Baby’s first out-of-town guests

19 Nov

Entertaining guests can be a daunting experience when you’re new here. Knowing your way around remains a challenge for months after you arrive, and when you’re responsible for guiding someone else as well, it can be a LOT to handle.

Here are some basics on preparing visitors — especially first-timers — for what to expect:

• Emphasize the vast amount of walking involved. For the largest subway system in the world, it still doesn’t go everywhere — especially the far east or west sides of the island (Alphabet City, Meatpacking). Many people land in New York with a suitcase of their most city-chic shoes and outfits, but do encourage them to forfeit at least some vanity while here. Even comfy footwear causes blisters after a day of walking, so have them pack a foot-fixer kit of moleskin, neosporin, band-aids and gel insoles.

• Have them write out a ‘must-see’ list. A friend of mine claims he doesn’t let tourist visitors crash on his floor unless they arrive with a written-out list of 10 things they want to do. Encourage your guests to do their own research before they arrive. Because there’s nothing worse than waking up to a houseful of people asking, “So, what are we doing today?”

Keep a spare set of towels, shampoo and (if you don’t already use one) a small hairdryer. Because these things are a pain to pack. 

• Warn them about the smallness. Their bathroom at home is probably bigger than your bedroom.

• If they want show tickets to things that book up months in advance, like Wicked, let them know months in advance.

• If they have an iPhone, have them download Hopstop or CityTransit. Life savers.

• Ask for their food preferences and have restaurant ideas in mind. This is one thing that is easier done by you than them — and it will keep you from wandering around the city going, “Let’s just walk until we find a place to eat.” Twenty minutes later, no one can decide and everyone’s hangry.

• What’s in it for you: Out-of-towners allow you break routine and be a tourist in your own city. You’ll love the looks on their faces when they see for the first time what you see every day. Plus, what are the odds you’d ever go to Ellis Island with your friends on a random Saturday? Yeah, you so wouldn’t.

I’ll stop there — I could add to this list forever. What’d I miss?

Coming soon: Where to take your out-of-town guests! Advice on how to handle the most touristy places on your checklist, as well as where to show them slices of real New York life.

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