Here is my philosophy on being a tourist: You will not fit in. You will not pass as a local. You are a tourist. Grab your camera, spread out your map and get on with it. Living in Manhattan makes you privy to all sorts of bad tourist behavior from all ends of the earth. More often than not tourists will stop right in the middle of the sidewalk for no apparent reason, or try and act New Yorker-y by crossing the street against the light and miss getting killed by a second. But, I happen to think as annoying as these actions (or lack thereof) can be it’s really all right. If you’re going to come to New York then by all means gawk at everything, but don’t think you will blend in. You just won’t.
I sometimes wish I wasn’t from New York so I could have that experience of coming to the city for the first time. I don’t even remember the first time I went to any of the museums or major sights. I think it would be awesome to have that first WOW upon driving into the city and seeing the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. Flying into New York at night still gives me a tingle of excitement and it has to be the greatest lit up skyline on the planet, but that tinge of awe is always tempered by the settling, ho-hum thought that I am home.
I had that feeling of wow the first time I came to Rome over 20 years ago, Continue reading