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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Looking Like a Tourist, in Midtown

Yawn, Midtown
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.

A man stifles a yawn. It was early morning when I took this photo.

I imagine these folks are European. Funny to think a New Yorker was taking photos of visitors.


The dead giveaway that the folks above are tourists is the way the ladies have their bags strapped across their bodies. I can understand the anxiety of going to a new place - you feel vulnerable, even when it's safe. But there's no need to fear of purse-snatching.

Yes, there are crowds, yes there are all types of people. I've heard of break-ins and one completely random car jacking, but I've never heard of a purse being snatched in the many years I've lived here. Perhaps it happens, but it's very rare.

Some New York women walk about half-asleep with their bags wide open and stuff hanging out, while talking on their cell phones. Not to worry, it's perfectly safe here.

Related posts: Passing the Time in Times Square, Lost Near Macy's and Flower Power, Bryant Park.


Anonymous said...

after relocating to the city for four months, i was always weary about my belongings, but in saying this - i have never felt so safe anywhere else in the world!

Unknown said...

europeans for sure, spaniards i guess

Newyorka said...

I will remember this :D

Dan J. said...

Some years back, I had my first trip to NYC. I too had the unsure feeling about the safety of being out in the streets in the evening. Staying at the midtown Hilton I went to the concierge and asked about walking around after dark.

She asked " Where are you from?"
"Minneapolis" I told her.
She laughed very loud at me, slapped her hand on her desk and exclaimed " Honey, you'll be fine here. I won't even consider going where you live. You should be afraid to go back home !!!"

I never worried about New York again.

A great shot by the way.

Leif Hagen said...

I guess you had them out-camera-ed, Kitty!

Unknown said...

It is not so much a reflection on New York but more on how people feel in Europe. You have to protect your purse there all the times and they simply brought their habit to New York.

Kitty said...

Hi Anon
I'm glad you feel safe here. I wouldn't go so far as to leave my luggage on the street, but it's nice to walk down a busy street and feel ok.

Hi New Yorker
I thought the might be Germans? But now I see they could pass for Spaniards too.

Ha, NomenNescio!

Hi Dan
How funny?! Great story.
I'm glad the concierge was able to put you at ease.

Ha Leif!
For once I must have been more awake than someone else.

Hi Dorothe
Ahhhh...interesting. Thanks for the clarification. It's too bad there are pick pocketers over in Europe.

It's been much too long since I've visited. I am just dying to go back.

Laura Cousins said...

I am certain they are British. Far too sloppy-looking for Spaniards. They do honestly look exactly like the kind of (British) people I see here in the sea-side resort of Bournemouth.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I was thinking they were German. Or possibly from one of the Balkan countries.

Thing is, I have lived in Brooklyn my entire life and spent approximately 1/4 of my almost 35 years in Manhattan, and while I am not afraid of purse snatchers or petty criminals, and am mostly a knapsack-wearing peep, I happen to have a bag that has a strap, and I wear it exactly as those ladies are wearing it, while I am in the City.

So, I dunno...it's fun to try and guess, but there is also the small possibility that this family could be from Chicago, or New Rochelle.

You never know, right?

Ming the Merciless said...

They do look European!!

dianasfaria.com said...

sorry to be debbie downer but I've been pick-pocketed twice in Manhattan. Once someone went into my napsack & retrieved my wallet as I moved up a very crowded subway stairwell. I didn't feel a thing but I knew it was in there beforehand because I had just used it prior. Unfortunately I had to put the napsack on my back, usually I would carry it over my shoulder but I was carrying a painting in each hand.
The second time I was browsing in a book shop and felt a tug at my pocket only to look down and see someone else's hand in my pocket. At least that time I didn't lose my wallet!
Personally I think a lot of women like to wear their handbags this way because it's just easier to walk long distances with them like this.
that's not to say these guys aren't tourists though!

dianasfaria.com said...

I should add I never fear for my safety in NY. I find it to be a very safe city. Pickpockets are everywhere there are people. Anyway, it's not the worst crime to be a victim of.

Anonymous said...

Remember always getting up way before people living in the cities I visited on me own, many times seeing still streets and sidewalks being cleaned - there's for sure a different atmosphere around.
Being German on my own, have to admit that many do carry their bags like that, however people over here in Greece do the same.
Please have a nice start into the new week.

daily athens

elsie said...

that's such an interesting "tell" on a tourist - I always feel perfectly safe when I visit NYC - glad to hear that I wasn't deluding myself!!

Pat said...

I agree that NYC is pretty safe. I always wear my purse like that anyway, since it leaves my hands free. And I made a longer camera strap and strap it on across me on the opposite side! Same reason. Makes it easier to 'shoot'!

I agree they're tourists, but not European, I don't think.

ChickenUnderwear said...

They are tourists because they are just standing there. New Yorkers would be moving.

At least they are not in the way.

Louis la Vache said...

In a related vein, when «Louis» lived in Paris, despite his best and continuing efforts to blend in, the French ALWAYS spotted him as being an American without him even opening his mouth...