New York Newb

You’re on your way to pick up a cup of joe from the corner cafe while walking to work.  Unfortunately, the cafe is closed because a cab has managed to park near the espresso machine - inside the coffee shop - sometime late last night.  Surprised?   It’s one of those “Welcome to New York” moments you should be prepared for.

Guides and Tips


Generally, on most sidewalks there shouldn’t be more than two people per lane.  Nothing sucks more than walking down the street and a group of four people essentially pushes you to the curb.

Curb Yourself
Stopping - if you need to stop for whatever reason (checking a map, omgtxtmsgs, realizing you left your wallet at the bar), pull over towards the side of a building or curb yourself.  Stopping in the middle of the street can lead to pedestrian rage and screams of tourist.

Pro-Tip: You’re in a rush and get trapped walking behind a group of ridiculously slow people.  One simple way to get people to move to the side is by making a little noise.  Don’t go over-the-top and be a jerk, but jingling keys, flapping a newspaper against your leg or shaking change will usually be sufficient to part a small stream of tourists.  It’s a little eerie to see how well this works, but you’ll be surprised.  This is a particularly good technique downtown during rush hour and makes you feel like a herding rancher.


“You aren’t a real New Yorker until you’ve nearly been killed by a cab.”  Famous words to live by if you’re out here.  It is true that oftentimes, taxis will not stop or slow down just because you’re in their way while crossing the street.  Occasionally, this rule applies whether you have a green light or not.

There is some rule that cars can’t “block the box” - which means stopping at a light within the actual crosswalk itself.  Like most rules, it’s rarely enforced and often violated, but if you’re walking across the street and a car is blocking the box, it’s okay to make an angry face.

Pro-Tips: Look both ways while crossing the street.  That sounds lame but particularly if you’re jaywalking, getting hit by a car probably isn’t the best idea.  About once a year you’ll hear about a car swerving uncontrollably onto the sidewalk and taking out a few people on the street, so keep that in mind if you see a taxi or truck barreling down the sidewalk.


Neighborhoods    |    Traffic    |    Trains    |    Safety    |    Social    |    Homeless    |    Pro-Tips