Friday, July 23, 2010

Tourist Spotting

You can google "how to spot a tourist in NYC" and read several funny observations. Most mention that tourists seem to love fanny packs, and taking pictures of everything. True enough. I was thinking about this because the other day I saw a guy walking down our street and immediately I thought, "What's a tourist doing on our street?" I wondered what made me think he was a tourist. I decided it was his starched, brightly colored, Hawaiian shirt, and the M&M World bag he was carrying. Now I am thinking about this more. . .

Grown man wearing shorts in Manhattan on a weekday and he's not delivering something, he's likely a tourist.

Family in Manhattan all walking together on a weekday - tourists.

Carrying an Apple Store bag (easy target), M&M World, FAO Schwarts, American Girl bag - tourist. Locals don't go to Manhattan to buy $12/lb M&Ms. And if they want something from American Girl, they order it on-line so they don't have to carry it across town.

Guy eating hot dog from vendor, not uncommon. Eating hot dog from vendor while spouse takes pictures - tourist.

Backpack or T-shirt has gibberish logo or writing - tourist from another country.

Get on subway and immediately start scheming to get a seat - local.

Get on subway and start gawking or taking pics - tourist about to get run over by seat schemer.

Family walking together on a weekend, all have backpacks - tourists.

People sitting next to you on subway excitedly discussing all they are going to do when they get to their stop that is 5 stops away in the opposite direction - tourists.

Wearing bright colors - tourist or recently moved here. Clothes here fade quickly, some say because of the city dirt that coats everything.

Family with a child in a stroller, may or may not be tourists. Family trying to fit stroller through turnstiles at subway entrance - tourists. Locals know to send the first member of their party through the turnstile. He opens the emergency exit door (yes the alarm sounds, but no one cares) and the stroller is pushed through to him. Then the rest of the party goes through the turnstile like normal, without raising a commotion, congesting the subway entrance, and almost dumping a baby on the subway station floor.

Feel they owe panhandler explanation, apology, or any acknowledgment at all - tourists.

Get to the counter and don't know what they want to order - tourists about to get yelled at.

Whole family wearing foam Statue of Liberty hats - tourists.


  1. That is funny! (I wish I was a tourist again!!! I'd even let you write a post that made fun of me. :) )

  2. Jean shorts. White athletic sneakers. Frosted or chunky streaked hair. All tourists. People who don't speak English - you never can tell.