Back in the 1920s, they didn't need etiquette signs dissuading New Yorkers and tourists from doing horrifying, unspeakable things on the subway... but they did need to set a few guidelines. Yesterday we revisited Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book for its tips on visiting Brooklyn, and today we look at their simple rules regarding how to act while visiting New York City. They remind the tourist reading the guide, "New York is like your own hometown, only bigger and the vast majority of its people are decent, likeable citizens. But there are also others." Here are some of their rules, some of which still apply today...
- Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop... and won't know.
- Don't cross the street in the middle of the block. In Paris they arrest you for that, in New York they simply run you down.
- Don't buy the Woolworth Building, Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Tower, the City Hall or any prominent structure.
- Don't hand your baggage to a porter outside Grand Central unless he wears a red hat.
- Don't take the recommendation of strangers regarding hotels... Don't get too friendly with plausible strangers.
- Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable. They are also "smart."
- Don't forget to tip. Tip early and tip often.
- Don't block the sidewalk. New Yorkers will gather in crowds to see a young lady demonstrate a new razor in a shop window or a safe going up the side of a building. Ignore such gatherings; show our ex-hicks that you come from a real town.
- Don't telephone if you are in a hurry. Walk. It's quicker, though it used to be the other way 'round.