Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's gotta be the shoes

Hollister Hovey has great taste, and a great blog, and a fabulous name. Her post yesterday told how, before a trip to Paris she took great pains to find the right shoes as so not to stand out as the obvious American tourist. At the outset this may sound ridiculous, but anyone who has been forced as I have to wade through throngs of tourists in certain areas of New York City can attest that it's all about the shoes. Other than the stopping mid-sidewalk and staring bewildered at the sky whilst clogging up foot traffic and angering the locals who actually have somewhere to go, shoes are the telltale mark of a tourist. Generally they wear bright white sneakers, although the equally horrific Crocs have been ubiquitous in recent years. I'm not claiming that New York is quite as fashionable as Paris, but it is certainly a close second, and most New Yorkers wouldn't be caught dead in bright white sneakers or Crocs, Mario Batali excluded. And don't even get me started on their Uggs. While this sounds terribly snobby, this ABC News special shows hysterically how awful tourists can seem, and how people react to them. Although the people in the special were actors, they didn't seem too far off from people I've seen in New York. And as far as tourist bashing goes, this guy (hysterically) takes the cake.

For anyone who still thinks that both Hollister and I are crazy, this how-to will help you see the light. Knowing is half the battle.

One final note. The second easiest way to spot a tourist is the mandatory "I heart New York" t-shirt. I swear they must issue them at the airport gate and tell all visitors that they must immediately put them on, and may not remove them until they are safely on their way back home.

No comments: