I want to see all the sights! What do I need to know?
Remember that many tourist destinations -- like Times Square, Little Italy, and the Brooklyn Bridge -- are part of New Yorker’s everyday lives. If you want to pose for a picture with Grope-Me Elmo or take a shot of the skyline, step out of the flow of traffic.
If you really want to get out of the way, hop a boat and head to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. While New Yorkers appreciate a sighting of Lady Liberty from Red Hook or Sunset Park as much as the next guy, there’s no way we’re heading out there with you.
“As a sightseeing experience, you’re not going to be around New Yorkers,” says Craig Kanarick, the CEO of Circle Line, which runs sightseeing cruises around the New York Harbor. “You’re going to be around other visitors just like you.”
That’s good news for your Insta feed -- you can finally snap all the photos you want without getting dirty looks from New Yorkers on their way to work.
“Take your phone out immediately!” says Kanarick. “Take your phone out, take selfies, post photos!”
If you want to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty up close (they’re on two different islands, but served by the same authorized ferry -- don’t fall victim to the fake cruise scam, à la Alec Baldwin), please remember the history and importance of the sites.
“Ellis Island has an emotional aspect to it,” says Matt Housch, a Park Ranger at the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. “Many visitors will have an emotional experience related to an immigrant experience. Inside voices and respecting a museum environment is especially important.”
Once you’re back in Manhattan -- and among the city’s residents -- keep that sense of respect at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. That means taking off your jaunty green foam Statue of Liberty hat, speaking quietly, and knowing better than to pose for grinning selfies.