Monday, December 29, 2008

New Yorkers Bitch A Lot.

We do. Really. But put yourself in our shoes for a minute and see if you wouldn't bitch too. Think about it. The population here is something like 8 million people. At least half of those are clueless jerks who think the place exists solely for them and nobody else counts.

And I'll admit that tourists pump lots of money into our economy, but can't they just send a check and stay in Omaha? Why must they impede my progress down the sidewalk.

I'm not alone in my disdain for the native assholes and the ignorant visitors. Peruse some of the threads on and you'll find that lots of my neighbors are pissed off and have plenty of time to tell you about it. Here are a few random things you just need to stop doing right now!

1. Golf Umbrellas

They're called golf umbrellas for a really good reason. They belong on a golf course or some other place with a population density of 1 person per 200 square yards. When you walk down a NYC sidewalk with one of these huge things, there isn't room for anyone else. And God forbid, you raise it or tilt it when you walk by me. Nooooooo. It's my fucking job to get out of the way or get poked in the eye so you can stay dry.

2. Baby Strollers

I'm glad you have a baby or two...or three. Yay for you. But guess what. The aisles in the grocery store, the book store and pretty much everywhere else you can imagine were not designed for you and your massive multiple baby conveyance. You are in everyone else's way. If you must take your big-ass stroller with you when you go shopping, how about taking along a friend who can stand out on the sidewalk so you don't need to take your Mack Truck of a stroller into the store. And when you ingnore this request, how about if you at least refrain from leaving the damned thing in the dead-center of the aisle while you trot off to grab whatever you missed in the previous aisle.

3. Walking

Move your ass. Really! This rule has a few parts. First, I get to use the sidewalk too. This means that just because you want to walk three abreast and gawk at the tall buildings doesn't mean it's my job to get out of your way. I'm already walking all the way at the edge of the sidewalk...make some room. (And if I'm behind you, I'm actually going somewhere...I'd like to get there today.)

Second, those "Walk/Don't Walk" signs? They're just a suggestion. If you plan to take them literally, stay on the sidewalk and get out of the way of the rest of us. We tend to look at the traffic and cross the street when there's enough of a gap to get to the other side. (Or even when there's not enough of a gap, but we figure the cars aren't going to just drive over us. Note: This is a rule that changes depending on whether we're being pedestrians or motorists at the moment.)

4. Cell Phones

Feel free to babble as loud as you like on the street. Once you step into a store, theater or bus, shut the fuck up. I don't know you. I'm sure I wouldn't like you if we were introduced. I don't want to hear any of the details of your life. (Those of you having loud conversations without the benefit of owning a cell phone or being with anyone else are excused from this rule. Crazy people add color to the city.)

5. Bitching

I reserve the right to bitch about anything that's annoying me at the moment. You, however, should just stop whining. You're annoying me.


Unknown said...

Just came upon your blog through work research...and now have a new daily fix...this post was hilarious...and so so so true....

vince said...

Ely is very small, but survives on tourism. Yet you should hear us bitch (me included) about the tourists and how they take up all the parking, make driving in town hard because there's, like, actual traffic then, the stupid and/or annoying questions they ask, and so on.

And I'd be willing to bet that in any given city/town, at least half the population are clueless jerks.

mattw said...

Not having a good Monday, Nathan?

Hey, look at that, new readership, maybe you should bitch about more stuff and you could become the new king of the intertubes!

Nathan said...

Vince, Don't forget; I've been to Ely. If memory serves, you get to keep most of your tourists segregated to roughly 4 blocks...which makes them much easier to avoid. The bastards go everywhere here. One of those double-decker tour buses follows a route that takes them a block from my house.

And welcome Carlos.

Jeff Hentosz said...

Dear Grayline,

I have the most marvelous address in Brooklyn that I'm sure your clientele would love to see. It has a spectacular front door and is only a block off your current route. The current resident is an internationally-known personal essayist and would be tickled to meet your passengers and have his picture taken with them. There is plenty of parking space in front of his steps for strollers. Let me know if you're interested.

Keep NY enthralling!

J*** H******

Nathan said...

Dear Grayline,

Sadly, Jeff is mistaken. Following his advice would bore your patrons to death. The real excitement is to be found just a few blocks off of I-71. I'll be glad to provide directions.


Jeff Hentosz said...

::looks out office window::

Nathan! Get out of that bush goddamit!

Random Michelle K said...

Hey, I'd be willing to trade tourists for college students!

Anyone interested?

Jeff Hentosz said...

No thanks -- I live up the hill from a university that attracts tourists.

Re, the post: I hate those strollers, too. I call them "Hummers." What's fun is watching airhead parents taking them up and down escalators. If you're behind them, they'll be sure to pause right at the end of the conveyance to look around and get their bearings. Ooh, I hate 'em soooo much. Xb

Back when I was a young dad, our stoller was a slight thing that folded up to a little larger than umbrella size. And we liked it!

Anonymous said...

We live in a tourist town that gets logjammed with escaping Seattlites on summer weekends. We can't get anywhere near downtown during those times.

In AK, they sell a bumper sticker that says, "If it's tourist season, can we shoot them?"

I like it.

vince said...

Michelle, we have college students as well, so all a trade would get me is more college students.

Nathan, you haven't been here during Blueberry Arts Festival, when our population goes from roughly 3400 people to 15,000+. If only we could keep them in 4 blocks.

And no offense meant, but there are plenty of places in Brooklyn that tourists would be stupid to visit.

Anonymous said...

Cell phones should be for cars only! I live in Southern California, and if you cannot do something in your car, it shouldn't be done.

New Yorkers, quit complaining about how "things are"...just because your stinking corpse of a city was build before the turn-of-the-century, don't gripe about modern conveniences. Golf Umbrellas are crucial, because they keep the rain of your big "Puertoriqueno" asses. You don't like it? move to Jersey. Strollers? If it wasn't for childbirth, your overpopulated, crusty city wouldn't be so, well, overpopulated. That's how you like it.

I've got one thing to say to the NYC...GET OVER YOURSELVES. Yes, the sun DOES rise and set on Manhatten. Over two sewers; the East River and the Hudson. Be proud. You've created aromas and filth beyond the human imagination.

I'm just sayin'.

Nathan said...

...there are plenty of places in Brooklyn that tourists would be stupid to visit.

I'm fine with them going there. I'll even tell them how to get there.

Nathan said...

Actually, that smell comes from Elizabeth, NJ.

And, ahem, Manhattan.
Just sayin'.

Random Michelle K said...

Anyone who thinks cell phones should be used in cars is a fool.

Talking on a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of DUI--and hands free doesn't make a difference.

And no, talking to passengers does not lead to the same amount of distraction.

Americans are foolish to have such a cavalier attitude towards cars. They're deadly machines and we treat them like mobile living rooms.

Anonymous said...

Except for the umbrella thing (little rain + residents who drive everywhere = not too many people on the sidewalks with umbrellas), sounds a hell of a lot like Los Angeles.

I'm a fast walker. It's very difficult for me to just stroll, especially if I'm by myself. People who crawl/stop in the middle of the sidewalk are lucky I don't smack them upside the head as I blow past/plow through them.

Jeff, you had a fold-up stroller when you were a young dad? Man, what I wouldn't have given for a fold-up stroller when I was a kid. My parents screwed caster wheels to small wooden planks and pushed them with their feet.

And we liked it!

Jeff Hentosz said...

Carol Elaine:

Woman! That was when I was a grown-up. Now when I was a kid -- oh, what I wouldn't have given for a caster-plank! No, when I was little, my parents used to drag me around by the pantleg (in winter they'd be kind and drag me around by my coat collar). And did I like it? Well, not at all. But it built character, along with the scar tissue!

Nathan said...


I feel for you. We had it a little better. I'd get an old frying pan strapped to my ass and then a string tied to my belt loop to pull me around.

And I liked it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the spelling. Most of my anger with the NYC comes from my COMPLETE HATRED of the New York Yankees.

I'm sure, you being a Sox fan would have to agree with that, no?

Jim Wright said...

Good God, Nathan, you're starting to sound like me. And now you know, why I live in Alaska.

The wind blows the umbrellas away.

The mosquitoes eat the tourists.

The tundra swallows the strollers.

The tour buses stay pretty much confined to Mount Princess Cruise Line, er, sorry Denali National Park.

About the only thing we have to deal with is our idiot Governor, you betcha!

Nathan said...


Yes, the Yankees are, in fact, Beelzebub, toe-jam, and week-old fish all rolled up into one abhorrent package.