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Nathan Pyle’s ‘NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette’ at Word

NYC etiquette master talks being on your best Brooklyn behavior

The Brooklyn Paper
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Good manners are going viral!

Five years ago, illustrator and T-shirt designer Nathan Pyle picked up and moved from Ohio to New York City to follow his dream of writing for television and movies. Instead, he has made a name for himself on the internet. After learning the ins and outs of his new city, Pyle began drawing short, funny comics offering practical tips and etiquette advice for other New Yorkers in March last year, and posting them online. His black-and-white comics — covering topics such as appropriate public displays of affection on the sidewalk and secret passageways to Chipotle — quickly blew up, and now Pyle has turned them into a book, which he will be presenting at Greenpoint’s Word bookstore on April 17.

The Brooklyn Paper caught up with the manners-minded artist to discuss how Brooklynites can adjust their driving habits and why Manhattan trekkers should actually walk across the entire Brooklyn Bridge at least once in their lives.

Megan Riesz: Do New Yorkers tend to take offense to any of your comics or disagree with tips you offer?

Nathan Pyle: I’ve found overwhelming support for the drawings. I choose drawings that I feel we can all agree on. There are definitely moments where I’m corrected. Early on, I found it was best to make sure that my editor — who’s lived in New York longer than I have — really helps me to make sure I’m not missing anything obvious.

MR: Are any of your comics inspired by Brooklyn?

NP: Absolutely. One of the drawings I have is this idea of tourists who wander around Midtown, go home and say they “explored New York.” The idea of exploring New York without leaving Midtown Manhattan is popular. I walk to Brooklyn two or three times a week, and it’s great. I absolutely love going to Brooklyn. I have a drawing about the “louder borough” versus the outer boroughs, in that it’s a refreshing thing to go out to Brooklyn. I want to encourage people to step outside of Manhattan. In the book, that’s one of the ideas you see.

MR: What are some etiquette tips that more Brooklynites should adopt?

NP: When it comes to Brooklyn specifically, I do feel for my brothers and sisters on the bikes. I’m more often a pedestrian, but when it comes to bicycles, I have friends that bike in Brooklyn and just like in Manhattan, it can be a challenge. I really try hard to be mindful as a pedestrian or a driver when it comes to making room for bicyclists and being careful with car doors.

MR: Any tips for navigating the Brooklyn Bridge?

NP: The majority of traffic is on the Manhattan pass. A lot of people walk in the middle and don’t walk all the way to Brooklyn. If you can get through the clogged-up part — which is the Manhattan part of the bridge — you can start to pick up speed. Obviously, avoid a really beautiful nice day when people are taking photos. It’s just going to frustrate you if you’re trying to walk. I’ll actually walk to the Manhattan Bridge or Williamsburg Bridge.

MR: Are New Yorkers really as rude to slow-walking, phone-gazing, blocking-the-top-of-the-Subway-staircase tourists as we’re reputed to be?

NP: I would say no. People are very, very helpful. The truth is that New Yorkers are simply commuting while you’re being a tourist. We’re using the city for two very different things.

Nathan Pyle presents “NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette” at Word bookstore [126 Franklin St. between Milton and Noble streets in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com]. April 17 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
From Ohio? I was told by a commenter at this very site that nobody comes here from Ohio.
April 14, 2014, 3:41 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I hope you're reading his comics, Swamp. You could learn a thing or two about manners from your betters.
April 14, 2014, 6:57 am
Ted from Park Slope says:
This is some funny stuff! I've never seen his comics before, but I'm laughing!
April 14, 2014, 3:29 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Mike, Love the guys work. IIRC he was soliciting ideas for a bit. I think one of mine may have been turned into a cartoon. He offers some excellent advice to newcomers, transplants and outsiders. Common sense to me, but to transplants like you he provides a service. Of course you will never be from here Mike. What Brooklyn High School did you go to?
April 14, 2014, 5:10 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Where is the character with the arrows? Pardon the interruption.
April 14, 2014, 5:48 pm
NYPD from NY says:
↑↑↑↑↑YOU RANG?↑↑↑↑↑
April 14, 2014, 9:54 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
I lied, I can't read. I slipped through the poor Brooklyn school system and landed a sweet job with the city. I mean, where else can an idiot like myself find work?
April 15, 2014, 1:43 pm
Ted from Iowa says:
I love this comic! It's so funny! I learned a lot reading it, even if it might be common sense to some of you who my people will eventually run out of Brooklyn anyway.

More evidence, we're winning! (where was the article about the guy from brooklyn who did something? Oh yeah, there wasn't one).

Win win win!
April 15, 2014, 2:12 pm
NYPD from NY says:
Ted, if you want to read an article about a guy from brooklyn who did something, check the blotter. It's full of some real gems!
April 15, 2014, 3:03 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Guy from Brooklyn that did something? Guess the mayor is from Ohio too?
April 15, 2014, 6:21 pm
Bklynattitude from Ps says:
Ughh who cares!! His number 1 tip should be go back to Ohio, Idaho, Michigan or wherever. Tip #2: teach the outsiders some etiquette because they have none!! Tip #3. Don't come to nyc
April 15, 2014, 9:48 pm

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