At least 9.5 million tourists have already roamed our city this year (up 1 million from the same time in 2007), many of them from across the Atlantic, working the favorable currency exchange. At first, bumping into a slow-moving herd of map-gazers can be annoying. But wait: Check out that French guy snapping a picture of a fire truck. And what about that Swedish girl buying armfuls of clothes at Bloomingdale’s? They’re hot! Herewith, a guide to finding a no-pressure, weeklong hookup from abroad, including suggested pickup lines.
… at a restaurant
75 Ninth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-989-6699
Why All the Tourists? “It looks like an American movie set,” says an employee of the high-ceilinged, steroidally designed Asian restaurant. “They think of it like a tourist destination, as opposed to just a restaurant.”
Pickup Line: The edamame dumplings here are tasty. Want one?
In Italian: I ravioli di edamame sono buoni. Ne vorresti uno?
114 Kenmare St., at Lafayette St.; 646-613-7100
Why All the Tourists? The literally underground Mexican spot “is on all their lists,” says Jeanie Voltsinis, a concierge at the Soho Grand. The setup—a casual taquería on street level and a “secret” restaurant in the basement—lends the illusion of being an insider. “It’s a mystery to them, the way it looks like a diner, but it’s this fancy place,” says general manager Soraya Larson.
Pickup Line: You should try my hot sauce on your carne asada.
In French: Tu devrais goûter ma sauce piquante avec ton plat.
… while shopping
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH
720 Fifth Ave., at 56th St.; 212-381-0110
Why All the Tourists? In addition to knockout salespeople, the Abercrombie on Fifth Avenue is a prime destination for Europeans looking to Americanize their wardrobes. “It is usually their first stop,” says Adam Perabo, concierge at the Hotel on Rivington. The flowy tops and flip-flops represent the epitome of casual West Coast style.
Pickup Line: That tee looks good on you.
In Spanish: Ese polo te queda lindo [to a girl]/regio [to a guy].
WOODBURY COMMON OUTLETS
498 Red Apple Ct., nr. Rt. 32, Central Valley, N.Y.; 845-928-4000
Why All the Tourists? The upstate outlet mall appears in every guidebook, in every language. “All the Europeans want to go to Woodbury,” says Noah Lemaich from 60 Thompson. He sends them by way of the $40 Gray Line shuttle. The most sought-after stores, according to Barbara Brafman from the W Tuscany: Puma and Adidas.
Pickup Line: The ride back will be more fun together.
In Italian: Tornare insieme sarebbe più divertente.
… at a museum
THE NEW MUSEUM
235 Bowery, at Prince St.; 212-219-1222
Why All the Tourists? It’s all about contemporary art for young Euros. “The New Museum’s modern, modern, modern,” says Brafman from the W Tuscany. The bold architecture by Japanese firm SANAA doesn’t hurt. “We’re a new landmark in New York,” says director Lisa Phillips, “and that’s always going to bring people in.”
Pickup Line: Um, I don’t get this.
In Spanish: Um, no lo comprendo.
945 Madison Ave., at 75th St.; 212-570-3600
Why All the Tourists? “The fact that the word ‘American’ is actually in the title of our museum seems to be a big draw,” says spokesman Stephen Soba.The crowds are bent on seeing quintessential American artists like Edward Hopper. “They come into the museum asking, ‘Where are the Hoppers?’”
Pickup Line: I give a mean Biennial tour. Want one?
In Swedish: “Vad skulle du tycka om jag ger dig en Biannual visning?”
… at a club
527 W. 27th St., nr. Eleventh Ave.; 212-463-0000
Why All the Tourists? “They’re all asking about Pink Elephant—a high-end club where they can spend like $2,000 on a table for the night,” says Heather Kaye from the W Union Square. It’s one of the few New York clubs that specialize in house music, regularly importing European D.J.’s for the night.
Pickup Line: I can’t possibly drink all this Champagne alone. Please help me.
In Swedish: Ta lite Champagne. Jo, jag insisterar!
189 Chrystie St., nr. Rivington St.; 212-982-9301
Why All the Tourists? The Lower East Side’s bawdy burlesque cabaret has obvious appeal to Europeans. “They are more comfortable with nudity. They’re more desensitized about it, so they can enjoy themselves here,” says a club spokesperson. “We’ve also been covered in many magazines over there, so people know about us.”
Pickup Line: Squeeze in here next to me!
In French: Viens, il y a une place à côté de moi!