HomeLivingCraziest/Weirdest Laws in NYC That You May Not Know

Craziest/Weirdest Laws in NYC That You May Not Know

Whether you believe it or not every state has its own set of bizarre rules. Unsure of where these laws are derived from, it is important to be aware that they do exist. If you are a resident of New York State there is a list of pretty crazy and weird laws that uphold validity in court. It is very possible that you have already broken one or more of these laws, but don’t worry… We won’t tell anyone. Just be careful in the future! You must uphold your civic duties as a New York resident and proceed as a law-abiding citizen. Below is a list to help ensure that you don’t break a silly law again. 

Craziest Laws NYC

1.) It is illegal to sell cat or dog hair

Yep. Put down that ball of reserved fur immediately. If you were thinking of selling it for any amount of money, well you can’t. According to New York Code AGM – Agriculture & Markets Article 26 – ANIMALS 379 it is prohibited to sell fur, skin, hair, or flesh of a dog or cat. If you are wondering if people actually do this, we don’t have the answer. The sale of other animals is quite common for example sheep, alpaca, fox, etc., but never have we heard of selling cat or dog fur. 

2.) It is illegal to wear slippers in public after 10:00 PM

This instance is not as uncommon as the last, but still just as weird that it is illegal. The thought process behind this one is that your stinky feet may attract rats or vermin. However, your feet would have to be extremely smelly for this to actually happen. It is doubtful that a rat is going to scurry along, take a whiff of your feet, and mistake them for cheese. New York City lawmakers believe otherwise. So, don’t get caught going to the corner store after 10:00 PM in your slippers! 

3.) It is illegal to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun

This law is probably the one that makes the most sense from the entire list. Of course, it isn’t nice to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun because you could seriously injure someone. But in reality, how many times do you throw balls at people’s heads for fun? And who would sue you over it? How do you even prove it was for fun? What if it was by accident? How is this upheld in the court of law? 

4.) It is illegal to release more than 25 helium-filled balloons at a time

Even though this is a list of crazy/weird laws, this is yet another law that is not so out of line. The number ‘25’ seems extremely specific, but this amount of balloons could seriously harm wildlife and certainly counts as littering. The law states “No person shall knowingly release or intentionally cause to be released outdoors a balloon. For purposes of this section, “balloon” shall refer to a flexible, nonporous bag made of materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or nylon fabric that contains helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, air, or water”. It is recommended you rethink that gender reveal party idea before you end up with a large fine on your hands! 

5.) It is illegal to walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in your pocket

Take that ice cream cone out of your pocket, immediately. Only if it is Sunday, though. Any other of the six days of the week you can keep the ice cream cone tightly tucked away. The reason for this peculiar law is in regard to horse theft. On a Sunday evening, a horse may smell the cone in your pocket and follow you all the way home, abandoning its owner. If this were to be the case then you would be charged with horse theft. Double whammy. 

6.) Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to nose and wiggling the fingers”

Apparently, this way of greeting someone is considered just outright offensive. So offensive that authorities declared it illegal. Also known as “thumbing one’s nose,” this action serves as a sign of contempt and can be seen as a very childish act. Don’t greet your friends like this because you may end up with a ticket in your hands. 

7.) In an elevator, one must talk to no one and fold his or her hands while looking toward the door

Every single introverted New Yorker’s dream. With Manhattan being a bustling city with plenty of chatty, loud mouths, a lot of people actually would rather withhold the small talk. However, this is an extremely difficult task for some. An elevator is probably one of the top five places you should not start a random conversation with a stranger due to the confinement of the space and lack of a quick escape. That being said, this law threatens a fine for those that can’t read the room… or the elevator. 

8.) It is illegal to take a selfie with a tiger

Yet another bizarrely random one. How many tigers have you seen outside of the Central Park Zoo?! Probably not many. If you do happen to come across a tiger for whatever reason, taking a selfie with it is most likely not the first thing that comes to mind. But, if it does, don’t. It is against the law. 

9.) You need a license to hang clothes on a clothesline to dry

It is incredibly rare for New York City residents to have a clothesline, to begin with. But, if you do happen to have the space, time, and patience to hang clothes on a clothing line you must first acquire a license. This is due to the strict desire to maintain a certain Manhattan aesthetic and the fear that clotheslines with clothes attached may put a dent in those stellar visuals.

Carly is a freelance writer with interest in topics pertaining to lifestyle blogging, social justice, and anything to do with film/media. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in English & Literary studies in hopes to write for a large music publication. When she is not writing, you can find her watching movies, cooking her famous Carbonara, and enjoying time outdoors.