On Tourists

Tourists get a lot of shit. Everyone who’s traveled has been a tourist and probably has been subject to dirty looks from locals. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the novelty of a place, that we forget that real people live there, have jobs, and have lives. We’re all guilty, and we probably should be more accepting for tourists. With that being said, I can’t fucking stand them.

Today I saw a woman posing for a picture in front of an NYPD car. That car is not a tourist attraction. Its driver has a very specific and very important purpose in our society. Think of the people that could have ridden in the back of that car. It’s New York City; every type of person is here, which means every type of criminal is here. What I’m getting at is some very dark individuals could have graced the presence of that car. But, because she’s seen those cars in shows like “Law and Order,” it has become something to amuse her. I have nothing against shows like “Law and Order.” They are an imitation of real life, just like any form of art is. But, they are just that, an imitation of real life, not the other way around; our real lives are not an imitation of those shows.

New York City is not Disney World, as much as people treat it like that. Disney World simulates things that people have seen in movies, while New York City is what it is because of the real people that made it that way. When people go to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, or Central Park, they don’t think about what happened to make these things historic. They think about the movies they’ve seen them in or all of the cheaply made, five dollar t-shirts they see their picture on.

I love New York City for its rich history and all the wonderful opportunities available around the community: the movies in the parks, the abundance of different cultures, the good food, and things like that. But, I do not enjoy every time I am in a more saturated neighborhood and a tourist bumps into me because he’s taking a damn picture and not paying attention.

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