All Hail the Cabs: NYC Taxis 101

After you get to know the city on your City Sights double decker tour, you might feel comfortable enough to take a good ol’ New York City taxi cab! Here are some tips as you try and hail your taxi:

nyc taxi lights

The taxis aren’t stopping for me and my arm is starting to cramp!

You’re on 6th Avenue and there are tons of taxi cabs driving by but no one is stopping. Well, not every taxi is on duty or may have passengers already. There is an easy way to distinguish when your arm should be up and when it shouldn’t to prevent further cramping. On top of each cab is a mix of numbers and letters, if these numbers are lit up, then throw your hands up like you just don’t care, and if they are not, well put your hands in your pockets and play it cool until the next cab rolls along.

 

nyc taxi map

My taxi driver doesn’t know where 230-41 West 24th Street is!

Know the cross streets you need to be dropped off at because an exact address isn’t always going to do. This will save you cab fare as well as a long tour across 24th street until you get to your destination. Your cab driver will appreciate the 10 second you took to plug the address into your iPhone and give him an address he can more easily maneuver to. To 24th Street and 9th Avenue we go!

 

nyc gridlock taxi

Most offices let our around 5pm during the work week – get off the streets, off the road, just hide.

Most impossible time to get a cab? Around 5:00 pm on a weekday, not only because those big buildings are full of people being let out of work but this is also around the time that cab shifts change. Not only will it take you about 20 minutes to get a cab (if you’re lucky) but be prepared to empty your wallet on cab fare because of gridlock traffic. Leave an hour before or after this time to make sure you can get where you are going. Same goes for when it’s raining, good luck to you and may the force be on your side.

 

gypsy_cab

When a black car pulls next to you and tells you to get in.

This is not a secret spy mission that you have been selected to be a recruit, this is a car-for-hire, also known as “gypsy cabs”. The thing about “gypsy cabs” is half of them are legitimate, the other half aren’t and it’s not always the easiest to tell which it is. There are no credit cards accepted and the fare can basically be whatever they want it to be. It’s easier to just stay away from these but if you do find yourself in a situation where there is no other choice but to risk your life and get into one, make sure you agree on the fare before you get in.

Happy hailing!

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Uptown NYC vs Downtown NYC

It’s the classic tale, which is better: Uptown NYC or Downtown NYC? Both have their bright spots, but how can you really decide? Well, we did and incredibly unscientific poll around the office and came up with the results.

The Arts: Uptown

via flickr / Fatbooo

via flickr / Fatbooo

Uptown NYC wins the arts in a landslide. Sure, there are some wonderful museums in lower Manhattan, but not even close to what you get on the north end of the island. The Met, Guggenheim, Museum of Natural History, and that doesn’t even touch on the performance venues like Lincoln Center and the historic Apollo Theater. This category isn’t even close.

Sports: Draw

via flickr / Charley Lhasa

via flickr / Charley Lhasa

This is definitely the trickiest of the categories. Downtown we have Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. It’s arguably the best sports venue in NYC (it’s a weak argument, but one can be made) and home to the Knicks and the Rangers. On the other hand, Uptown is literally a stone’s throw from Yankee Stadium. Also, Uptown has Central Park, the best place in Manhattan to actually play sports, and Rucker Park, the world’s most prolific street basketball court. After the votes were tallied, we came to a tie.

Food: Downtown

via flickr / star5112

via flickr / star5112

This one was a CLOSE vote, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I completely agree, but downtown got the win. It’s true, Downtown owns the pizza battle, which is NYC’s favorite food, and it also reigns supreme when it comes to brunch, another favorite among locals. Uptown has the soul food and some of the most fantastic restaurants in NYC, but we can’t argue with the votes. Downtown wins.

Skyline: Downtown

via flickr / gabrielkaplan

via flickr / gabrielkaplan

As arts is to Uptown, the Skyline is to Downtown. When people think of the Manhattan skyline, it’s of lower Manhattan. Even without the World Trade Center towers anymore, Downtown still absolutely dominates Uptown in the skyline vote. This was unanimous.

Traffic: Uptown

via flickr / TriggerHappyDave

via flickr / TriggerHappyDave

Downtown Manhattan can be brutal with the traffic from time to time. The tunnel crowd is enough to drive someone mad, and it all leads into lower Manhattan, the financial district. Uptown Manhattan doesn’t see these problems nearly as much as its southern counterpart. Sure, the George Washington Bridge will see some traffic during rush hour (*cough* Chris Christie *cough*), but more times than not traffic is no issue Uptown.

So there we have it. Our unscientific research has led us to a tie. It’s like we’re kissing our sister. Looks like you’re just going to have to take the All Around Town Tour and test both out on your own!

If We Could Only Take One NYC Tour..

..it would be the Night Tour!

We asked our Facebook Fans this question last weekend and the Night Tour was the overwhelming favorite.

With that, we thought we’d share some fun facts about the NYC Night Tour:

  • The bus stops at the Brooklyn Fulton Ferry Landing for a photo opportunity of the Manhattan Skyline
  • Over 500 people took the Night Tour last December
  • The tour is escorted, which means you’ll get to see all the sights and sounds of NYC in just under 3 hours

PS – Huge thanks and photo credit to Marek, last year’s CitySights NY “The Love Bus” winner, for capturing this amazing picture on his tour.

Feel free to watch this video to learn more about the Night Tour:

If you could only take one NYC tour, which one would you take?

Day Trips to Philadelphia

Dear New York City,

We love you, but sometimes it’s great to escape your tremendous skyscrapers to explore the surrounding states.

This weekend, I had that exact plan in mind and hopped on a bus to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Yay road trip! 🙂

Roughly 80 miles from the Big Apple, Philly was the “meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the nation’s Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the Constitution on September 17, 1787.” (source)

Because I had never been to Philly before, I was extremely surprised that certain aspects of the city really resembled NYC!

For example:

Doesn’t the building on the left look like Grand Central Terminal and the building on the right resemble the Chrysler Building?

Obviously I’ve been in NYC a bit too long to be making these references! 🙂

The gorgeous, castle-like building is actually the Philadelphia City Hall and the skyscraper is called Liberty Place.

Philly also somewhat follows the NYC “Grid System” — the Street numbers increase the further West you walk. For example they read: 14th Street, 13th Street, 12th Street, etc. This layout is super easy to navigate if you hop-off the bus to explore the city!

Reading Terminal Market is a popular farmer’s market in the heart of the city known for their fresh produce, baked goods and of course… Philly Cheesesteaks.

Highly recommend the Roast Pork Cheesesteak with Greens from Tommy Dinic’s!

Add some banana peppers & spicy mustard to your sandwich and it will seriously change your life.

Yum!

What I also absolutely loved about Philly were the multiple public fountains scattered throughout the city.

As you can see, they were just about on every street corner!

Other places of interest in Philly:

  • Liberty Bell
  • Independence Hall
  • Laid back restaurants and bars along 13th Street
  • Gorgeous running path along Kelly Drive

Interested in day trips from NYC?

Click here to check out our Philadelphia and Amish Country Tour from New York City.

Things To See During Your First Trip to NYC

Hi friends!

It’s Wednesday, which means we’re precisely 2 days and 2 hours away from the weekend– but who’s counting? 😉

Our new friend Brian created this amazing video on our CitySights NY tour and shared it on our Facebook Page.

Check out Brian and his family’s adventures as they explore the Big Apple for the first time.

Don’t worry, ooohs and ahhhs are allowed. 🙂

Cheers!

Become a fan on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

Check out more of Brian’s work here.

New York City Cruise Ship Terminal Transportation

Our friends at GO Airlink NYC provide the best transportation to and from the New York Cruise Terminals. They offer  economical and on time Share Ride Shuttles , SUV & Sedan Car services  to and from JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports. BOOK ONLINE NOW and take advantage of their online discounts.

GO Airlink NYC services the following 3 major cruise ports in New York including the Manhattan Cruise terminal, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the Bayonne Cruise Terminal in New Jersey. Please click for more info and cruise terminal schedules .. New York Cruise Terminal Transportation.

Six Flags Great Adventure & Dorney park Coach bus transporation from NYC

SPECIAL NEW RATES FOR  2010 to Great Adventure & Dorney Park!

CLICK TO BOOK A COACH BUS FOR YOUR GROUP (nycbuscharters.com)

Great Adventure – Rates include bus & Entrance Tickets per person
50 Passengers – Minimum 45 Passengers –
Minimum
Monday Thru Thursday $49 $51
Friday & Sunday $51 $53
Saturday $53 $55
  • Includes transportation from all 5 boroughs in New York City
  • Prices include admission ticket to Great Adventure and roundtrip bus ride.
  • Based on a 12 hour day from start to finish
  • Bus will remain at the park.
Dorney Park – Rates include bus & Entrance Tickets per person
50 Passengers – Minimum 45 Passengers –
Minimum
Monday Thru Thursday $51 $54
Friday & Sunday $53 $54
Saturday $55 $55
  • Includes transportation from all 5 boroughs in New York City
  • Prices include admission ticket to Dorney Park and roundtrip bus ride.
  • Based on a 12 hour day from start to finish
  • Bus will remain at the park.

CLICK TO BOOK A COACH BUS FOR YOUR GROUP