NYC How-To in Pictures

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nathan Pyle, illustrator and author of the graphic book NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette, moved to NYC from Ohio and shares what he learned about maneuvering through the subways and sidewalks without aggravating your neighbors.

→ EVENT: book signing at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint on Thursday, April 17, from 7-8 p.m.

From NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan W. Pyle (Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers)
From NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan W. Pyle (Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers)
From NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan W. Pyle (Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers)


Nathan Pyle

Comments [28]

Darlene from Zanesville, Ohio

Don't lean outside of the cab window with a camera unless you're prepared to defend or fight off attackers.

Apr. 19 2014 05:11 PM
Ellen from Long Island

A must for every NYC hotel night stand! Looks funny and informative.

Apr. 19 2014 03:38 PM
Robinamyb from Hairball Alley 11375

yes I missed this...I posted this on my FB status a few days ago,,"n my mind...I attempted to contact the discuss (Via email) the down on his luck- possibly homeless man on the E train with all his belongings - washing his feet on one side of the car - taking up all the seats on his side, and forcing other passengers to move to other cars. Where are the transit police or MTA employees, who tend to these situations? I am trying to be loving and compassionate, but no one would have benefited from a lone intervention, from any of the passengers. Anyway, the links don't seem to work. If anyone has had correspondence with the MTA, about stuff like this, please let me know. Stuff like this happens everyday, and I find it appalling!"

Apr. 16 2014 06:52 PM

I loved this and I love Nathan for illustrating the nuances of spatial and situational awareness. If you liked this and you go to the gym you'll probably appreciate my particular Gym Etiquette/Peeves:

Apr. 16 2014 01:37 PM
Stella from Brooklyn

What happened to the escalator rule: stand on the right, walk on the left? I miss it.

Apr. 16 2014 11:34 AM
Joanne from MYC

I live and walk the Upper East Side. The sidewalks are so tight between construction sites, parking meters, garbage, postal cans, and storefronts way out (what happened to those city ordinances that specifically state the number of inches a store front can extend?) there is NO ROOM TO WALK. Now we have mothers with strollers that are the size of a smartcar plowing thru everyone on the already tight sidewalks. At some corners, there are barely 12 inches to stand, you are forced into the street many times. I have written time and again about this, no one does a thing. Why elect people into office? Who is enforcing the rules?

Apr. 16 2014 11:25 AM

Allow people to pass on the left on 2 person-wide escalators.

Especially around tourist/business areas (Midtown et al.), some visitors forget that many of their fellow riders are on office/personal errands & trying to get back to work ASAP.

It's very much akin to adapting to sidewalk traffic- keep right except to pass, stay in a column of 2s on large sidewalks & go single file on smaller sidewalks.

Apr. 16 2014 09:30 AM
Anne from NYC

JimD, I would add that standing or sitting on stairs, or hanging around at the top of stairs creates a hazard. Waiting for a train while leaning against the rail at the top of stairs (blissfully texting, often) is unsafe. Many people need the railing to safely go down stairs.

Apr. 16 2014 09:16 AM
Shelley D. from Manhattan

My top 2 subway peeves: 1. People who eat on the subway. Not so much bagels, fruit, or chips, but HOT MEALS you can smell from 3 cars away. Especially meat. 2. Guys who take up 1.5 or more seats because they sit with their knees spread way apart. (Actually, would really like to know why they do this anyway...)

Apr. 16 2014 08:26 AM
JimD from NYC

Pet peeve of mine: people who stop to have a conversation right on the stairs to the subway. It's like they seek out the one place where they can impede the most people.

Apr. 16 2014 12:33 AM
oscar from ny

Here's a mental picture hold the doors of train not with your freaking hand because you'll get your hands dirty and you won't be able to stop the doors from closing and you will look dum but hold it with the back of your can control the door lovely and look cool when you go in like a boss

Apr. 15 2014 12:16 PM

What's even worse Mickey is when the cashier is on their cell phone while ringing up your purchases!! I've experienced this quite a few times while at the supermarket. New Yorkers are so into their own worlds with their various devices as a way to avoid other people that it's a bit disturbing. No one just strikes up a casual conversation anymore because we're all glued to our phones. It's become our third appendage. And they just keep making them bigger, brighter, and louder. There should be a mandatory course introduced into school curriculum as well as the workplace (elementary, jr high, high, college) on cell phone etiquette.

Apr. 15 2014 12:14 PM

and NO! you cannot multi-task with your phone. get out of the flow of pedestrian traffic while reading/testing.

Apr. 15 2014 12:07 PM

unfortunately the people who need to read this book are blissfully unaware, which is why they won't read it...

Apr. 15 2014 12:03 PM

The real issue with bad behavior on the train or bus is that no one is going to confront it because said bad behavior is a good indicator that the person might be unstable and react to the request in an aggressive or violent manner.
Even if we normalized people addressing offensive behavior, through a public campaign or the like, you're still a single person who doesn't want to get involved with a crazy person, among dozens of others feeling exactly the same. Unless someone is in danger or being harassed there's very little incentive to speak up.

Apr. 15 2014 12:03 PM

Jay f
Or just stop fixing sidewalk cracks?

Apr. 15 2014 12:01 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Yes Seth, on both points. It's ridiculous when a pole hogger/leaner gets annoyed when I have the nerve to actuary use the pole for its intended shared purposes.

Same for people that think their bags deserve a vacant seat, more than their fellow riders do, and people under 65 who stop on the top of subway stairs, impervious to others right behind them.

Apr. 15 2014 11:59 AM

How about the people who are at the cashier in a store and they thrust their purchases at the cashier and continue talking on their phone as the cashier adds up the purchases, and they customer continues talking on the phone while they pay and get their bags of purchases, all the while completely ignoring the cashier. It's as if the customer who wants to keep talking on their phone as they make the purchase doesn't see the cashier at all, or thinks of them as a mechanical robot, not as a human being with whom they can be interacting. It's SO RUDE!

Apr. 15 2014 11:57 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Why do groups of people, especially tourists, always congregate at the narrowest part of sidewalks, particularly around or under scaffolding?

Apr. 15 2014 11:56 AM
Jay F.

I propose speed bumps on the sidewalk to keep people from walking and texting.

Apr. 15 2014 11:54 AM
Orla O'Sullivan from NYC

New York is not so special as it fancies itself to be. The issue is basic consideration of your fellows, which should apply the world over.

Apr. 15 2014 11:52 AM
Kate from NYC

Great stuff.

I'm a frequent theatergoer, so here are some tips for the theater: How about NOT applauding when a star walks on stage? Ruins the scene.

And how about not automatically standing for an ovation. It has become meaningless and irritating.

And at the opera: Do NOT lean forward! Blocks the view for those behind you.

Thanks for doing this!

Apr. 15 2014 11:52 AM
Rakesh from Manhattan

Fellow cyclists, please let's ride the right way on one-way streets and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

Apr. 15 2014 11:50 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The ubiquitous tip jar, that's now in virtually every non-service retail establishment nowadays.

Apr. 15 2014 11:49 AM
Leo from NJ

I guess I'll just have to tune in to the Brian Lehrer show when Brian comes back from vacation.

Apr. 15 2014 11:49 AM

Don't lean on the subway car pole unless you're the only one standing there.

Apr. 15 2014 11:48 AM
Pat from Harlem

I think this would be good for tourists. I really hate the slow walking people, who walk 4-5 abreast. I just avoid touristy areas where this is common. Have not been to Times Sq since I first came to NYC years ago.

Apr. 15 2014 11:48 AM

Please, don't block the subway door unless you're willing to step out and let people off when they open.

Stay to the right on the sidewalk, esp' if you're talking on a cell.

Apr. 15 2014 11:47 AM

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