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Dear out of town guests: Welcome to the 2014 Super Bowl, presented in Western New York City. We’re glad you’re here.
For many of you, this might be your first time in New York City, and specifically, your first time dealing with massive crowds. As someone who was born and raised in Manhattan all his life, I’d like to offer a few suggestions to make your trip easier, safer, and more fun, as well as to ensure that you get invited back, as as opposed to kicked out before the kick off.
1) We’re not rude, but we are quick. This is NYC. At any given time, we’re doing four thousand different things. That said, we’re still happy to take your photo in front of any particular landmark, or give you directions to the nearest “typical NYC restaurant,” but understand: We need to do it fast. “OKGETTOGTHEREADYONETWOTHREEHEREYOUGOENJOYYOURSTAY.” Does that make sense to you? It should. In the span of two seconds, I just took your camera, got you all together, took your photo, gave your camera back to you, and said goodbye. If you weren’t all smiling and looking great, well then, you need to be quicker.
2) Use Mass Transit. There’s a reason 8 million people get to work and home every day without mass hysteria or anarchy. We know how to use mass transit. Here are five simple rules to using mass transit:
- The Metrocard swipes in a moderately fast, fluid motion. Anything else won’t work, and you’ll either lose an ovary or testicle if you try and walk through the turnstile and it doesn’t move. Fast and fluid. Fast and fluid. Say it with me. Fast and fluid.
- Have the Metrocard out when you walk into the subway terminal. If you stop and look for it at the turnstile, you’ll be physically moved out of the way by the sea of humanity waiting to get in behind you. Ever get slammed by a big wave in the ocean? It’s like that, except when you come up for air, you’ll probably be missing your wallet. Have the card out, ready to move.
- The subways are numbers and letters. NOT colors. There is no “red line,” in NYC, it’s the 1 Train.
- When you get on any conveyance, be it subway, bus, or other form of public transit, there’s this magical land called “in.” You need to explore it. You get there by moving away from the doors of said conveyance, and moving “in.” When you move all the way in, you’ll find the free cookies and juice that we put out for guests. But you have to move away from the doors and all the way in, to get there.
3) NYC is a walking town. A fast-walking town. Walk fast. Keep your eyes open. DO NOT walk and look at your phones at the same time, you WILL get hit by a cab or a person, or you WILL walk into something. And when you do, we will laugh. It’s not to be mean, it’s just because we know it’s going to happen. Think about it – 95% of the people who LIVE here can’t correctly walk and use their phones at the same time, and they practice every day. More people have been clipped by bike messengers last year because they’ve been on their phone than were lost in all the wars our civilization has ever fought. What possibly makes you think you can do it on your first day in Manhattan?
Corollary: Do NOT stop on the street, four-across, for any reason at all. Need to stop? MOVE OVER TO ONE SIDE BEFORE YOU DO. This can’t be stressed enough.
4) If you decide to take an Uber on Super Bowl Sunday instead of public transit, understand that you’re going to have to mortgage your house to pay for it, and we’ll have no sympathy for you.
5) For all that’s decent in the world, don’t go to a McDonald’s, Burger King, or any other fast food place that you can get in your home town. This is NYC. It’s the center of the food universe. Walk down a side street and explore a new place. And for God’s sake, leave Times Square to eat. Going to a Chili’s in Times Square isn’t special. It’s still Chili’s, just a crap-ton more expensive. The food still comes from a factory somewhere.
6) No, we’ve never met Jerry Seinfeld, the King of Queens, or the gang from How I Met Your Mother. No, none of us live in apartments that big on those kind of salaries, and there is no “Central Perk.” We’d get shot if we opened a coffee shop called Central Perk.
7) For a view no one else will have, do this: Get on the A train going uptown. Get off at 181st St. Walk onto the George Washington Bridge. Stop halfway over. Look south. Take a picture.
8) On all escalators anywhere in New York City, there is a $1,000 fine for standing on the left. The left is for walking, only. This fine is strictly enforced, and payable to every single person behind you trying to walk up or down the escalator. Bring lots of cash. We don’t take checks.
9) Don’t ask us where the nearest Starbucks is. This is NYC. There’s one within eyesight. There’s ALWAYS one within eyesight.
10) NYC has gotten a lot safer in the past twenty years, no doubt, but let’s face it – It’s still a city, and danger still abounds. If you’re drunk at 3am and decide to walk home, well, that’s probably a stupid idea, and something might happen to you. That’s not NYC’s fault. That fault lies strictly with you not taking the right precautions. This is still a city. Never forget that.
Enjoy the game, visitors, we’re glad you’re here. But please follow the rules above. Trust me, they’ll greatly improve your trip, and our week.
Any other NYC rules? Post them below – I’ll give the best one a ScotteVest Jacket. 🙂