DOT Spokesperson Tells City Not to Worry About CitiBike Riders "Doing Crazy Stuff"

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The re-introduction of the CitiBike map two weeks ago hopefully reaffirmed the idea that we can start taking the bike share program seriously. We can move beyond questions of "When?" or "Where the hell is it?" and start asking "What will happen now?"

The city is unloading hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes onto the streets of New York--and, presumably, a fair share of them will be ridden by tourists. These outsiders don't know the rules of the road; imagine throwing a family of five from Armenia or Morocco on a set of wheels and have them fly down First Avenue during rush hour. This sudden spike in cyclists provides an immediate threat (a bit hyperbolic, maybe?) to pedestrians and police alike.

At least that's what you would think.

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Brett Cohen Is NOT A Celebrity -- But He Plays One In Times Square (And Makes Tourists Look Like Idiots)

Categories: Idiots, Tourists
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That guy in the middle is Brett Cohen. You might remember him from...nothing.

Brett Cohen wasn't in "Spiderman." He's not a recording artist with a "bright future." And he's not even the least bit famous (yet). But he's officially our new favorite New Yorker (he's actually Canadian but we're claiming him as our own).

Last month, Cohen conducted a bit of a sociological experiment, in which he dressed up in fancy clothes, hired a camera crew and bodyguards to follow him around, and walked around Times Square, giving the impression that he was a celebrity -- and people bought it.

In the video, which you can see after the jump, Cohen makes dozens of people -- whom we'll assume are tourists (obviously, no real New Yorker would gush this much over a faux-celeb -- or a real celeb, for that matter) -- look like absolute idiots.

Teenage girls rush to get their picture taken with him. When asked where they've see him before, more than one person said the movie "Spiderman." Others said he was a recording artist with a "bright future" and that they loved his first single.

See the video below. It's awesome.


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Mike Bloomberg, Miss Piggy, and Kermit the Frog Talk About Tourism and Lady Gaga

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Sam Levin
Mayor Bloomberg and the Muppets.
We didn't think it was possible, but this morning Mayor Mike Bloomberg held a news conference that was even cooler than his public appearance with the cast of Gossip Girl earlier this year.

The secret weapon? Muppets. Four talking Muppets. You can't make this stuff up, folks!

In perhaps the silliest Bloomberg press conference this reporter has ever been to, the mayor, standing in front of a huge screen displaying the words "NYC Family Fun With the Muppets," announced that the city's tourism agency is partnering with the Muppets in a new marketing campaign. That's right, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Pepe the King Prawn are going to be the new spokes-puppets for the Big Apple.

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New York Plans On Luring Young Tourists to the City

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New York is lookin' for youngins!

And not just any run-of-the-mill youth: New York wants ones with money! (Well, ones with at least a little green to spend...)

Anyway, NYC and Company, the city's tourism agency, is trying to get more members of the under-30 age group to visit the city and spend cash, according to the office.

New York's tourism and marketing co-op is upping its efforts to attract 18 to 29-year-olds. Ultimately, the bureau wants to bring 55 million visitors to NYC annually by 2015, the cohort announced today at a tourism trade show in Berlin.

This demographic makes up almost 30 percent of NYC tourists.

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Record Number of Tourists Visited Lower Manhattan Last Year

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Lower Manhattan saw nearly 9.8 million tourists visit last year, a record number for an area revitalized by development and the World Trade Center site.

Many of those were drawn here by the newly-opened September 11 Memorial, which has already attracted more than 1 million visitors in the four months it has been open.

Downtown Alliance President Liz Berger said in a statement: "Tourism is thriving in Lower Manhattan like never before. The secret is out -- Lower Manhattan is a destination of choice in the region, nationally and around the world."

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Wall Street Bull Still Behind Barricades; Tourists Angry

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Tourists are now mad at Wall Street too. Or at least they are mad around Wall Street. Why? According to the New York Post, the famous Wall Street bull is still behind police barricades in the wake of Occupy Wall Street's stay in Zuccotti Park, "enraging" (enraging!) tourists. Now, this is something to get riled up about!

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Random British Couple 'Rewarded Handsomely' For Letting Mayor Ruin Their Wedding

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Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference today to announce that the city hosted 50 million tourists this year. As guests of honor for the conference, the city invited British couple Craig Johnson and Lucy Foulger. The pair had been married only an hour earlier.

Johnson and Foulger, those gentle souls, were merely cogs in Bloomberg's idea to have the symbolic 50 millionth tourists attend the presser. Tourism officials apparently wanted to bring in British people for this role since the U.K. is the number one source of tourism for NYC. And thus Johnson and Foulger's wedding day was "hijacked" -- though not without its perks:

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French-Canadian Tourist Chastised For Boozing on the High Line Tells His Tale of Woe

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Recently the Village Voice received a (long) fax from French-Canadian tourist Daniel Dõ detailing an unpleasant experience he had on the High Line. He and his friends brought a nice picnic, including some wine that was discreetly sipped from white porcelain cups. A High Line official told them to put away the wine, and Dõ wrote a letter to the High Line staff detailing his objection to the way he was treated. An excerpt follows (we've kept Dõ's French-style quotation marks):

At one point, around 1:00 pm, a young lady (a not very tall black woman) who was obviously working for the High Line Park (she was wearing the polo with [the High Line] logo... but she never introduced herself) came to see us. Actually, she suddenly «appeared» next to our table and without any introduction, just said with a very unpleasant tone of voice: «No alcohol in the High Line Park. Or you pour it and drink it now, or you leave the park.» And she immediately quit. We were so shocked by the way she talked to us, not only because she was very rude, but most of all, because her attitude was totally at the opposite of the spirit of your wonderful place... friendly and peaceful.
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Times Square Slip 'N Slide Evokes Memories of Childhood, Tetanus Shots

Oh, come on, people! We know you're fun-filled and carefree, ready on a moment's notice to turn hurricane lemons into a brotastic opportunity for a rollicking good time, but this is one of those things that just...ew. Why would you do this? Please, we really want to know. Couldn't you have just gotten in your bathtub and flopped around a few times?

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Times Square Meeting Bowls Offer New Opportunity to Sit In a Giant Basket

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via Times Square Alliance
The subways, buses, cramped apartments, and crowded bars of New York City are being joined by a new way to sit in a small space with other people. Please welcome the Meeting Bowls (or "tourist cages," as Animal NY calls them), a new public art installation in Times Square. They're exactly what you see in the picture: three huge basket things full of people.

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