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The Most Annoying People In New York City -- New York City Pet Peeves

Updated on July 6, 2011

Even The Big Apple Has Some Worms

I love New York. I really do. I was born and raised on Long Island, but spent every weekend in New York City. As soon as I finished graduate school, I moved to Queens. I've been all over the world to many wonderful cities -- Sydney, Paris, London, Chicago, Venice -- just to name a few, but no matter where I go, I'm always happy to be back home. we've got great food, fabulous museums, a kick-ass skyline ... and no, I do not work for any tourism company. I'm just a regular, old gal who happens to be a New York-aholic.

Still, as in any long-term relationship, there are days when I get rather annoyed with my beloved Manhattan. Actually, it's more like I get pissed off at particular types of people in the Big Apple. Take this evening, for example. I went to get on the subway and this guy was standing in the doorway blocking the entrance. So when everyone got on, did he move? No, of course not! Everyone ended up having to shove past him.

It's folks like that who make me roll my eyes and wish that Manhattan had about only half of its current population. So while I highly encourage you to visit New York City, here are a few of the typical annoying jerks that you need to watch out for during your stay.

New Yorkers Speak Out On Why New Yorkers Are Annoying

Annoying People On The Subways!

Loud And Rude New Yorkers

Annoying New Yorkers

1. The Subway Door-Holder: Imagine that it's 6 p.m., the height of rush hour in New York City. You squeeze into the subway, eager to make it home after a long day of work. And then some idiot holds the doors. And holds them. And holds them. The conductor keeps trying to close them, but each time fails because this person is waiting for his friends to join him on the train ... or is simply doing this because it's fun (yes, there are some who think it's a joke). Finally, the doors end up not closing at all -- and everyone has to wait for another train. Personally, I think that if someone holds the door for more than 30 seconds, it should just automatically close on them ... but then again, that could get rather messy.

2. The Stiletto-Wearing-Slow-Walker-Cellphone Talker: I think that most people have used their cell phones while walking somewhere, but there seems to be a breed of women in New York City who enjoy blocking the entire sidewalk as they gab, gab, gab -- always REALLY loudly! -- on their mobile phones. It amazes me how it's always the same "type," too: the woman is wearing very high-heeled shoes so that she has to teeter reeeaaalllly slllowwwly down the street. Because she's trying to balance on her heels, she has both arms slightly out to the side, which, of course, makes it even more difficult to get around her. And then on top of that, she's talking at top volume on her phone, completely oblivious to the fact that people are trying to pass her. So far, I've resisted the urge to shove these people, but well, if you're one of these ladies and you see an angry woman skulking behind you, move out of my way!

3. The Business Dude: Don't think the guys are getting off the hook -- they have annoying habits, too. Especially the ones who like to yell really loudly into their cell phone while on the train, often regarding something to do with work. Yeah, I get that your work is important, but really, do you have to scream about the stock market? The economy is in enough trouble. And just so you know, when we enter a freakin' underground tunnel, you won't be able to hear your associate anymore. So please stop shouting, "Hello, hello, hello!" into your phone. It won't help you and you're bugging me!

4. The Oversharing Cab Driver: I don't mind making small talk with cab drivers. My husband supported himself in college by driving cabs and from what he's told me, it can be kind of a lonely job. That said, I'm happy to chat with any who are friendly. However, there are times when I just don't feel like talking ... and that's where the oversharing cab driver pisses me off. For example, I was once going to the doctor with a sore throat and took a cab to get there. I was very obviously hoarse and even said, "Sorry, I have a sore throat," but this dude kept on talking to me. And talking and talking. Had I been able to scream, I would've. Then there was the time when the cabby started telling me all about how his wife was leaving him because he cheated on her, and wanted my advice on how to win her back. Um, dude, I ain't gettin' involved with your love life. Nor do I want to hear about it. Save the drama for Dr. Phil, please.

5. The Clueless Gawker: Since this is New York City, we get plenty of tourists, especially around the holidays. While I welcome outsiders with open arms, I have to tsk tsk the few of you who like to stand in the middle of the sidewalk -- right during rush hour -- and block all of the oncoming crowds. I'm not saying to not get that perfect shot of the Empire State Building. But there are about a million places where you can take a photo and not have to worry about people running you over. Just sayin'.

6. The Subway Starer: This character is more creepy than annoying. Basically, the person will sit across from you on the subway and then just stare at you. And stare. And stare some more. You try to avert your eyes or pretend you're sleeping, but you can feel his stare digging into you -- kind of like those paintings where the subject's eyes seem to follow you. It's even worse if the starer is staring and smiling at you. It gives me the chills just thinking about it.

7. The Seat Snatcher: Attention straphangers -- the seats in the subway are meant for people. Not potted plants, not your shopping bags, not your feet. And definitely not goldfish. Yep, you read that correctly. I was once riding home on a very crowded subway and this family of four took up eight seats because they had plastic bags with pet goldfish in them and put one bag on each seat. Everyone on the train kind of looked at each other, not sure what to even say about this. They finally moved the bags when a big guy threatened to sit on their fish.

8. The Hoity-Toity Art "Experts": I love going to museums and really enjoy it when an art expert can help me understand a painting or sculpture. However, I can't stand it when a wannabe expert saunters across an exhibit loudly -- what the hell is the deal with so many New Yorkers being loud? Are we all deaf? -- pontificates some obviously made-up nonsense about said work. My funniest encounter with these people took place about 15 years ago. I was at the Museum Of Modern Art with a friend and was chewing a piece of gum as we admired some sculptures. Someone slammed into my back with a lot of force and the wad of gum flew out of my mouth and stuck to one of the statues (no I am not making this up). Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, my friend I stood there for a minute. This group of beret and glasses-wearing 20somethings then wandered into the room from the adjacent exhibit and started debating about what the gum symbolized! I'm glad I gave them something to talk about....

9. The Pole Dancer: Riding on a crowded subway is annoying enough. Riding with that entitled person who leans his or her entire body against the pole so you have nothing to grab when the subway lurches is even more maddening. People, people, people ... those poles are in the subway so that those of us who are standing have something to support ourselves with. They're not your personal recliner. Be thoughtful. Be polite. Realize that the entire world doesn't revolve around you, mmmk?

10. The Subway Sh--ter: Thankfully, I have never encountered such a creature, though I have seen its cousin, The Subway Urinator. My husband, on the other hand, was unlucky enough to experience the first. He was on the train late one night when a woman jumped up onto the seat, pulled down her pants and squatted and well, you can guess the rest. Needless to say, everyone scrambled into the next car at the following stop. But .. yeah, annoying doesn't even begin to describe this one. In case you didn't know, the subway is NOT a toilet!

So there you have it. These are some of the most annoying New Yorkers. The next time you visit our fine city, keep an eye out for them -- and make sure you don't become one of them yourself.


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    • profile image

      Amy, New York, NY 

      9 years ago

      Funny and true!

    • Larry Gee profile image

      Larry Gee 

      9 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Wow I loved this hub. We have similair versions of these people in London, although I can't say I've ever seen a subway sh***er.

    • gracenotes profile image


      9 years ago from North Texas

      I have been to Manhattan a couple of times. Really enjoyed my visits. Thanks for writing this funny hub.

      Wow, an art museum should be an oasis, a quiet space, and an escape for anyone. I don't blame you for getting annoyed. I think some of the docents in the wonderful, nice museums in my city act a bit too officiously at times, but perhaps they wouldn't put up with loud, unwanted commentary such as you endured!

      In Texas, people speak in elevators. They make jokes and seem to enjoy themselves. I've never seen the like. NaomiR, you might not see that kind of elevator behavior in NYC, but strangers who visit here think it's extraordinary.

      I actually prefer to stand mute in the elevator!

    • NaomiR profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York

      No, I can't say that the streets are covered in vomit, but wow - ew, LOL! I was once vomited on while I was riding — what else? — the subway. But since this only happened to me once (thank God), I didn't feel this qualified as a regular NYC character.

    • CMHypno profile image


      9 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Great Hub on New York characters - having lived and worked in the London area for many years, have to say that we have our own variation of all these types in London. Do you have the apres-drinkinking vomiters? Are the streets of NYC covered in pools of vomit on a Saturday and Sunday morning like some of our streets are?


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