New York is swarming with tourists usually, and natives can spot them immediately. It is not like they will do something about it. Still, it will be harder to blend in this frenzy fast-paced assertive machine that is authentic Newyorker. To act as you live in the Big Apple, you first need to get there.

JFK international airport is one of the largest globally with millions of visitors and flights, so you are covered, but you should apply for the US Visa ESTA if you come from Europe. A travel authorization is a permit approved by the US administration. It is for visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries. You can apply online, where you will need to fill out a detailed questionnaire and pay a small fee.

Walk like a Newyorker

If you want to blend with the locals, there are a couple of tricks you can use. Walk fast wherever you go and walk on the right side of the pavement. Do not look up to admire the extraordinary architecture and the skyscrapers. Put on your headphones, and do not wait for the walk sign to go across the road. Yes, it is dangerous, but go with the first glimpse of an empty street.

Do not wear I love New York shirts or hats. New York residents are proud, but they do not show affection with souvenirs. If you want to, wear a New York Knicks or Yankees branded clothing.

Where and how you eat will also blow your cover potentially. Avoid Times Square and dining around this tourist hub. Do not go for Italian food in Little Italy or eat in franchise restaurants. There are so many authentic low-cost places to eat. If you grab a pizza, fold it down the middle, and by all means, avoid fork and knife with it.

New York City is just City for locals, so you can call it the City. If you choose the subway as preferred transportation, do not go in an empty car because it probably has a reason to be empty, and avoid the last train from downtown. You might meet some unpleasant drunk people.

Things you can only buy in New York 

Now that you have learned how to not look like a tourist, let us do some touristy things like buy authentic stuff you can only find in the World’s unofficial capital. First, let us look at the things you cannot bring home with you. Start with the hot chocolate at City Bakery. Go to the Flatiron District and enjoy the finest chocolate in liquid form. Go to Brooklyn’s Nunu Chocolates and try truffles, ganaches or drink craft beer. You have to try a street hot dog. It does not look perfect, but it is there. You are in for a treat if you visit L&B Spumoni Gardens for authentic ice cream.

Pick up classic souvenirs in the New York Transit Museum with jewelry, playing cards, and other subway inspired stuff. Museum of Modern Art is a great place to visit, and it also has some of the best bowl glass items and other classy souvenirs. Get your pressed pennies around Ellis Island, Central Park Zoo, and other popular locations. Visit Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Center to acquire gaming memorabilia or go to New York Distilling Company for authentic Dorothy Parker gin.

Things to do near Madison Square Garden 

Although New York Knicks suck for more than 20 years and counting, going to a sport or concert show in MSG is second to none. The most famous arena in the world is a must-see attraction, and it also has plenty of things to do close by. Before you check out the magic on the basketball court in MSG, you can visit Houdini Museum at Fantasma Magic. Grab a snack in Keen’s steakhouse or Pocha 32. You can take a walk-through Bryant Park and watch movies in the summer or go ice-skating in the wintertime.

Adventures in Old New York

Numerous books can help you with getting to know the City better. Adventures in Old New York is a book created by Tom Meyers and Greg Young from the Bowery Boys podcast. It tells about the remarkable history of New York City. You can still find these historical sites in some areas of downtown.

Not for tourists guide to New York City

An excellent comprehensive guide to New York is in the book Not for tourists guide to New York City. Detailed maps, icons with the best places around the town, restaurants, landmarks, transport, and much more are described in this popular edition. You can see which are dangerous neighborhoods in New York City, and where to find vintage clothes or great theater.

Bottom line

New York City is a dream place for many residents and millions of tourists every year. Vast and diverse, with so many attractions, cultural, historical, and popular culture heritage, the City will entertain even the most demanding visitor. If you follow our tips and blend in with the locals, maybe you will get a glimpse of the everyday routine and action behind the tourist screen.