I noticed this too. There are certain areas of New York City you should avoid unless you absolutely have to go through them. Why? Because there are some areas where you know tourists are going to be and it's very difficult to walk through those areas. The tourists just stand there looking at stuff or talking to each other. It can actually be very annoying. Here is an article about this phenomenon (situation).
Vocabulary to help you understand the article:
New York City turns sour - to turn or become sour means to start to feel as if you are in a bad mood. Sour is the opposite of sweet.
walkin' - walking. Many people drop the 'g' sound at the end of 'ing' words.
tourists flock to the city - birds fly in flocks, so when you hear that people are flocking to some place, they are gathering in huge numbers
to clog the sidewalks - to make the sidewalks so crowded that people cannot pass through
that grates at locals - that makes people from New York City upset (to grate at is rarely used)
sharp elbowed - this means kind of rude or aggressive when people are walking through crowds; This is an elbow:
So sharp elbowed means a person who might use his elbows as a type of weapon while walking.
a pace - the speed at which you walk
to be accustomed to do something - to be used to doing something
agonizingly slow procession - a painfully slow pace
a Scrooge is a person who is in a bad mood at Christmas time
a Grinch is another character who hated Christmas
etiquette - manners, the right way of doing things in a social environment
to stop in your tracks - to just stop without warning while you are walking
to stroll - to walk casually
a caterer - someone who makes food for parties and other events
smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk - right in the middle of the sidewalk
boom - a good example of 'onomatopoeia' - onomatopoeia is when a word corresponds to a sound. So in America we say that a dog makes this sound: "Aarf!" or "Woof!" A cat goes: "Meow..." "boom" represents the noise of a collision or when something explodes
walking brisk - many Americans speak poor English. This should be: We walk briskly. Briskly means quickly.
to double down on his resolve to maneuver sidewalks - to work harder at moving through the crowds on sidewalks; to double-down means to focus harder on s/t (I've never heard double-down used before so don't worry about it.)
noshed on - ate
between shifts - between work shifts; a shift of work might be from 9am to 5pm
to be in a rush - to be in a hurry
to zig-zag - to walk in this pattern:
to navigate - in this instance it means to walk through
no walk in the park - it's not easy; a walk in the park is an easy activity. i.e. How was your test? It was a walk in the park.
a snotty way - a nasty, mean, rude, insulting way
an improv group - a group of comedians
urge their employees - encourage their employees
a concourse - a large open space
a courier - someone who carries messages or other things between addresses
to kvetch - to complain (this word is rarely used)
ambulatory - if you can ambulate, you can walk; ambulatory means dealing with walking
an annoyance - something that irritates you
to be just - to be right
the Kumbaya approach - Kumbaya is a song about how people should love each other. So if someone says you are taking a Kumbaya approach, he/she is joking and lightly making fun of you saying that you are acting like an unrealistic person who believes that everyone can love each other.
venturing - taking a risk