Tag Archives: tourists

For your own safety

After nearly a decade living in the Big Apple, I think this could work.

It’s like the autobahn — the two lanes would simply have different speed limits.

And no standing and staring ‘up’ allowed in the New Yorkers lane, either.

#ihearttourists #willbeoneagainsoon

Of course I can hear you

“We’re visiting from Arizona.”

“Our town is about an hour outside of Tucson.”

“We took the ferry to the Statute of Liberty, and now we have to meet our daughter up at 96th and Broadway, so we’re taking the train up there.  Hopefully we are on the right train — is this the right train?”

“We’ve found our way around the city pretty well so far…at least, I think we have.”

None of these comments are that remarkable…typical tourist conversation on the subway.

What is remarkable was this lady’s projection. I was all the way at the other end of the subway car, and it was like she was standing right in front of me.

The person she was talking to? Never caught a syllable.

One thing’s for sure — she will ever get lost in the city. Her family will be able to hear her coming and going.

NYC stories

nyc montageA fun little encounter during my errands yesterday…

I was on the Upper East Side, waiting to cross the street, when a woman asked me where the nearest subway station was located.

I was headed there, so I led the way. We started chatting, and I learned that she:

  • lives in Florida, where I am headed for vacation
  • has family in Kentucky, where I grew up
  • attended Morehead State University, a college that I never hear mentioned outside of the state of Kentucky

She was on her way to a movie audition.  Hope you got the part, Kelly!

We’re really nice

While this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live with guest host Charlize Theron won’t go on any “Best of” lists, there was one Digital Short that is getting a lot of attention.



In “Tourists,” SNL cast members (including Theron) dressed up as — you got it — tourists and pranked the good people of New York City with indecipherable questions, unknown accents, picture taking confusion and general craziness.

It was very funny.

And I want to point out — despite all the weirdness that SNL threw at them, every New Yorker really tried to help them out.

Points for us!

How city dogs communicate

I know dogs and people look at many things with different eyes —

Trees. Trash. Other dogs’ bottoms.

But I am particularly amused by my dog’s fascination with scaffolding.

scaffoldBeing a ‘city dog,’ he passes it almost every day on our way to the park. And he will pull the leash, wanting to cross the street to get to it.

Nothing is more fun, apparently, then sniffin’ and peein’ on scaffolding.

People who live in the city don’t pay much attention to it; we see it come and go with construction projects large and small.  I dare say some tourists may cross the street to avoid it.

But not my dog.

Scaffolding is the best place in town to check his pee-mail.

Humor in advertising

Reverse psychology has been known to work on children, boyfriends, even clients.

But on hungry New Yorkers and tourists?















If the owner of JoeDough Sandwich Shop in the East Village can have a sense of humor about a nasty review…

I’m there.

And I recommend it — sight unseen — to any of my friends and family headed to NYC.  Let’s give this guy some business! 

He’s funny.

Dressed to soapbox

I object.

To the methodology and the terminology, and I demand an apology for Kansas City.

Travel + Leisure recently published their annual ‘America’s Favorite Cities’ survey, where readers rate major destinations in a number of categories.

“Worst Dressed City in America” is one of them.

Now, poor Anchorage has the most to be offended about — they earned the top spot — but Kansas City got punched at number ten.


Having travelers judge how well-dressed people are in a city is like judging a city’s cuisine by the offerings at the airport.  Tourists typically see other tourists when they visit anywhere.  Why?

Because they hit the tourist spots recommended by magazines like Travel + Leisure, which are congested with folks who don’t live there, and are dressing for comfort, not style.

“Worst Dressed Tourists in America” — perhaps.

But don’t judge a city by its gawkers.

Pardon me

Certain words are considered crass and socially unacceptable.

But entire towns?

Such is the sad state of affairs in F–cking, Austria.  (And yes, the “–” stands for exactly what you think.)

Until US soldiers were stationed nearby in World War II, no one in F–king thought a thing about their town’s moniker.

Now tourists mock them.  Steal the F–king signs.  The prank calls were the final straw.  The town mayor decided to change the F–king name.  But all the residents have to agree.

As someone who grew up in Fancy Farm — in a state with towns like Monkey’s Eyebrow, Possum Trot, and Big Bone Lick — I say…

“Keep your F–king name!”

Save our slice

Say it isn’t Sbarro.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the pizza chain may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as early as next week.  They are seeking something called ‘debtor-in-possession’ financing from a group of hedge funds to keep the stores open and operating while in bankruptcy.

I for one hope they find the sauce they need.

It’s not that Sbarro is my favorite restaurant.  The pizza biz in New York City is crowded and highly competitive; you can find a better pie at several places in my neighborhood alone.

But Sbarro is the slice I associate with Times Square.

Long before I lived in Manhattan, my trips into the city were for one thing and one thing only:  theatre.  We would jam two or more plays into a day, if the show times allowed.

And when you’re running from venue to venue, grabbing a slice at Sbarro was quick and cheap and satisfying.  I’m sure it still is for the legion of tourists who overwhelm the theatre district every single day (except maybe Mondays).

Call me nostalgic, but I can’t imagine Broadway without Sbarro.  Let’s find the bucks, people, and help them keep their slice of the Great White Way.

Otherwise engaged

After being lucky enough to be in the studio audience yesterday for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” my friend Leah and I wandered the city, in search of the perfect post-show place for drinks and dinner.

Obviously, Manhattan is an embarrassment of choices; that’s why it took blocks and blocks to settle on a rather touristy final destination: the Heartland Brewery near Radio City Music Hall (because their burgers really are very good).

During our long walk — which didn’t seem long at all because it was such a gorgeous night — I was reminded of another evening in New York City, long before I moved here, that ended up at that ultimate of tourist’s traps, the Hard Rock Cafe.

I was working at Hallmark Cards then, and we were launching a line celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live.”  To speed along the approval process — usually handled via snail mail — we brought all 100+ cards to New York City and met with the SNL Creative Director ‘live.’

In one afternoon, we received approvals on all 108 cards with only four changes.  It was somewhat of a record that I’ll bet still stands in the Hallmark Hall of Licensing.

Somewhat giddy, we headed to Hard Rock where we did many, many shots and, by evening’s end, I found myself engaged — in name only — to the very married director of the licensing design studio.  (He’s never made good on that proposal, by the way.)

And people wonder why I decided to move here…