Don't take this the wrong way. New Yorkers don't hate tourists... just hate tourists. It's not your fault! This city is large and confusing and there are way too many people here. It's probably disorienting. Deep down resent your quieter life and less costly standard of living that you probably have back in... wherever it is you came from. But at some point, all of us made the dubious decision to live here, and it would be much appreciated if you didn't make living here harder. As luck would have it, I was one... shudder. One Of You. I remember what it was like coming here for the first time. There are plenty of ways you can be a tourist without sucking.
Do you have this where you're from? Because it seems like you don't. Rush hour happens twice every day (like most hours unless you're using a European watch). People generalky work from 9am-5pm. Which means that a LOT of people are commuting from at least 8am-10pm, and again from 4pm-6pm. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE Trust me, rush hour communting is a New York experience you don't want. The museum will still be there. The Statue of Liberty is not going anywhere, despite what you saw in Ghostbusters 2. Starbucks will still be capable of making your extremely complicated order at 9:30, so for the love of all the caffeine gods do not insist on getting in line at 8:50.
If you're gonna use the subway, consult a map BEFORE you get there. Google maps, hopstop, the mta website, all of these things are your friend. They will tell you how to get to where you need to be, and they'll probably do it in a language you understamd, if English is not your first. Modt importantly: Do not expect a New Yorker to do all of that for you. It's not that we're heartless. We don't want you to be lost (being lost in this city sucks). It's that if we're in the subway, we have someplace to be (or we're homeless). Nobody hangs out down there because it's a happening place to be. We don't have thirty minutes to try to explain through hand gestures and smiles how you need to get to whatever thing you want to see. If I can explain in a sentence or two and I'm not crying or seething, you can ask. But if I'm boarding a train, you have picked the wrong time to poke me in the back and ask whether you can get to [insert place I have never heard of here]. When in doubt, find an mta employee. Or a map. Or get outside and use the GPS in your phone.
You're gonna end up walking. A lot. New Yorkers are sort of used to this by now, but getting pretty much anywhere in New York is gonna require some walking (if you're not from here, do everyone involved a favor ans DO NOT DRIVE IN THE CITY). I know the limitations of my abilities when it comes to walking a lot, and I trust you to know yours. Don't plan on walking around Central Park when you know your knees start to hurt after fifteen minutes. Don't go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art on an empty stomach if you know you'll faint after standing fir an hour (like I do). Take care of yourself while you're here, because while we're probably not gonna let you die, we will be mad if you cause a train delay.
If you've ever been camping, you were probably told to leave the campsite cleaner than it was when you found it. I assume. I have never been camping because I am not a "camping person". That's why I live in a city. But you should treat New York like a campsite. Don't litter. DO NOT THROW YOUR GARBAGE ON THE TRAIN TRACKS. And don't treat the people you encounter here like garbage either. That includes people in the service industry. A fifteen percent tip is customary. The tip jar isn't there to be decorative. It's unfortunate, but people in the service industry pretty much live on tips. If you can't afford that, then you should probably reconsider visiting one of the most expensive cities in the world. And if you can, leave a little kindness behind. Leave this city better than you found it.