How to Not Be An Idiot When Visiting NYC Series: How to Walk on an Escalator Without Upsetting The World.


If you’re visiting from another state, country, or planet [welcome, aliens!], there are several things that humans do in New York differently [more efficiently] than anywhere else.

Ride Right, Pass Left.

This is an similar to the driving rule in most of the developed world [except Washington State]. The rule is drive right, pass left. That means you should NEVER be in the leftmost lane unless you’re passing another vehicle. Also, you should never pass on the right. That’s how car accidents are made.

The same holds true for escalators in New York. If you’re not in the mood to walk up the escalator, just pull over to the right hand side. There’s no shame in not walking up the escalator. I’ve done it! [Once.]

Whatever you do, do NOT hang out on the left side of the escalator. If you’re in a party of two, and neither of you feel like hoofing it up an escalator—or if you say things like “that’s why they invented moving stairs, Rebecca, let the robot lift me!—do NOT stand two abreast on the same stair. Both of you should pull over to the right.

I’ll say it again: Don’t Stand Two Abreast on an Escalator!

The nice thing about New Yorkers is that, contrary to popular belief, you’re not going to get yelled at for riding an escalator incorrectly.

You’ll just get stabbed.

Safe Travels!

Questions? Comments? Drop them in the comments below!