Ten Things New Yorkers Should Never Do!


There are so many lists out there dictating to us what New Yorkers should do and should not do. Seems as if everyone has an opinion on how we should live our lives here in the center of the universe. Yeah, I said it. The center. Yup, we have a high opinion of ourselves at times but overall we just play along with the inside joke about it. New Yorkers are supposed to be all gruff and rude, but that’s really not true. Some of us might be at times, but overall we are a good natured melting pot of people. Working hard, living life, and trying to have some fun along the way. Just keep moving and get out of our way! We are a fast paced society here, and there are some commom rules that we kind of adhere to. Some of these might be a bit nutty but it helps us get through our days. I think you need to be a New Yorker to understand fully but it’s good to know for when visiting our great city. When in Rome do as the Romans do, or some such crap like that. Welcome to New York – now get out!

I present to you my personal list of Ten Things New Yorkers Should Never Do!


1) Never eat pizza with a fork and knife. Never! Ever! What are you? A filthy animal? Use your hand, fold the slice, and shove it into your mouth. Bonus points if you burn the roof of your mouth off with the molten cheese. I think our new mayor needs a lesson in pizza eating etiquette. Man, that was embarrassing.

2) Don’t wait for the walk signal at street corners. Really, what are you waiting for? A royal escort with Tina Fey and Derek Jeter? If you see no cars coming either way then move it! No one wants to wait behind you while you stare aimlessley across the street waiting for the signal to change. We never pay attention to that thing anyway.

3) Don’t ever wear an I Love NY t-shirt. What are you a friggin’ tourist? A close second is a fanny pack. Just, no.


4) Never steal a cab when you know the person standing a few feet away was there before you trying to hail one. That is such a douche move, and I have seen people get in fights over this. Do what I do and move further ahead of them so when you steal the cab they are too far away to catch up as you pull away!

5) For the love of all things edible don’t go and eat at places like TGI Fridays, Applebees, or the Olive Garden. Maybe if you’re trapped out in the burbs, but NYC features every kind of food imaginable with terrific restaurants to choose from. Treat your taste buds!


6) Don’t ever make eye contact. We just don’t do that here when walking down the street or sitting across from someone on the subway. It’s kind of creepy. Unless you are sitting across from Donald Trump. How can you not stare at that hair?

7) Never eat nasty smelling food on the subway. Really dude, I don’t want to smell like curry all day while at work because you squeezed into my crowded subway car with your take out breakfast tray of odoriferous eats. Ever hear of a granola bar or banana?


8) Don’t ever stop for those people with clipboards on the sidewalks. Are you a masochist or glutton for punishment?

9) Don’t dare get in a pedi-cab. Walk your fat lazy ass the 10 or 20 blocks. Have some self respect people!


10) Never go to Times Square. Unless you head there for a Broadway show there is no real reason to be there. Then quickly get out. Unless you’re a tourist. Don’t be a tourist.

58 thoughts on “Ten Things New Yorkers Should Never Do!”

  1. I pretty much agree with every single one of these!

    I especially love #5. I was chatting with my girlfriend the other day about what it must be like to live in a small town and get really excited because an Olive Garden just opened up. Now you have TWO choices for dinner. Oof, not for me.

    1. Hey Dave!

      So glad you agree with my rant! Heck, I’ll admit to eating at a few of these spots when out of NY visiting family, but not when in town here. Yet, if a Cracker Barrel ever opened here I would have to break my rule!

  2. Okay buddy. ENGLANDER HERE! Picard would NEVER say “fork and knife”, because the Proper Way Around is ‘knife and fork’. And he would NEVER say anything as American as ‘ass’.

    But thanks for the useful list of rules – if ever I make it to NYC I’ll try to adhere.

    1. Hey Lizzi!

      Ok – just for your proper British arse I changed it. Yet, I am keeping the “ass” the way I like it!

      You had better memorize this list for your NY visit. Now go have some tea.

  3. “4) Never steal a cab when you know the person standing a few feet away was there before you trying to hail one. That is such a douche move, and I have seen people get in fights over this. Do what I do and move further ahead of them so when you steal the cab they are too far away to catch up as you pull away!”


  4. Great-Aunt Fanny and Great-Uncle Herbie sat us down when we first visited them (on Lon-Guyland) and gave us two more rules. 1. Never appear in public with children who outnumber you. 2. Don’t eat in a restaurant with lots of plants. They’re put there to hide something.

    I think this might be your funniest post ever. I really want to steal a someone’s cab now, but I live in the UK, where even if they’re alone, people make orderly queues of one. They would give me a Very Severe Frown if I tried.

    1. Hey Barb!

      I might cause I lot of trouble hailing a cab in London! Also, I agree with your #1. Children are evil. Never be somewhere that there are more of them than you!

  5. Why the hell don’t NYers ever make eye contact with each other?

    I have never understood that.

    Is it because they can smell Boston when the wind is right and it puts y’all in a bad mood?

  6. I’d be kicked out of your city in a heartbeat. Because I love the shit out of stealing cabs, rocking the fanny packs and making eye contact. I make so much eye contact it’s freaky. So I take it I’m banned from all future visits to your fair city?

  7. Bwahaha. I should do one of these for those of us who live in Las Vegas. You know it’s a clusterf**ck out here.

    And fanny packs? Who the hell uses a fanny pack these days?! I haven’t used one since 1992 when I was 12 and didn’t know any better!

    1. Hey Kim!

      I have been to Vegas many times. So much fun. What happens in Vegas…..

      I still see people wearing those things, but only those times I have been to Times Square. Creepy…..

  8. Times Square is the equivalent to hell, especially since that’s where you’ll find Applebees and Olive Garden. I will say that I’ve eaten pizza with a fork before though (hanging head in shame).

    1. Hey Mother!

      Oh, that gym one is a classic. That’s an awkward machine to begin with! I think many of these can apply to different cities. Good to know.

  9. I love your cab-stealing tip, thanks! This is good to know, NYC is on my list of places to check out and I would TOTALLY go to Times Square making eye contact all up in that jazz. And I would probably wear uncomfortable shoes and look for that Elmo to be a human rickshaw.
    But I would NOT eat at the Olive Garden, don’t like it because they treat me like family. (Sheldon Cooper quote)

    1. Hey Joy!

      Hailing and stealing cabs is an art form here! As for the Olive Garden just go for the bottomless bread bowl but sit there and order nothing else. Then just stare at everyone with direct eye contact. Be prepared to speak to the police!

  10. I would have an issue with #6 and #10 because A) I prefer to look people in the eye and B) I’ve never been to New York so, of course, I will be the tourist in Times Square pointing up, saying very loudly, “Oh wow, look at that! And that! And that! And that!” NY can just ignore me and avoid eye contact while they walk their 20 blocks to eat a piece of pizza with their hands. :-p

    1. Hey Mary!

      It’s one thing to look people in the eye when speaking to them, but another when staring at people in the eye when walking by or sitting across them on the train. That’s creepy to us here!

      But I will stare at you if walking by and you’re eating pizza because I will want some!

      1. OK, I get it! I’ve been on the metro in D.C., so I know about that “not staring” thing. It’s best to look down at your e-reader or cell phone at all times. PS: I might be eating cheeseless pizza, so not sure if you’ll want mine :-p

    1. Hey Reesa!

      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting! So glad you enjoyed this post!

      I agree about Times Square. Avoid at all costs, unless seeing a show there. Or unless you are a Naked Cowboy fan. Or like chain restaurants. Or like people in smelly charactor costumes. Um, never mind. Just avoid it.

  11. Sometimes I like the no eye contact thing. And yes, Times square is a clusterf#ck. I love NYC. The smell, the rush, the people. I have always been surprised (despite my unfair expectation) how incredibly nice New Yorkers are. You guys might act like aloof ganstahs, but you’re all a bunch of teddy bears at heart. 🙂

    the gym meme….omg….hysterical!

    1. Hey Beth!

      NYC is an amazing place. Good and bad. Times Square straddles the bad, and can be a hell hole, but there is a certain electric feel there. I’ll admit to like seeing it lit up at night, but can only take so much of it. If I am there for a show we leave right after it. Yeah, we are all bad ass softies here!

      Now hand over your wallet!

    1. Hey Brickhouse!

      Yes, fold that slice, and eat as applied! Don’t worry about the dripping grease. That’s what napkins and tongues are for!

  12. Haha, great advice Phil. I’ve only ever been to NYC once and that was as a tourist, can I break all the rules?

    As for no. 2, do you not have jaywalking laws in NY State? It is very confusing for us foreigners as we never quite know when and where to cross the road.

  13. I lived in NYC for less than a year, but LOVED every minute of it, much more so than I would have imagined. I followed all your rules, by instinct, and I would add another. Even if someone walks by you in flames, do not look the least bit interested. TV cameras, man wearing nothing but a Speedo and strumming on a guitar, woman walking down the street naked–just pretend you’ve seen it all before and it is not the slightest bit interesting to you. Yawn. Then sneak a peek…

    1. Hey Jill!

      That is so true! We just pretend we don’t care, and even though we might peek, we really are normally in a rush to get somewhere else anyway!

  14. Ha! I’ve been to NYC one many moons ago. The thing that stood out most was the energy of the streets. Sheesh. I thought I was in hyperdrive. Not even close when compared to your side of the world. It was a fabulous experience though. Didn’t have the pizza. I believe I decided on lasagna that trip. I think I need to go check the city out again….

    1. Hi Diana!

      It is fast paced that’s for sure! You have to move fast here. No pizza? You need to come back for that too! Even though I do like lasagna too. Lunch time!

  15. “Welcome to New York – now get out!” That’s what you call “keeping it real” Phil. I love it! As you know, I live in Berlin and the people here are the European version: rough, gruff, sons of the soil, don’t look at me or sit there, I’m gonna drink my beer on the train, type of people.
    I’m proud to be a strong member of my new community!!

  16. I’m with Beth. I’ve never met a New Yorker that didn’t love me and that I didn’t love in return. I think it’s my Texas accent, but I’ll take it. Seriously – I get more free drinks in NYC than any other city, and I’m OK with that! There was once this one cab driver who was pissed that I asked him to take me across town during rush hour, so he drove THE WRONG WAY down a road full of traffic going THE RIGHT WAY. That is the only time in my entire life that I didn’t leave a tip…true story.

    1. Hey Mandi!

      Yee Haw! You must be doing something right, y’all!

      Some cabbies here can be a bit grouchy that’s for sure! Yet, I can understand as going across town during rush hour is a nightmare!

  17. Ha ha ha…my first time to New York I’m pretty sure I did all of these things. But, it’s ok. You don’t have to ban me from your blog because the last time I was there, I think I cut it down to one. Phew!

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