Unfiltered Opinions: Navigating New York’s Tourist Traps

Times Square - image courtesy of Wikipedia
Times Square - image courtesy of Wikipedia

New York City, the city that never sleeps, has long been a magnet for tourists worldwide.

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However, as opinions vary, so do experiences. The following explores unfiltered perspectives on some of the city’s renowned attractions.

Statue of Liberty

Downsides of the Desirable

While Lady Liberty stands tall on her island, visitors express mixed feelings about the journey to her feet. Complaining of lengthy queues, security checks, and underwhelming experiences, some suggest opting for the Staten Island Ferry for a free and crowd-avoidant view. The struggle to find the entrance and navigate through the exhibit adds to the dissatisfaction.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Gentrification Gripes

Once a haven for creatives and independents, Williamsburg now faces criticism for losing its unique charm due to gentrification. Visitors expecting quirky and interesting may find disappointment, with some preferring nearby Dumbo for a more satisfying experience.

Times Square

A Tourist Trap Tale

Times Square, a vibrant yet controversial hub, draws a spectrum of opinions. While some revel in its iconic brilliance, others describe it as overpriced, overwhelming, and rife with tourist traps. Locals tend to avoid it, citing aggressive sellers, a pervasive smell of weed, and safety concerns.

They commented: “NYC is an absolutely wonderful place to visit. That being said, Times Square was abysmal. A few of the reasons I say that: We saw 2 men with their pants around their ankles sitting in a doorway shooting up, sellers are very aggressive and will grab you (they did) trying to pedal rap CDs, etc.

“Over-priced, chain restaurants, tourist traps, smell of weed everywhere, a great number of severely mentally ill persons in distress, garbage everywhere, very dirty.

“I was there with my husband and teen sons. This type of stuff may not bother some people but I did not like the vibe and it was the only time in NYC that I did not feel safe (even with a large police presence).”

Empire State Building

Paying for Prestige

The iconic Empire State Building, once the world’s tallest, receives mixed reviews. Some argue that other buildings offer a comparable view for less money, emphasizing the expense associated with the Empire State name. Long queues and brief observation floor visits contribute to the discontent.

Should I Go or Should I Stay

As New York City strives for a post-pandemic recovery, it faces the challenge of meeting diverse expectations. While some attractions maintain their allure, others grapple with critiques ranging from overcrowding to high costs. Ultimately, the city’s vibrant energy, coupled with ongoing efforts for improvement, shapes the narrative of New York’s tourist landscape. As visitors continue to flock, each experience contributes to the ever-evolving saga of the Big Apple’s tourism industry.

© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

This is part 2 of a 4-part series. Stay tuned for part 3!

Read Part 1 Here:

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • This type of stuff may not bother some people but I did not like the vibe and it was the only time in NYC that I did not feel safe (even with a large police presence).
  • We saw 2 men with their pants around their ankles sitting in a doorway shooting up, sellers are very aggressive and will grab you (they did) trying to pedal rap CDs, etc.
  • Complaining of lengthy queues, security checks, and underwhelming experiences, some suggest opting for the Staten Island Ferry for a free and crowd-avoidant view.

About the author

Avatar of Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief, wines.travel

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief, wines.travel

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