GK: New York is one of the country's safest big cities now, so you should feel good about coming here-don't be shy. However there are still perils, and it behooves the saavy traveler to be aware of them.
Traffic for one thing. (CARS). Vehicular traffic, sure, but also bicycle traffic (BIKES, BIKE BELLS)-Chinese takeout on a bike, going the wrong way at night with no lights and 35 pounds of moo shoo pork dangling from the handlebars (SFX). These are killing machines and so just make sure you look both ways before you cross the street.
Even pedestrian traffic can mow you right down. (PEDESTRIANS) Large roving groups of people all over the city-if you're not watching you could get stampeded by a Baptist youth choir (SFX). Or by herds of Southern women looking for the Today show (SFX). Steer clear of them. They have numbers, but you have agility. Just keep changing directions and you'll lose them fast. (FOOTSTEPS, FAST).
Just be sure you don't walk straight into the path of a carriage horse (WHINNY, HOOVES). These are working horses, up there in Central Park, and they're on the clock so they are not gonna stop for you, no matter . (AGGRESSIVE WHINNY CLIP CLOP).
And watch out for the pigeons. (SFX) New York pigeons are big and they are aggressive and they're not going to sit there and wait for you to throw crumbs. They will get in your face and tell you what they think. (SFX) Do not make eye contact and just keep going.
Some people are afraid of cougars in New York-and in fact there are cougars here, but they very seldom come out. (COUGAR). And they don't want you anyway. They're only attracted to small dogs wearing holiday sweaters (SFX), and if you ask me cleaning that element out of the city streets could be considered a public service (COUGAR GROWLING, DOG YAPPING).
If you do travel to New York with your dog, however, be careful about street plates, which may be electrified. (DEEP BARKING). Your dog could absentmindedly relieve himself on one of these plates, and (PEE, ZAP, HIGH BARKING) suddenly you have a very different dog.
Also beware of revolving doors. (SFX) 80% of the buildings in New York have revolving doors, and it can be tricky trying to time your entrance just right. Especially the revolving door at the Met. It's like trying to get into a double-dutch jump rope-you have to time it just right or you'll lose an extremity.
And there are the obvious things we don't even need to mention-walking between subway cars (SFX), water mains breaking (SFX)-people hovering over your shoulder as you withdraw money from the ATM-(SFX)-just look out for it.
But enjoy yourself. These are just guidelines. New York. Sure it's dangerous, but it's a lot better than it used to be.