Like any major city, there are plenty of “tourist traps”, like random men standing by The Louvre in Paris with Eiffel Tower souvenirs and shouting at you “light up Eiffel Towers three for €5!” I don’t mind these people because it means I can just respond “they aren’t even lit up” or “*poor French accent* Je ne parle pas Francais!”
New York is no different, there plenty – if not worse – places you will have to watch out for:
- In Times Square there are people in all sorts of costumes who offer to take photos with you. Me being a ditzy cow saw Olaf from Frozen and thought “I want a photo”. So both Abbi and I got a photo and he started shaking this tip bag and asking for $2. I was thinking, “you’re the one who felt my arse during that photo sesh, you should be paying me the $2!” The cheek!
- BEWARE: There are lots of “Ticket Reps” lining the shops and streets of Times Square (Staten Island Ferry Terminal is another place to be cautious of) they may have hoodies/jackets on and ID Tags slung around their necks but if their sales pitch sounds ‘too good to be true’ it likely is! Note: $50 ticket, selling for $25 and allows multiple uses. If you want to see a show, look it up online and book in advance or get them from a legit company/not off people on the streets.
NB: Times Square is like Primark, Oxford Circus on a Bank Holiday times 100. It is super busy and if you are traveling with someone, pull eachother through the crowds/tie yourselves together so you don’t get separated. I would not recommend going that place alone, but I do recommend going, its an experience to say the least!
- In scattered places all around the city are randoms selling ‘all the tat of the day’, from fake designer accessories, to tickets, to friggin Churros on the Subway platforms; if you want fake designer handbags then this is right up your street but to the people who want piece, just walk on by and avoid Chinatown, them boys would pull you off the street just to sell you sunglasses, I told them”I already have sunglasses” and pointed to the ones on my head, and they still tried selling me them!
- At JFK Airport Howard Beach Subway Station (potentially at all NY Airports’ connecting Subway stations), there are dodgy men, who could easily pass for friendly MTA workers trying to blag your Subway passes. They tend to target Tourists or vulnerable people. I am outraged that they approached us because I figured I was rocking the ‘I’m a local look’…
Maybe not. Anyway, they will approach you looking for subway tickets with a couple of days left on them and as tourists usually opt for seven day passes and only needing five, they will be a prime suspect. The men do this to sell them on, it is illegal and what I recommend doing is giving them away – for free – to other people arriving into the city if you aren’t going to use them!