First, a disclaimer. I was born in Brooklyn, and I have not been in New York City for over 24 years, so it may have morphed into the penultimate utopian metropolis in my absence.

When I was a much younger lad, my hoodlum friends and I used to watch for tourists. Tourists were fun to mess with, and quite frankly, my friends and I were a$$holes.

About 95% of New Yawkers are used to everything from accidents, jostling, crazy homeless folks and the skyscrapers. We would look for the folks who kept looking up at the skyscrapers. If they pointed at them, it was as though they were hanging out a sign that said "TOURIST!". We would do stupid things like toss water balloons at them or start following them, laughing very loudly and pointing at them (for blocks and blocks). We lived in a rather ratty section of Brooklyn, and anyone who was visiting there was either a lost tourist or a stupid tourist. We never did anything really bad like mugging them or tossing rocks. There was nothing worse than my very pissed off Italian grandmother hyped up on fifty gallons of espresso with a set of carved wooden spoons. If the cops caught us, it was the spoons for our asses. In those days, if my grandmother caught one of my friends doing something stupid, she'd smack him around. They'd complain to their folks, the parents would talk to grandma, and my friend would get another beating from his folks for doing something that annoyed my grandma. Nobody messed with me and my small group of hoodlum jerk friends, since they knew grandma was in my corner, spoons at the ready.

Anyway, when visiting New York City, avoid looking up and pointing at the buildings. I always suggested that you always walk like you were on a mission for God, and always have an expression on your face akin to finding your dog brutally gang-raped by rats, and you were out rat-hunting. The jerks avoid the pissed off people, they're on the lookout for the folks looking at the architecture.