New Yorkers think of the sidewalks as our highways, so a good rule of thumb is if you want to go at a more leisurely pace, stick to the right so others can pass. Because the sidewalks can get crowded, you should try to be aware of how much space you’re taking up, never stop abruptly, and try not to walk side-by-side-by-side down a busy sidewalk.

You’re going to want to take pictures while exploring the city, but please don’t hold a photoshoot in the middle of the sidewalk. You may think obstructing the flow of traffic on the sidewalk for a few minutes isn’t a big deal, but those precious few minutes could mean someone just missed their bus, subway, train, or plane and are now late by a whole lot more than just a few minutes.

Are you lost? You can ask a New Yorker for directions. Just say “excuse me” and ask how to get where you need to go. New Yorkers may be stereotyped as being unfriendly, but we will gladly help you get where you’re going… and we’ll tell you the fastest way to get there too. And remember, numbered streets run east-west, with lower numbers downtown and higher numbers uptown.

Bring your most comfortable (but stylish) shoes, so you can get around NYC pain-free. Need a break from walking? Take a ride with New York Water Taxi! They have four convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan, Battery Park, South Street Seaport and DUMBO Brooklyn. These extremely affordable guided hop-on hop-off sightseeing cruises are the perfect activity to give your feet a rest.


The Show to See Now: Kinky Boots

These boots were made for walking… down the streets of New York City! Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots is a Tony Award®-winning Best Musical, featuring music by Tony and Grammy®-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper. An exuberant story about finding friendship, inspiration and passion where you least expect, proves that you change the world when you change your mind.

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