Thursday, May 24, 2012

Attention High Line Tourists

We know that not everyone is happy with the High Line (thanks Mandy!) and the way it is putting old Chelsea out of business while attracting monstrous levels of luxury development and crowds to the area. Now someone is plastering Chelsea with a pointed message to the High Line tourists.

"Attention High Line Tourists," says the flyer, "West Chelsea is not Times Square. It is not a tourist attraction."



The flyer goes on to ask the tourists to "consider the following":

"Do not sit on the 'stoops' of buildings or take pictures of and film buildings or residents. Buildings are not tourist attractions: people live there, and sitting on the steps and taking pictures is as invasive, rude and inappropriate as a group of strangers sitting on the steps of your home and taking pictures of it and you from the yard. Think how you would feel in the situation were reversed and act accordingly.

3,000,000 (3 million) of you come to West Chelsea and walk the High Line a year. 40,000 (forty thousand) people live in Chelsea. That’s roughly a ratio of 100 tourists on the streets of Chelsea and walking the High Line to 1 resident trying to get to the store, ride her bike, take a stroll, go the gym or just have a quiet moment with his dog. Please consider how you would feel if 3 million people a year from around the world trampled your street, your neighborhood, and your local park, and act accordingly--in the way that your morals or religion or general human consideration would dictate.

Observe New York sidewalk etiquette. That means do not walk more than two people in a row down the sidewalk. Otherwise you clog the sidewalk for people to pass by either way.

If you see an empty space, leave it empty. Otherwise there will be no spaces for New Yorkers. …and if you love New York, leave it alone."

96 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Bravo! Well said.

Of course, no tourist will actually look at it.

Can someone create an app for this flyer? Maybe then people would read it...

Andy Sydor said...

I can only be bemused by people who moved to New York for a suburban experience. Also, remember that, not too long ago, West Chelsea was besieged by outsiders of a different sort: transient people looking for illegal sex and drugs. I can still remember when those streets were crawling with that sort of thing. I sense that this poster moved to Chelsea after those days, and thinking that the brief calm between the bad old days and the current tourist boom was a permanent state and not a brief gasp of transition, and, with the usual unchecked sense of bourgeois entitlement, rails against the "inferior" masses. Besides, as the ACLU can tell you, people have the right to take whatever films and videos on a public street as they wish. Anti-tourism may seem "hip" but it is elitist and uninformed.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I miss the "ick" that was here when I moved in 30 years ago. I never dared walk down 9th avenue, and now I can't because it's clogged with meanderthals who don't get that it's not a stage set.

While by some standards I'm considered "new" here, I have to agree with the sentiment of the poster poster—people LIVE here and it's not a tourist attraction. The mobs blocking the streets make it uncomfortable to walk down my own narrow, tree-lined street and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Andy-

You are so correct! These people are the elitists!
They think they are hot shit since they paid sooo much money for their closet/apt!
Well to bad you want quiet streets with no tourists, go to Staten Island!

JAZ said...

EV Grieve wrote exactly what I was coming here to say - the people that most need to read these fliers are the very ones that will never see them because they are dazed by their master, the iphone. Maybe if we could get one an emergency texting system that would pick up their signals and shoot a message they could relate to, they might catch on:

"like, maybe you should like pretend you aren't like the only person in the world for like a minute or two?? - you know, like just to like say you like did it and stuff?? lolz"

Captain Bringdown said...

This Chelsea resident is guilty of some rather fuzzy math.

3 million tourists a year averages out to 8,219 tourists per day. So on average, Chelsea residents outnumber Chelsea tourists on any given day by a ratio of roughly 5 to 1. That's still a lot of tourists to residents, but hardly the 100 to 1 ratio in the opposite direction that the resident claims.

esquared said...

This should be in a billboard with a sexy ad along the High Line so that tourists would notice.

And this should apply to the East Village too.

BaHa said...

@Andy: Not everyone that is disturbed by the luxurification of New York "moved here." I am a ninth generation native who hates the hordes of tourists, the gentrifying yunnies, and Mayor New York City Is a Brand.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2,

"They think they are hot shit since they paid sooo much money for their closet/apt! "

What about those of us who bought before the prices went insane and can't manage on our income to pay our overhead and feed our families but also can't and wouldn't move out? I hope you don't think I'm elitist, too....

Anonymous said...

While I am sympathetic to suffering West Chelsea businesses, the author strikes me as a sanctimonious whiner. Put on your big boy/girl underpants, you live in New York City. If you want some peace and quiet move to Portland. If no one could take pictures of NYC neighborhoods and their inhabitants we wouldn't have blogs like EV Grieve and Jeremiah's VNY.

Anonymous said...

as a long time nyc resident i take issue with this idea that we should all divert our eyes from entire buildings - this is ridiculous! one of the most enduring aspects of most people's love affair with the city centers mostly on the buildings themselves. and yes, people take pictures to remember. i lived in a building that was featured on a led zeppelin album - and so when people would come by and take pictures i was glad because it has impressive architecture that should be appreciated. only suburbanites try to colonize the exterior spaces of their environments - let's not have that exclusionary and elitist sentiment in the city, too.

Anonymous said...

I love how they're like "MY SPECIAL PLACE IN THE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD IS NOT A TOURIST ATTRACTION"

Life must be hard for our author :(

Anonymous said...

Andy,

New York City IS a suburban experience now. It is steadily (at an alarming rate) becoming nothing more than an upscale mall.

The trannie prostitutes that used to inhabit the Meatpacking Dist and Chelsea were a lot more interesting than hordes of camera wielding tourists.

What's so great about about a bland, sanitized, urban space?
Without all the "dirt/sleaze" we would not have had Punk, Hip-Hop, Graffiti Art or any of the other interesting, subcultural movements that have come out of New York City.
Sadly, the chances of anything similar to the above mentioned happening again are pretty much ZERO.

Also, "Elitism" is not a dirty word. All people are NOT equal when it comes to accomplishment/skill and intelligence. Are you hoping for world dominated by those who watch and admire 'The Real Housewives'?

Anonymous said...

Andy-

Nice try, but you have it mixed up. The people that have decided to move here and vacation here NOW are the people that want the so-called 'suburban experience'. 'Uninformed'? Seriously, you make this too easy. If you stop and take a good look around you can see that there's very high demand for generic entities like big-box retailers, college pub-crawls, and other varieties of non-threatening middle and (very) upper middle class lifestyles abounding in the city right now. The former New York City that fostered the best in art and popular culture has now been white-washed into a generic high end shopping zone, with tiny smatterings of it's old self here and there to keep the authenticity. 'Bourgeoise entitlement'? Are you kidding? Have you seen the Bowery? That's ALL about arrogance and entitlement. So if people that have lived here for 10, 15, 20 years or more have an issue with people walking around clogging up the sidewalks of their neighborhood, then THEY are entitled to speak up about it. I suggest you reassess before you start labeling quality of life issues and complaints as 'hip'.

Little Earthquake said...

Wow, roll over Martin Luther. What a brave edict to have anonymously nailed to a telephone pole! And so original, too. I've never heard of a New Yorker complaining about tourists before (let alone a likely Uncle Tom suburban transplant).

West Chelsea IS a tourist attraction, obviously. Not to mention whoever posted this one-sheet is not the arbiter of tourism OR etiquette.

If the tone of this flier wasn't so butthurt and bitter, it might be more effective. "If you see an empty space, leave it empty." Give me a break. Why doesn't the writer of this flier create an empty space and piss off back to St. Louis if he cares so much about preserving space?

Andrew said...

This is a silly poster. I grew up here and I am just as annoyed by the tourists as anyone else, yet at the same time when I travel to other countries I become one. I walk down quiet streets and try and see what life is like for the people who live there. As the author of the flyer lives in an expensive area I assume they too travel abroad occasionally. I also wager when they travel they don't limit their walks to designated tourist areas.

While I do agree with the "rules for walking" that I believe should be taught at all points of entry into the city, the ethnocentric tone of the flyer is plain wrong. The tourists is part of what makes New York, New York. Alaska has more than 1 square mile of space for each full time resident. If that's what you are looking for go there, because that is not what NYC is about.

Anonymous said...

To the people here commenting on how ridiculous they think this flyer is: before implying that someone is being self righteous and snide, re-read your thoughts posted here and decide who's the pot and who's the kettle.

No one is suggesting that tourists be banned from any area of New York. We're all aware that there is a limited amount of space here and it's something you have to live with. If someone who was used to having for years or decades a relatively calm uncluttered neighborhood and they are now annoyed by an influx of tourists, there's nothing wrong with that. It's called a 'normal reaction'. Anyone who lives ANYWHERE and had to deal with sudden overcrowding would do the same. So this whole notion of 'if you don't like it move to St. Louis' is a load of horseshit!

To the poster who commented about being a tourist outside of New York: yes, if we're all lucky enough to get to travel to other cites we become one too. I don't know about you, but while I'm visiting other places I try to be conscious of the residents and not treat their neighborhoods like it's some pre-fab theme park. It's just common courtesy. So although alot of these people who are visiting here now like to think it's Disney World, it's not!

Feisty Redhead said...

Everything in Manhattan is a tourist attraction. However, since when has being at a tourist attraction meant that social etiquette is no longer required? What tourists (in general) fail to realize is that NYC sidewalks are very similar to their streets and highways and if people were driving side by side, on both sides of the road, stopping suddenly, there'd be a lot of pissed off locals.

Gojira said...

That final sentence should really read: "...and if you love New York, leave it." It's like the sticker says, "GO (HEART) YOUR OWN CITY".

Jaco10017 said...

Sidewalk rules? I love it! Who hasn't struggled to get past groups of 4-5 abreast, leisurely strolling, speaking in their foreign tongues. But you know what? Their hands are full of loaded shopping bags, their tummies full of NYC eats, and they are staying in a NYC hotel. Yes, please come and spend your money here! We need your tax dollars to keep our schools going & police on the streets. We that live here may not like the changes that catering to a tourist economy brings as the city turns into a global mega mall, but at least it's an economy and not decay.

Anonymous said...

To want a quiet Sunday in a largely residential neighborhood is “elitist” or wanting a “suburban experience”? To want your neighborhood, and the home where you lay your head and seek the “peaceful enjoyment” guaranteed in most leases is asking too much?
I wouldn’t restrict a traveler’s or anyone’s right to take vacation photos, nor to walk more slowly than a New Yorker’s fast pace. However I certainly understand the frustration of residents whose environment is flipped by the commercialism of everything surrounding every damn public/private improvement. There follows, on the part of the hordes of visitors and the businesses that develop to serve them, a complete disregard for the folks who call the newly developed area home.
I am a Manhattan native, and East Village resident of 41 years, glad to see the drug dealers off the streets. I found nothing charming about them, nor the Chelsea street-pro trannies who were often thieves who prayed on the local businesses there.
I love the Highline, and its part in preserving a bit of New York heritage, and I applaud the efforts made to bring it about. Though completely open to the publc, it was presented as a downtowm community preservation/re-purposing project. In these matters we are never warned of the planned carnival that is to result.
In the East Village now the local residents are subject to the bar/restaurant-ization that has brought 4 AM drunken cab hailing, loud cursing arguments & threats, and steeet fights every weekend and many weeknights. And literal hordes line the steets nightly like there is an arena in the area. Our sidewalks are blocked by lines outside restaurants that had a mention in the Times. We are routinely challenged by, cursed by, and threatened by both staff of offensive establishments and their customers. Out front steps are places to vomit & piss, and vandalize.
So, the Chelsea residents who have already been plagued nightly by the patrons of the huge dance clubs there, now are asked to tolerate a daytime, weekend assault.
Solution? Maybe permanent signs on all the Higline’s adjoining blocks warning visitors to respect the rights of the locals, and a threat of fines for disturbing the peace. The Highline’s literature should include the same.

tim said...

As someone who actually lives in suburbia, White Plains, NY to be exact, NYC is NOT a suburban experience. All it is is the same crap that is being peddled all over the United States only being peddled in NYC. Probably the effect of "trickle up" economics countrywide.

R.C. said...

While I'm somewhat sympathetic towards the residents of West Chelsea because of what's happened to their neighborhood, how many of them would take as much care and consideration towards the residents of London, Tokyo, Paris, or Rome if they were tourists themselves?

Pat said...

How do you think the Native Americans felt when the Dutch and English traders were swarming all over their island? That was a real clash of cultures.

Bart said...

I don't get the part about not taking pictures of buildings. I live in New York and I take pictures of buildings. The city has a history that's older than everyone that lives here. Most people don't realize what these buildings have been through and that they can be living in or near a building with historical significance.

As long as I'm not taking a picture where I can really look into someone's window (99% of the time you can't), I don't see what the problem is. Even in the suburbs, as long as someone's not out in their yard and I can't see into the house, I don't see what's wrong with taking a photo of a house with pretty architecture. Get over yourself.

Debs said...

Good grief! I understand the tourist issue in NYC but be thankful that the tourists actual come and spend $$. This is why real estate in the area is worth so much. These folks are experiencing culture shock when they arrive from who knows where. Have some empathy and patience.

Aren't we all cut from the same cloth? I agree with the person who said, when we travel, aren't WE the tourist?

I think the poster is shocking. The author ought to find something else to do with his/her time or MOVE!

Mike M said...

Absolutely hysterical. You want cutting edge parks and Architecture but you dont expect others to share in the beauty that is your neighborhood. Perhaps we should make Chelsea a gated community. Would that make you happy. Actualy, I bet it would. Your a bunch of fools and most likely not originally from New York anyway. How do you think I feel. I was born and bred here and I think you people who have over run my birthplace are the most obnoxious bunch I have ever scene. Please go back to where you came from. Tourists are tourists. They dont always know ou culture our our street rules. Take the stick out ya butt.

Anonymous said...

Come to Staten Island my friend. Outside of a semi-crowded ferry ride (a few dozen tourists per ride), there ain't nothing going on. Empty sidewalks, trees, tons of parking spots. Cheap as hell too!

Anonymous said...

Is this flyer meant to be super-meta or something? My head exploded upon reading it.


"Dear tourists,
this is not a tourist location"


If its not a tourist location, why are tourists there potentially (almost certainly not) reading this flyer?

Jeremiah Moss said...

this comment thread is feeling a lot like Curbed: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/05/24/chelsea_to_high_line_tourists_we_pretty_much_hate_you.php

Jeremiah Moss said...

NY has always had tourists, but Bloomberg made it his mandate to attract millions more. he rezoned the city and used eminent domain to steal properties, so he could turn the city into a "luxury product" (his words) for the purpose, in part, of attracting more and more luxury tourists and foreign real-estate investors.

i, for one, think it's all been a deep, hard kick in the ass.

Crazy Eddie said...

This is all about balance. In order for an eco-system to be healthy, there must be diversity. In Mike Bloomberg’s and Amanda Burden's vision of Manhattan, ALL of Manhattan is a “luxury product”. And it's not just the tourists who walk 4-5 abreast, it's the Bro and the LikeYah herds as well.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Eddie, you hit the nail on the head. balance! a few chain stores, some luxury, ok! but this is an onslaught.

Anonymous said...

I'm purposely coming to the Chelsea this weekend just to take pictures of you and steal your soul in the process. Then I'll patronize the nearest 7-11 can find.

Crazy Eddie said...

Anony 7.35pm-You do that and I going to sic Auda abu Tayi on you!

laura said...

i agree w/the EV persons comment. yes, it can be disgusting living in tourist trap. what is weird is everyone complains about the west & east village. somehow chelsea dosn't count? i didnt mind the flyer, just the part that said-"dont photograph the buildings"???? i have a web sight of dozens of new york buildings. i think the flyer needs to be edited.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Well I can't help taking photographs of buildings, but I try not to be too intrusive. I HATE people clogging the sidewalk (want to kick their shins), but trying to make rules about this sort of thing becomes Bloombergian. The letter writer seems like a preachy, snotty type. The whole city is more & more crowded today - often I'm reduced to just keeping different hours from the tourists/shoppers/drunken revelers to enjoy it. And having alternate routes to places. It becomes a bit ridiculous. Sometimes crowds are fine though, & occasionally even I quite like that bobbing-in-a-sea of people thing. Depends on the crowd. I was in Elmhurst at the weekend, & it was insanely packed with people, businesses crammed into every corner, music, cheap food & the rumble of the train overhead. A great place to walk around & million miles away from High Line World.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, taking photographs from the sidewalk of anything, including brownstones and people is protected by the United States Constitution.

But I guess the rights of the residents of West Chelsea are worth more than yours or mine.

ivanova said...

I like the High Line, but it just cracks me up to see all these tourists snapping photos of the neighborhood I grew up in, to me the most boring, unremarkable landscape there is.

Sorry for off-topic, but have you seen that the Chelsea Gallery Diner (7th ave at 15th) is closed? It was a neighborhood fixture for what seemed like forever. I met my girlfriend there in August 2001. There are a lot of touching, heartfelt goodbye messages taped to the door. : (

Anonymous said...

I'm with Andy on this one. I cannot stand when people hate on tourists. The person who wrote that flyer comes off as incredibly insecure, and I'm going to guess they probably moved here from Ohio 9 months ago, reek of newly-adopted vocal fry, and just LOVE telling their friends back in bumblefuck how much real new yorkers just cannot STAND the tourists. Get over it, flyer-writing-person. That's the price you pay when you live in the greatest city on the planet: people are going to want to come here. I know, I know, who would have thought a city of 9 million people would have crowds, must be the tourists' fault. And if you have a problem with people taking pictures of your lovely neighborhood, then you really picked the wrong fucking city to move to after whatever liberal arts college factory-stamped you with the notion that you just haaaad to move to New York CITY!

I'm not going to get into the relative merits of whether or not Chelsea was a cool place to live 20 years ago, but it seems like a really nice place right now, at least coming from my view down here in the West Village. So please be grateful that you have the chance to live in such a wonderful place that most of the world would kill to get to and apparently would just like to get a taste of through vacation.

Get Off That Bullshit said...

Attention Chelsea Resident:

All of New York City is a tourist attraction. We suggest you start dealing with it.

Thanks for your time!

Anonymous said...

This person might have gone off the rails with the rant about phototaking, but anyone who lives in a neighborhood that is falling victim to hypergentrification can understand the frustration expressed here. The High Line has brought the destruction of local businesses and an onslaught of tourists whose money mostly benefits the posh new boutiques and restaurants in the area. And all the luxury buildings going up are only affordable to the very wealthy. Oh, and how do you think this benefits the people who live in the projects up and down 9th Avenue? Do you think they can afford to shop in any of the upscale businesses that are populating the area? Do you really think they're getting jobs in these boutiques?

Ennuipoet said...

Living in Manhattan, at least anything south of 96th Street, is a lot like living in a fish bowl. Millions of people come around, tapping on the glass and leave greasy fingerprints all over your home. Bloomberg’s reign has been all about making New York a great place to visit but not a very nice place to live. This made a lot of people very happy, until they started becoming personally inconvenienced. All of these waddling consumers were wonderful so long as they were confined to spaces like Time’s Square or the World Trade Center, but the second the cupcake wrappers on start dropping on their doorsteps, the crying starts.

As those of unqualified by our financial status to take part in the Bloombergian Utopia that is modern Manhattan get pushed further and further toward the fringe, I am top filled with Schadenfreude toward the folks in Chelsea. If you build a huge playhouse on public property, don’t cry when all the kids in neighborhood and every other neighborhood start playing in it too! You wanted this lovely little stretch of artificial paradise so you could bask in it and feel superior. Now Peoria and Duluth has come calling, reminding you of where you came from and that you aren’t so special after all!

Caleo said...

I'm amazed by all the tourist love in the comments.
When I travel to other countries I DO NOT act the way most ( not all ) of the tourists from middle America act when they get here. Generally speaking, I feel European tourists have a much greater appreciation of what it means to visit a walkable city and how to engage the "natives".
I've lived here for a quarter century, and there was never this volume of tourists in the city, and the city didn't cater specifically to them and them alone.
The creator of the flyer came off as preachy, and no tourist from Wisconsin is going to read the flyer anyway, but to everyone here who has fallen in love with the hordes of tourists from flyover country, I have no clue how you can love or appreciate that particular demographic and how the city has been changed to cater to them.

Josef said...

The person who wrote this flyer, and anyone who agrees with its sentiments, should probably move to some remote locale and become a hermit.

Admittedly, tourists are not always well behaved, but if you can't handle some inconvenience than NYC is not for you.

Brendan said...

When I travel to other countries I DO NOT act the way most ( not all ) of the tourists from middle America act when they get here.

No. But you almost certainly do things that violate local customs and irritate locals without knowing it. Because you're a stranger, and you don't know how things are done.

Little Earthquake said...

Dear Chelsea,

Nice problem to have. Wanna trade?

Sincerely,
Bedford-Stuyvesant

Grand St. said...

Earthquake, do you really think Chelsea is so monolithic that your crack makes any sense?

Folks having a good time with the author of this (admittedly arch) flyer need to take a cue from Anon 9:39 a.m. It's one thing to scoff at what in one instance may be a rich transplant who can't deal with nuisances. It's another to experience 'Scahdenfruede' as residents of Penn South, Fulton Houses, Elliot Houses and thousands more watch their basic institutions disappear.

Many of them (us) are natives and long-time residents who didn't choose to build a playground for the wealthy in their backyard or whatever. Gimme a break with that crap.

Crazy Eddie said...

@Little Earthquake-Trade with Bed Stuy? Hey, that's shit been gentrified since 1989. Where have you been?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc6_XgtOQgI

Buggin' Out: Why don't you go back to Massachusetts?
Clifton: I was born in Brooklyn!

Brendan said...

Little Earthquake, my Wisconsinite ally, I think you're off base this time. I doubt many people in Bed-Stuy would take that trade. Just because a place has problems, even serious problems, doesn't mean it's not worthy of love the way it is.

laura said...

caleo is correct. no one in their right mind would want thousands of tourists in their face 24/7. the people who are pro tourist did not grow up in new york, or live there for decades. it is NOT normal for tourists to be everywhere. theres a time & place for everything. the tourist vibe is really weird. way back, we stayed in starting friday night untill sunday night. (the week end people were all over parts of NY). also there were tourist places & then places where they were none. also places where there were no weekenders. now it seems that so much is one big commercial venue. i remember visiting NY around 2007 or so. a year before i could go to mott & spring on a saturday, & it would be empty. then in "07, the big spillover from broadway! shocked. my day was ruined. btw, its not only new york! its happening in many places, whether luxury or low end, its all getting cheesy out there. its mobility, cheap air fares etc. i like the good old days. this was this that was that. now its all mixed up.

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon it will all be academic anyway. The way it is headed there will eventually be no difference between New York, St. Louis, Cleveland or Disneyworld. No one creative can afford to live here anymore, so there will be nothing created here except bigger glass and steel buildings filled with more and more empty headed, over-moneyed morons, who have no clue what is good or bad about New York City, or Chelsea, or any other location (or why), whose kids go to the "Avenues School". All a big, fashionable, wired crowd out of a new kind of George Romero movie. Good luck with that!

Hettie said...

I'm the type of tourist who avoids the City and spends most of the time in Brooklyn and Queens. I hope that makes West Chelsea people happy. I certainly am and so are all the local businesses I go to in BK and QNS.

I did go to the High Line when I first visited here and for that I apologise. Will not happen again. I promise.

Anonymous said...

I am a New York native, born and raised and I hate the Highline. I think it's really overhyped, and over-crowded. I think the Botanical Gardens, Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge are much more attractive examples of New York design.

I understand my fellow Chelsea-ites. The only reason I'm not as upset is because I'm further east, closer to Flatiron. Closer to me is Eataly! And at certain times you can't walk in the sidewalk in front of that place because of tourists!

What really gets me is the nakedness in the parks on hot days. I'm young, I'm fit, and so are my other native friends and we ALL scratch our heads at the bikini, sometimes topless sunbathing in the parks. Huh??? Cover that shit up. Those girls are ALWAYS from somewhere else. To us, bikinis are for the beach.

Also to those people who talk about Americans in other cities? In America, Europe and Africa, at least where I have been, people are QUICK to tell you where to get off if you violate their way of being. New York is the most accommodating city in the world.

Anonymous said...

I was just having a chat tonight with a longtime West Village resident/friend: The problem is that there are just too many people here now. Everything has become a hassle no matter where in Manhattan you live. The city is overrun with tourists, students, frat boys/girls and every other annoying cliche from the suburbs.

My friend said to me how shocked she is at how conventional and commercial everything has become (which I agree with), and not just in New York City, but in every big city around the world.

We both agreed as to how lucky we were to have had a taste of the city when it was truly magical. Now, it's sort of like: Ok, we've been here a long time,Yes, what's happened to the city is horrible, so the choice is leave or adapt."

Were both choosing, for the moment, to adapt.
I suppose whoever wrote the snarky flyer is going to have to do the same....

BounceAlready said...

Wow. Is it that difficult for some people to understand that having to deal with a bunch of bobble-head tourists on a regular basis being disrespectful of where you live is not fair to the people who live in the "touristy" area especially when for many years the area was no where near as touristy as it is now. For God's sakes it's not Ellis Island or Times Square. Can you not put yourself in these people's shoes? Shouldn't they matter too? People live in those buildings. Real live people. Not holograms. You're not stupid. No one is trying to take your iphone camera away or tell you not to take pictures. Have some respect. I was born and raised in this city and have seen it go from a place full of possibility for everyone to a highly commercial, vapid, shallow place of entitled people who refuse to understand why native New Yorkers or people who appreciated the real true spirit of New York are so frustrated with you. If you did for just one moment try to understand then that would mean you would have to consider changing your shitty behavior which you cannot possibly do because it is as if your shitty behavior has consumed you. Just because you believe that New York is the greatest city in the world does not automatically entitle you to behave like an asshole. Actually I don't believe that most of you do believe that NYC is the greatest city in the world because if you did you would treat it and its inhabitants, especially its inhabitants of many generations with far more respect. It's easy. Visit. Act like you got some manners. Then leave. Got it?

Anonymous said...

Bravo to the post: "The person who wrote that flyer comes off as incredibly insecure, and I'm going to guess they probably moved here from Ohio 9 months ago, reek of newly-adopted vocal fry, and just LOVE telling their friends back in bumblefuck how much real new yorkers just cannot STAND the tourists. Get over it, flyer-writing-person" You know who native New Yorkers hate more than tourists? Obnoxious transplants.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how sorry we are for you. I'm sure you thought that when you fought tooth and nail for this park to be built that it would be a private oasis for you self centered pigs? Sorry, a park is a public place, no different than Central Park or any other park. if you didn't want tourists, you should nave never pushed for it. it would have been a perfect opportunity for a light rail line along the far West Side. Be careful what you ask for. If you want your own private yard and playground, move to Long Island. Trust me, you won't be missed

aleXander hirka said...

The humor newspaper The Onion couldn't have done it better than: "If you see an empty space, leave it empty." (Lifted I would guess from the original contract with the natives.)

This has got to be a Chelsea art project - graffiti - on the theme of Irony.
Or else it's some seriously spoiled, unrealistic - downright absurd! - whining.

A 60 year old native New Yorker shaking his head in disbelief.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately my door doesn't have a stoop - but all the other complaints are ones I've voiced in SoHo. For those who argue that this is obnoxious, try to leave your home when 2-5 people have decided to have a picnic on your steps (something I've experienced multiple times at friends homes) and then insist that it's public property (it's not).

As a lifelong new yorker who was in SoHo before it was cool, I can commiserate with those in Chelsea, however, it's something that now comes with the city.

But tourists need to learn how to walk on the streets, it shouldn't take 5 minutes while stuck behind people walking 4-across to go two blocks to the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

To all you High Line Kool Aid drinking, tourist-loving, cupcake-eating fools...I ask where the hell did you come from? Since when did real New Yorkers start embracing these potato waddlers who have invaded our city like they're some race of superior beings...? They may come here and spend a few dollars at the Comfort Inn, Olive Garden, and Magnolia Bakery but in the end all they do is take. They take up space, they take our patience, and now - according to you supporters of these tourists - they take our NY right to kvetch about it. What do they possibly contribute to the quality of life of you people who support these tourists? NOTHING! They only make living here more stressful and annoying - and suburban! Whoever wrote these posters can't possibly be from the suburbs or "Kansas" as everyone claims and even if they are, so what? They are bitching about the suburban leisurely life that these tourists bring to our city. Call me an elitist or anything else you like but I don't want these enormous, badly dressed and loud rude rubes hanging out in front of my historic old building, taking pictures of it, sitting on my stoop, blocking my way to the laundry and grocery or even be anywhere within my vista. I can't believe I lived to see the day where I'm missing the pimps and hookers, but by God, here we are!

Ms. Frannie C. said...

I can guarantee that the author of the posted letter is a flaming liberal. Only a liberal would feel they have the 'right' to tell people how to behave on public property. The audacity of some to preach, scold, look down on anyone. You think you sound intelligent? No, you sound like a bigot, a snob and lacking any manners. Get over yourself and be happy that you are fortunate to live in a place where people come to admire the area.

Jeremiah Moss said...

liberals? in New York City? why, i never.

Grade A Karen said...

#1: There are a lot of factors in this High Line, but let's not forget that it succeeded because it was put together by a set of ivy league alumni with a lot of connections.

#2: I'm sick of the ragging on who's from NY and "go back to (insert name of city/state here)." Remember that Dorothy Parker and Gay Talese were -- gasp -- from Jersey; The Cramps were from Ohio. Warhol was from Pennsylvania. And on and on. People once moved here to BECOME New Yorkers. Reasons are plenty. You can't help where you're born. But you can do something about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a french tourist, so does this mean I haven't to come again??? We have around 75 millions tourist every year in france, I've never heard about something like this!!!

Space Pope said...

This passive-aggressive flyering is an idea that is alien to me. Seems like something a mid-western transplant would pull. It used to be, if you saw someone taking a pic of your joint, you tell them to knock it off in person or give you 10 bucks and everyone is satisfied.

Lookit, when you're living in a major tourist area, and especially when the local governing body is panning it out as a major tourism area, don't be so damn surprised when you get tourists. Write a Ghod-damn letter to 'MC Bloomberg and the Monkey Juice Crew' or move your sad sack out to the outskirts of whatever hot-spot you insist on infesting.

Anonymous said...

uh.. "a ratio of 100 tourists on the streets of Chelsea and walking the High Line to 1 resident "

If there are a 100 tourists to your one resident. Yeah, buddy, that makes it a tourist attraction. Sry.

Ren said...

This post, and some of the comments makes me sad.
I'm a tourist of your fantastic city and I try to visit as often as I can.
Where I'm from (Sydney) is a relatively new city in comparison to Manhattan and I try to absorb every little thing I come across.
I'm sorry if I walk a little slower than you like, it's just because I'm taking everything in and don't want to miss a minute of it.
You guys live in the best city IN THE WORLD so be grateful, and be patient with your international cousins, we're only there because we love it.

ATOMIC said...

9-11 let the genie out of the bottle and it ain't going back in! Bloomberg is a pimp and our neighborhoods are his hos. It's not enough tourists ruined Times Square, they had to feed on SoHo, the East Village. and now Chelsea. That park is intrusive to the neighborhood as you now have thousands of people a day walking some ten feet from people's windows. It's forcing out local businesses. And for what? To accommodate a group of people that want to shop at The Gap, J Crew, A&F, and Hollister, stores that are A PLENTY where they come from. To hell with flyers, urinate on these people!

Jeremiah Moss said...

"What a nightmare! No one who isn't from New York knows how to be a pedestrian. Pedestrians don't mosey. And they don't walk five abreast. I'd like to make New York unsafe for tourists."

--Fran Lebowitz (another quintessential New Yorker not from New York), 1997.

laura said...

flyer: what is the difference WHERE the person is from? he lives in NY, & his quality of life is being taken away. he maybe a bit over the edge about photos, but he correct. the problem is bloomberg, not the tourists. most people are animals anyway, & should be confined to their proper place. & the city officials should think about the life of its citizens. they dont, thats the way it is. btw, this is off topic but i never liked chelsea. when the galleries moved there from soho, i stopped going to galleries. i bought a membership to DIA museum & went once. there is something about very long blocks that i find confining. most galleries were not on the ave. streets, except the RUBIN museum. i feel the same way about the EV, but not the LES. when soho was "over" i only went to galleries on upper madison. (smaller blocks, lower buildings). the high line was put in chelsea for a tourist attraction. never seen it, not interested. sounds mid western-ish to me.

lauran said...

make it as UN comfortable for them as possible. if someones on your stoop (when you open the door), turn your water bottle upside down on them. then just walk by coldly. if they say something tell them the police are coming as they are trespassing. & so sorry for the water. i am not living in NY now, but i do these things all the time. i know what you mean about 10 feet from the window. (water gun)?

Caleo said...

I get the feeling half of the pro tourist comments are coming from the same person posting under different names.
I seriously doubt this many tourist lovers frequent this blog about a vanishing city that all of them apparently can't wait to see go away as quickly as possible.
I have nothing against visitors to NYC, as I stated above I believe European and Asian tourists are much more aware of what it means to visit a walkable city, since most of them live in one in Europe and Asia.
But many ( again, not all ) folks from middle America really seem incapable of navigating this city in any way other than if it was a giant mall.
Alot of very slow shuffling 4 or 5 abreast, blocking sidewalks and residential and commercial doorways.
And Bloomie is catering to them in a major way.
I'm close friends with many native New Yorkers, and none of them dig any of this in any way.
But there is nothing we can do at this point but grin ( or scowl ) and bear it.

Steven said...

I'm a NYC resident BORN AND BRED and I couldn't care less about Chelsea. Who does? But the park is nice, and as a subway buff I especially dig it. Not everyone in the park is a tourist. I'd say the vast majority are NOT. There's too many other better things for them to do. I'd guess the park appeals pretty much to NYCers mainly.

Brendan said...

The idea that European/Asian tourists are better or more aware than American ones is very, very wrong. I speak from years of working in tourist-infested areas.

There is increasingly a siege mentality on this blog where everything is either entirely for or against the preservation or destruction of the city's soul. I do understand where this comes from, but it is wrong.

Jeanne said...

wow i would have been a tourist this coming summer for i always have wanted to visit NYC butt an this is a very big butt i think that i have never been so disgusted by a large group of people in all my life like i have by reading this.I have quite a few friends who always said that new york is the place to go the people are so nice an they help an so on but after reading this i am inclined to disagree with some of my friends.i can see where people being on your stoop an taking pictures of you can be space invading if taken without your permission,but really come on really your gonna gripe about them loving some old historic buildings an wanting a pic to remember about the the joy they had while in your little town,how sad is that really.You know there use to be a time i believe when people didnt really travel to certain parts of nyc because of all the things that some of you had mentioned time an time again i for one am sorry that you all are having so much trouble with the tourists an i wish that there was an easy fix to the problem but as there is not i would hope that you could just be a little patient for the tourists will not last for ever an one day you are all gonna wish that you all had the tourists to come an see your little quaint towns,i do know what the complainers are going on about but i really dont mind the tourists for i really enjoy meeting new people i love hearing the different languages an being able to converse with them i like being able to see everyone walking down my st, it really gives you time to pause an wonder what they do for aliving.but hey thats just me you know i guess you cant really expect people to like people who are different than them me i just like people of all kinds of life isnt that what we are pose to do like or love our fellow man or woman for no matter how rich,poor,smart,stupid,clean or a junkie there is only a couple of things that we really have in common we all came in this one the same way being born (duh)an we all bleed the same color an most assuredly most of us will die the same way more or less than the others so come on an have a little respect in you blokes oh an your wrong on one thing if not more you are not the only ones who know how to walk properly when trying to go some where there are other states that do know how to do that as well we are not all morons or stupid as you try to makes us out to be an i for one find that highly offensive for you dont know me an more than likely never will.If you were in need of a helping hand in a time of crisis i would help you any way i could.Could the same thing be said about you?

Chester Kwok said...

If you were complaining about the crackheads and ho's back in old days, you'd have a case. Complaining about tourists? C'mon.
Its New York baby. Hoods change. Open a post card stand or move.

JohnBlaze said...

Not that I'm a fan of the NY of the last 10 years or tourists but... Why don't you get a bunch of NY'ers together and travel to someone's town and overwhelm the hood, drive up prices, and be all annoying. Oh wait NY'ers already do that with Florida, Jersey Shore, Upstate and the Hamptons :P

Anonymous said...

"But many ( again, not all ) folks from middle America really seem incapable of navigating this city in any way other than if it was a giant mall.
Alot of very slow shuffling 4 or 5 abreast, blocking sidewalks and residential and commercial doorways."

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I've seen countless "native New Yorkers" walk and loiter just as cluelessly. You are not all the purposeful and considerate walkers you fancy yourselves.

Dima said...

WOW... I took a nap so I can try to read the rest of the comments... couldn't make it.
Best comment so far, was the youtube clip of Do The Right Thing.
Anyways, can somebody please email me the actual letter that was posted? I am low on toilet paper.

Thanks,

laura said...

jeanne 1:56am, you sound like a nice person. but guess what? we will never miss tourists. most of us are not in the travel business, or cater to tourists. we are not govt officials who want to bring in $ to the city. we are just people who want to left alone. you can come here, no problem. just keep the respect i know you have.

Anonymous said...

No, the tourist will actually look at it...and then take a photo of it.

Claribel said...

A better flyer would have notified tourists of the many local businesses that got forced out to make way for the High Line and the more expensive businesses that came in to support the new neighborhood around it. It’s uncertain that the author of the actual flyer cares about that, but we are certain that regulars on Jeremiah’s blog do. And my ideal tourist would actually care about that as well. Change is hard, but it’s not hard on tourists who pay to see the new. Tourist etiquette is a distraction from what I think is the deeper problem: the urban development policies that focus on their dollars. I’m quite frankly amazed that tourists can still afford to even visit Manhattan.

In my view, our town didn’t need to be whitewashed to the lengths it has been over this past decade to continue to serve as a major tourist attraction. This is purely about money and the debate should be about who is ultimately benefitting from these so-called economic, cosmetic improvements like the High Line. For a New Yorker like me, the City was already beautiful and worth visiting and had more substance over style before the High Line.

Crazy Eddie said...

In hindsight, I really wish that I had sneaked on to the High Line when it had that cool, post apocalypse, “The Road” look. Damn. The moral is do not take anything that you like in Manhattan any more for granted, it could be gone tomorrow ("Vanished"), as aptly chronicled on this blog.

timmmyk said...

Hey Eddie,
I DID sneak on the High Line more than a few times way back when.. Oh, man what a fun place it was to play. he he he he he he he....

esquared said...

She sneaked on the High Line before it became a park

http://veblenesquegorge.tumblr.com/post/12174265514/the-time-we-snuck-onto-the-high-line-before-it-was-a

laura said...

i must have missed something. i lived in NYC full time most of my life. & part time for years, & visited on a regular basis. i never heard of the "high line" untill i read this blog. we live a a parallel universe.

Anonymous said...

"New York sidewalk etiquette"? This fool must be tripping his balls off. WTF is that supposed to be? Actually, I know what it is-- the deluded fantasy of an NYC noob.

KogaGreg said...

I actually find this post and the comments rather interesting. The one deeper point that is missing from this and most political narratives is the fact that BILLIONS of people are suffering and dying on our planet due to the exploitation of the systems we uphold. The lifestyle the poster seeks to maintain and the environment being created around them is a direct result of our actions and inactions. I don't mean to be rude but if you think there are too many people go kill yourself. Change starts at home. I say that with love but seriously this elitist attitude is disgusting in the face the atrocities that take place everyday on our planet as if it was a way of life. Activism is more than fighting for nuisance laws at a community board meeting. Get your priorities straight. And to all tourists that aren't elitist, villainous snobs - those that bring culture and light, looking for love and experience, WELCOME to our fair city. Don't mind the a-holes.

Anonymous said...

KogaGreg, come again?

Unknown said...

Jeremiah Moss I want to marry you and have your baby! Actually I'm already married and I'm way too old to have babies … but you get the point. I do not live in NYC nor do I have any intentions of visiting. I do live right in the middle of downtown Seattle—within spitting distance of the Pike Place Market and as such, feel your pain. I cannot even use what everyone assumes is an amenity of the neighbor because of all the tourists. They block the sidewalks. They stand in line at the original Starbucks. They snap endless pictures they'll most likely never look at once they're home. Worst of all, they refer to it as "Pike's Market." I've concluded most of these people come from places where there's nothing but suburban sprawl for miles and miles around and places like Pike Place Market give them a feeling of authenticity lacking from their sad, pathetic flip-flop-wearing, TV-watching, video-game-playing, fast-food-eating lives. James Howard Kunstler said "The 20th century was about getting around. The 21st century will be about staying in a place worth staying in." Let's hope the tourists that plague us both find some authencity in their own homes and soon.

Sandra said...

Aww WAAAA first world problems

Mariposa said...

In principle, I'll agree with this poster. I think the kinds of tourists this poster is aimed at are the inconsiderate ones. There are plenty of them that are courteous and respectful people. For each one of them, unfortunately, there is a family of inconsiderates. I hate to break it to West Chelsea, and other Manhattan neighborhoods that have been and will be besieged by tourists and other vermin and feel their bubbles have been burst - Manhattan will only get more crowded. Maybe you should reconsider the exorbitant rent/mortgage paid for such tiny spaces, now that you feel so encroached upon. I am quite happy to live in a very quiet, suburb-like corner of Astoria. Chain stores and developers don't think Queens is profitable, which is fine by me.

Anonymous said...

Its painfully clear the elitist transplants from Connecticut need their millions dollar exclusivity. Its New York City, if you cant deal with people... move to New Jersey. The author of the article was likely some wackjob homosexual with a large protruding rod stick out of his bum.

Furthermore, the nerve of someone calling a public park "theirs." ITS A PARK, TOURIST's ATTEND PARKS HENCE A TOURST ATTRACTION. Also the amount of moronic replies you can tell these poor souls never left their 2500 a month Upper East Side Apartments. Travel the world you mooks and you will understand people enjoy zen like atmospheres in the midst of an urban environment. (See Valencia, Spain and think if you neck beards lived there demanding people out of the central plaza).

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the city, second generation, and left ten years ago for a rural NY county that doesn't have a single Starbucks. I feel, in a way, that this relatively unspoiled rural area is more like the NYC I used to know than the NYC I see now.

However, when we moved up, my young children were so used to playgrounds and lawns (parks) being public that I had to teach them about property -- that they could no longer assume they that could play on any playground equipment they saw or that any patch of grass was free.

It made me appreciate how once one steps outside of one's building in NYC, everything is public. I honestly have a hard time believing the person who wrote that poster grew up in NYC him/herself. What true NYer would question having his or her building photographed? Really?

NYers have always laughed a bit at tourists but also really appreciated their love of our city. I think the problem with the High Line and vanishing NY in general has more to do with policies than with tourists. It's not the tourists' fault. They are doing what they were invited to do, and they give back to NYC. The problem is with the people who invited them to Chelsea.

Anonymous said...

In the 70's as a suburban “Hippie Wannabe” I took many of my friends down to the west side to climb up to those abandoned tracks to: sun bathe (SOMETIMES some people were Naked!!!), picnic, "party" and to play guitars in the beautiful setting that is now the High Line park.

While I sympathize with the outcry about the tourist and the angst about the crowds of "well-heeled" elitist...I offer for consideration that if there is one word to define New York City it is CHANGE!

We should certainly hold our memories of the past dear, but; realistically, we also need to recognize that change is a reflection of evolution.

Evolution is a natural and constant cause of change. If we don't like the current outcomes from recent changes we need to find solace in the fact that the current push-pull about this particular urban space is a symptom of the next stage of evolution!

Chill-out and enjoy the changing dynamics of the place that is NYC as it continues to do what it has always done since the land was stolen from the Indians and converted to uses which I am sure the original inhabitants of the west side didn't particularly like at the time either-that is CHANGE!