NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette: 8 Tips for Tourists

  • 01 of 09

    NYC Etiquette and Tips: An Interview with Nathan Pyle

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    ••• NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan Pyle. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    Anyone who has lived in or frequently visited New York knows that the city has many unwritten rules, secrets, and social cues. After living in New York City for several years, illustrator Nathan Pyle decided to draw a few of these tips, to hilarious--and often helpful--effect.

    I recently had the opportunity to chat with Pyle about his new book NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette (Amazon | Animated E-Book on iTunes | About.com Shopping). A lightly edited transcript of the chat is below and eight of Pyle's illustrations that could be helpful to New York City tourists are included on the following pages.

    **Interview with Nathan Pyle, Author of NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette**

    So I see you've gotten a lot of press for the book so far. It only came out a few weeks ago, yes?
    Correct - the book debuted April 15th.

    It seems to have hit a nerve with all sorts of people - locals and tourists. I was trying to explain to my New Yorker husband what the book was and at first he thought it sounded silly. Then I told him the part about where to stand when ordering at a deli and he smiled.

    Haha! We've enjoyed this particular aspect of it - that native New Yorkers really enjoy it and have labeled it as "true." That means so much to me, particularly since I'm from Ohio.

    Yes, I was wondering about that. Were there times when you were drawing the illustrations and thought maybe you should confer with friends who had lived there longer to see if you were on the right track?

    That's exactly what I mention on the last page of the book - that those who have lived here the longest know the most. I absolutely conferred with others to vet my ideas.

    The online preview is a pretty good reflection of what is in the book, though obviously there is much to be said for the cohesive nature of the book (characters who pop up on several different pages)

    Oh that sounds fun. The part about the characters. How long did it take you to pick up on these unspoken social cues?

    I buried many subtle things and details in the book to - as my editor says - "reward re-readers."
    It's quite fun to hear from readers who have just now spotted something they missed before. I've done art for the internet for years now, and I know how viewers love looking for details.
    I have lived in Manhattan for almost 6 years now and each page really does reflect something I've learned in my time here. For instance, "Beware the empty train car - it's empty for a reason." That's a counterintuitive lesson that I learned the hard way.

    YES! Ha, that is a good one. What do you think is one of the first rules you learned? I think for me, I'm always fretting about not ordering things quickly enough.

    Ha! Yes, certainly. That's a big deal. I mention that in New York, the person behind you knows what he / she wants. Now. As for one of the first lessons I learned - I know this was among the first.

    Oh that's a tough one!

    This guy tried to scam me on the sidewalk. That really stuck out in my mind because I realized someone specifically targeted me.

    That's probably a good one for tourists to keep in mind.

    Exactly. If something strikes you as fishy (as a tourist) it probably is. There is a very small element of scammers, but they know were the tourists are.

    On the lighter side, I really liked some of your other illustrations that would be great for tourists to keep in mind, such as the Statue of Liberty/Staten Island Ferry one.

    That's page #1 - it's certainly not a secret, but many visitors don't think to take a trip on the Staten Island Ferry, and I always tell them to!

    I admit I haven't done it. Is it really free?

    Entirely free, yes! As I mention with that illustration, you can also pay for a close-up tour of Liberty Island. But the Staten Island Ferry is one of three things I tell people to see/do:

    1. Staten Island Ferry
    2. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
    3. Walk down the Central Park Mall

    Yes. Those are all excellent suggestions. How long did it take you to go from the original 12 illustrations/gifs to your book deal?

    I posted the GIFs at the end of March and I had a book deal about two weeks later.

    Wow! That's pretty amazing.

    The e-book in the iTunes store has the animated version of my illustrations. People who love the animations should know they can get them on their iPhones or iPads!

    Well, I think these work as gifs or static images. They are really well done and I think tourists will like this book as much as locals seem to.

    Thanks! I made the book with tourists and first-timers in mind.

    Well, thanks so much for chatting with me, Nathan. I really appreciate it!

    Thank you! It was fun.

    ---

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    Click on the links below for eight great illustrated tips for NYC tourists

    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    New York City's Well-Worn Tourist Path

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    ••• Common Tourist Path in New York City. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    There's more to New York City than Midtown Manhattan.

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    The Ideal Walking Formation in NYC

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    ••• Be a more courteous walker while in NYC. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    Walk in single file and with purpose.
     

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    NYC: The Empire State Building vs. The Chrysler Building

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    ••• Empire State Building vs. Chrysler Building. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    Here's an easy way to distinguish between NYC's two iconic buildings.

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Your Phone Won't Work On the Subway

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    ••• Cell phone service is inconsistent/nonexistent in the NYC subway. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    All those great NYC apps you downloaded before your trip aren't going to work on the subway. Likewise, if using your phone's GPS to navigate around New York City, plot your trip before going into the station. Cell phone service is inconsistent at best and nonexistent at worst. Usually the latter.
     

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Make Room for People, Not Bags

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    ••• Seats are reserved for people, not luggage. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    Please don't put your backpack or luggage on a seat next to you in the subway. Seats are for people.

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    West Village vs. East Village

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    ••• Know your NYC villages. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    Here's a handy way to consider the grids of the West and East Villages. Who knew their boundaries were more or less in the shape of a "W" and an "E"?

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Don't Be a Victim of a Scam

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    ••• Don't get scammed. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    This is one way that a scammer may try to trick you in New York City. Be alert!

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Beware the Empty Subway Car

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    ••• An Empty Train Car Usually Means Trouble. Nathan Pyle/HarperCollins

    All sorts of unpleasant surprises could await you in an empty subway car. It's best to avoid an empty train car, or else find out the hard way why it was empty in the first place.

    Image from Nathan Pyle's NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

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