To the Rescue! 8 Simple Ways New Yorkers Can Become Everyday Heroes in NYC

In New York City, there are some true, genuine heroes that walk among us.

Yes, we're talking about the NYPD and the FDNY, who risk their lives every day to keep New Yorkers safe. Obviously, you guys are the true heroes of the city.

Still, there are New Yorkers who step up to the plate during everyday tasks.

We're talking about the New Yorkers who give up their subway seats, who stand to the right on escalators, and who hold open the subway doors for people they don't know.

These are the everyday heroes of NYC. Want to know what acts of heroism that brings New Yorkers to greatness daily?

Read on to find out what they are. 


1. Getting off the train so others can get off

nycgo Smith-Ninth Streets (Photo: @ty_iv)


Sacrificing your spot on the train to make room for people to exit is definitely an act of heroism.

Sometimes, when the train is super crowded, when just standing there is a triumph because you're being crushed by a swelling mass of people, it's difficult when other people get off and you're still on.

[anad]

In this situation, people have to shove and push past you to get off the train. They're bumping your bag and shoulder checking you, the whole nine yards.

When this happens, NYC's heroes get off the train and stand aside while everyone leaves, then they reenter the train. Why is there no superhero movie based on this?


2. Holding open subway doors

chris.pertab •The Struggle of NYC• Snapchat 📸: Chrispertab #nycsubway #fashion #peopleinpublic #newyork #subwaypeople #peopleofnyc #nypeople #fuckem #peopleinthecity #peopleinthestreet #nycpeople #peopleofnewyorkcity #peoplewatching #peopleofnewyork #newyorkpeople #newyorkcity #metro #peopleinthewild #peopleofny #pennstation #pitw #subwaycreatures #ny #newyorkcitypeople #nyc #onlyinnyc #mta #metropeople #nycsubwaypeople #coffee


Risking your limbs so others can get on the train on time? Definitely heroic.

We know the subway doors don't usually chop off limbs, but they're definitely less reliable when it comes to automatically opening than elevator doors.

Plus, if you hold open the subway yours, you'll probably have to deal with the wrath of an angry subway conductor over the loudspeakers.

Plus, those doors actually really hurt when they hit you. So, if you find someone brave enough to hold these doors open for you, that person is a true NYC hero. Especially if they don't even know you.


3. Giving money to homeless people

theveryhungrykaterpilla It was morning when we walked past, they were all still sleeping. #homelessnyc #eastvillage #thisisnewyorkcity #katalinyc2015


We definitely have empathy for the homeless, but the sad fact is that we're hit up for money so many times every day. If we gave money to someone every time they asked us for it, we'd be broke and homeless ourselves before lunch.

Still, it's way too easy to succumb to anger and frustration when there's a dude on your train shouting about all his woes in your ear when you just wanted a quiet subway ride to enjoy your book.

[anad2]

That dude is ruining everyone's morning with his yelling, with his "advice," and most New Yorkers will roll their eyes in disgust and wait for him to shut up.

Sometimes, though, a hero or two will slip him a dollar. Yes, that person does encourage him to keep yelling in everyone's ears, but hopefully they also enable him to buy food that day.


4. Talking to clipboard people

savenyc.nyc The #RallyAgainstDisplacement is today. Let's do this! #InTheseTimes.com: "We are at a pivotal point as a city. Either we create a development model that focuses on creating truly affordable housing for our working class and communities of color, or we follow in the steps of the city of San Francisco and head toward a monolithic urban enclave for the upper classes, with little-to-no working-class residents." - Jonathan Weston, 2/16/16 Photo by Boas 📷 #nomoreupzoning #qualityoflife #zoninglaws #affordablehousing #communitymatters #economicequality #gentrification #activism #peopleoverprofit #affordableforwho #stopoverdevelopment #nycisnotforsale #stophomogenization #stopdisplacement #gentrificationisnotprogress #nycactivism #standagainsttheshadows #preservation #supportsmallbusiness #economicequality #bloomberglegacy #mayordeblasio #zoningforqualityandaffordability #savenyc #mandatoryinclusionaryhousong #actioncity


Clipboard people are out there day in and day out, trying to collect money for causes they believe in.

They're standing in the cold, in the rain, and sometimes even in the snow, trying to stop busy and haggard New Yorkers. For the most part, those New Yorkers don't give them the time of day. They don't even look at them as they walk by.

We can't really blame those New Yorkers. In fact, for the most part we are those New Yorkers, and we don't have the time, energy, or money to get involved in these causes.

Still, every once in a while a New Yorker will stop to listen to a clipboard person give their speech about their cause. That New Yorker is a hero.

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5. Letting people pet your dog

remi_the_teddy Beary bummed about laundry night 👎🏼 I'd rather eat the socks 😝🐶👟


Holler to all the New Yorkers who let us needy, desperate, non-dog-owners pet their dogs on the street!

If you're a New Yorker with a cute dog, we can't even imagine how many times a day while you're walking your dog you get stopped by New Yorkers with pleas like, "Can I pet your dog?"

[anad]

We've been those people asking the, "Can I pet your dog?" many, many times.

If you're a New Yorker who stops and gracefully lets your dog get pet, you are helping out all of humanity. You are a true New York hero. You're even more of a hero if you smile and act pleasant about it.


6. Holding doors

cfisdbearamy This is a job for the bear! #holdingdoors #thumbsnotnecessary


We're all busy, and we're all always rushing. 

The New Yorkers who take that extra twenty-five seconds to hold open a door so someone else can walk through is a hero, because let's face it, that New Yorker is probably already ten minutes late.

Sometimes we're perfectly capable of opening the door ourselves, and other times we have our hands full with coffee and water and our bags. 

Either way, we appreciate the door holding just as much whether we could or couldn't open the door ourselves, because it's a nice, pleasant reminder that New Yorkers aren't as mean as everyone thinks we are.


7. Throwing their trash in the trash

metroskeet #nyc #42nd #subway #subwaytrash #subwaytrashcollector #brilliantidea #useafingtrashcan


Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Yeah, we thought it sounded easy, too, but apparently this concept isn't quite so easy to the hundreds and hundreds of New Yorkers who cope with the issue of having trash by simply dropping their trash on the tracks.

[anad2]

Every year, tons and tons of litter accumulates on the subway tracks, and all of this litter causes track fires and delays all the time.

So, if you're a New Yorker who copes with having trash by doing the simple, heroic task of dropping your trash in the trash can, congratulations. You're a real-life NYC hero.


8. Giving food to homeless people

baileysea My favorite part of Thanksgiving #leftoversandwich @iggysbakery #frenchrolls #brie @stonewallkitchen #maplebaconaioli #fatpants


We know you wanted those leftovers. We know you purposely didn't eat the other half of that sandwich because you wanted to have it for lunch tomorrow.

Still, there are New Yorkers who will hand off their leftovers to a homeless person sitting outside a restaurant.

To those New Yorkers: the sadness you feel about the fact that you'll never see your sandwich again will pass. What will remain in its place? Heroism, pure and true.

Check out Why Transplants Living in NYC Deserve a Little More Respect from Native New Yorkers. 

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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