Open Phones: Welcome Tourists

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that New York will reach 50.2 million visitors by the end of 2011, a milestone for the city. Are you a tourist? Call in and tell us your stories or ask Brian a question. Are you hosting a tourist? What is your experience?

Comments [18]

Olof from Schweden

I saw some remarks blaming tourists for stopping on the side walks and even to drive locals out of town. Well, as a tourist you stop and watch things, you could say that thats the whole point of being a tourist, and most of us dont prefer to go to McDonalds and Starbucks when visiting NYC. But I have been to Starbucks in The forbidden city of Beijing and McDonalds in Budapest, if you know what im sayin'?

Dec. 25 2011 09:55 PM
Olof from Sweden

The inhabitants of a neighborhood in Stockholm, Kungsholmen, were asked where they would like to live in a survey in the local paper. More than 50% answered New York. In Sweden its almost a stigma if you have not been to New York. Over here people love California and New York for a number of reasons - one of them being fed with american culture from early childhood.

An average swede has probably seen a lot more american teve series and movies then swedish teve series and movies even though we, at least those who voted yes, pride ourselves of being europeans. 95% percent of all foreign teve series and movies, not to mention music, are angloamerican. Me and my former girlfriend declared a year free from american movies in order to explore "our own" culture - if you search you will find great movies from Romania, Austria and Denmark.

We love New York because we feel a strange mixture of being in a very familiar place and a very special place. Everything feels very real or even a bit "surreal". The average swede, owning a DVD-box with all episodes of Seinfeld, have a lot more in common with the average new yorker than the average spaniard or german. Thats why you freak us out with such medieval (and obviously counter productive) practices as water boarding, even though everybody knows new yorkers are a bit different rather than typical americans.

Well, I get the creeps when I leave Stockholm to go to the country side but love cities and no city is more city than New York City. Seen as a brand New York is priceless, with a restored reputation by mr Obama after eight very dark years. I have only been to New York once, in Brooklyn most of the time, but simply adore NYC and its peculiar citizens. If I could get a job and an apartment I would go to New York tomorrow.

Dec. 25 2011 09:35 PM
KA from NY

Seeing foreign tourists on the 2 and 5 train going to the Bronx Zoo - Botanical Gardens and Arthur Ave. on foot shows how different the city is. Tourists were always afraid of the Bronx. I volunteer at a community garden/farmer's market in the South Bronx... and I've seen European tourists come there to film because they heard how much the Bronx has changed.

Dec. 21 2011 04:51 PM
geo from Astoria

all tourists should go to the QUEENS MUSEUM where they can see the huge MODEL of NEW YORK CITY and get a better understanding of the geography and size of NYC.

Then they can go to Astoria for good Greek food.

Dec. 21 2011 12:08 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Many tourists who come from countries that still have high tariffs and excise taxes do find it cheaper to come here and buy stuff to sneak around customs back into their countries. I know this was once the case for Israelis years ago, but no longer as tariffs on most consumer goods there were radically lowered in the last decade or so.

Dec. 21 2011 11:59 AM

More and more often, our out of town guests are our friends who are former nyc residents who have left nyc for work or for starting families.

Dec. 21 2011 11:58 AM
john from office

Can tourist get instructions on the way in, Like dont come to a complete stop on a sidewalk, walk faster, dont get on subway when schools let out and do you really need a photo of that???

Dec. 21 2011 11:57 AM

Also, in conversations with other visiting friends closer to our own age: tourists LOVE the High Line. And even Europeans from cultural capitals are invariably awed by MoMA and the Met.

Dec. 21 2011 11:57 AM

Just hearing that the Mayor has closed youth hostels, I am supposing he is more interested in tourists who may spend more than youngsters.

Dec. 21 2011 11:57 AM
sabrina from SpaHa

I tell all tourists (in the spring and summer) to visit Coney Island, but state that it was better before the "renovations." Otherwise, the Chinatown/Little Italy/East & West Village walk is another favorite. A ride on the Staten Island Ferry is another fave. It's all "on a shoestring," but it's authentic!

Dec. 21 2011 11:56 AM
Dave from Manhattan Valley

To the caller looking for hostels: There are two hostels in my neighborhood -- Manhattan Valley! They seem a little more ritzy than most hostels I've been to, but I hope it helps!

Dec. 21 2011 11:56 AM

A few weeks ago we hosted my partner's parents from Germany for two weeks. His mom lost her wallet in a cab and -- amazingly -- the next person in the cab found a dry-cleaner ticket in the wallet (which still had $80 cash in it) and took the trouble to call the dry cleaners, who in turn contacted us. For his mom this was a revelation. She couldn't stop talking about this act of kindness in a city she'd always thought of as dangerous and uncaring (outdated anyway of course -- but nothing like an experience like that for a convincing corrective).

Dec. 21 2011 11:55 AM
Zach from UWS

I took my parents to Jackson Heights this past summer when they were visiting from Ohio. They had never been anywhere like it. They had a great time.

Dec. 21 2011 11:53 AM
helen from manhattan

I sure hope no tax dollars went into those gift certificates to the tourists.

I like that people visit NYC but I sure hate it when they stop and stand and chat in subway stairwells or in the middle of the sidewalk when the rest of us are busy trying to get to work. I don't know why it isn't common sense to stand off to the side if you have to stop, especially in large groups.

Dec. 21 2011 11:52 AM
Mark from Manhattan

Everything is "Happy" this day "Happy" that day... too much and the honking of cars and trucks.... too much

Dec. 21 2011 11:51 AM

The most important thing for me to have my friends do when they visit, isn't to go anywhere specific, but that we walk around and take the train everywhere.

Dec. 21 2011 11:51 AM
Tracy from NYC

Every year, my family plays host to relatives from our native Barbados, who come here to shop in Richmond Hill, Queens and Flatbush, Brooklyn because taxes are lower here than in the Caribbean. Don't forget the tourists who come here just for the outer boroughs!

Dec. 21 2011 11:47 AM
Kate from Midtown Manhattan

50+ million visitors and most of them come to midtown Manhattan, and there are days when I'm sure they're all on the block where I live. I appreciate how tourism is important to NYC and I'm proud that so many want to come here, but it is also a policy dilemma for those of us who live and work here -- how to accommodate the stress of tourism (pedestrian congestion, signage expansion, national chain restaurants pushing out the locals, etc.) on a city that must be more than an urban Disney World.

Dec. 21 2011 11:47 AM

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