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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Spa Week 2014

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It all starts with a peaceful mind and a relaxed body, turns out this is just the week to make sure you have both of those checked off your list! Now until April 27th it’s not just Spa Week in New York City, but all over the United States. New York City spas are offering treatments starting at just $50 at some of NYC’s top spas. You can find out all the details here: http://www.spaweek.com

Fun fact: The term “spa” comes from the name of a town! There is a town in Belgium called Spa where Romans revived the ideas of medicinal bathing. Latter that year Dr. Timothy Bright started using the term as a generic reference to the practice and it just stuck!

Un italiano all’estero: An Italian Abroad, Part III

Wall_Street_-_New_York_Stock_Exchange

Lorenzo will be joining our team for the next few months, this is the first time he is in New York City and will be periodically checking in with us on his experience here in the States.

When you look what happens along the main avenues of Manhattan, certainly there are three things that remain imprinted in your mind: the neon billboards, huge buildings, and the buses that constantly populate the main areas of New York. So – after visiting Midtown – I decided it was time to discover Downtown. I bought a ticket for the City Sightseeing New York double decker bus, and headed down! The tour lasted around two and a half hours, but you can see a lot of beautiful things and different districts, allowing you to better plan your future activities centered around what attracted you the most! The tour starts with the sight of Times Square and continue to Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Chelsea district and West Village. After that began the discovery of the most well-known districts of Downtown, Soho and the Financial District (for people like me that love economics), continuing into China Town and Little Italy, ending at the United Nations’ building. Amazing!

Always keep the camera in your hands because once you make it home and see the pictures again, you’ll want to start planning immediately the next days!

So it has been for me, waiting for see again those places lit by the moon.

 

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Quando osservi cosa ti gira intorno mentre cammini per le vie principali di Manhattan, sicuramente sono tre le cose che rimangono più impresse: i numerosi cartelloni pubblicitari, gli enormi edifici e i bus turistici che popolano costantemente tutte le zone principali di New York.

Così – dopo aver visitato Midtown – ho deciso che era il momento di farsi un tour per Downtown! Ho acquistato un biglietto per il bus City Sightseeing New York e sono partito! Il tour é durato circa 2 ore e mezzo, ma si riescono a vedere un sacco di cose belle, un sacco di quartieri diversi, così da poter pianificare al meglio i futuri spostamenti nei posti che più ci hanno colpito!

Si inizia con Times Square per continuare con Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Chelsea e il West Village. Comincia adesso la vera scoperta dei quartieri più noti e caratteristici di Downtown passando per Soho, fino al Financial District (per chi come me é appassionato di economia) per poi continuare visitando China Town e Little Italy, fino alla sede generale delle Nazioni Unite.

Tenete sempre in mano la macchina fotografica perché quando tornerete a casa e riguarderete tutti i posti che avete visitato, comincerete sicuramente a pianificare le prossime uscite.

Così é stato per me, in attesa di vederli nuovamente illuminati dalla luna.

The Big Egg Hunt in New York City

 

Right now there are 275 eggs placed in different locations around New York City. These aren’t your ordinary eggs, these are 2.5 foot eggs that colors span way past their ordinary white base. Each egg has been designed by a well-known artist, designer, architect or even a brand. That’s right, the egg you’re standing in front of may have been designed by Ralph Lauren or Nathan Sawaya.

This giant hunt isn’t just for fun, it’s for charity! Sponsored by the luxury jewelry company Fabergé, each egg will be auctioned off to benefit two organizations, Elephant Family (a conservation organization) and Studio in School (a program that brings visual arts to NYC public schools).

So how can you join in the fun you ask? You can download the app, Big Egg Hunt, and you can check in at each egg that you find. Each week a Fabergé precious gem stone pendent is going to be won. If you don’t have the time to trek around the city and still want to see the eggs, that’s no problem. Just in time for Easter, on April 18th to 25th the eggs will be displayed at an exhibition in Rockefeller Center.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter as we go on an adventure with you and find some of the eggs around New York City. If you’re interested in finding out more information, or want to bid on one of the eggs visit www.thebigegghunt.org for more information! Happy hunting!

Un italiano all’estero: An Italian Abroad, Part II

Central Park Sunset

Lorenzo will be joining our team for the next few months, this is the first time he is in New York City and will be periodically checking in with us on his experience here in the States.

One of my first weekends in the big apple! This is how my experience went. Hoping on a sunny day, where best to start my adventure  then the magnificent Times Square. If I have one piece of advice I can give you, always look up while you’re walking, there’s a world to discover – step by step – above your head.

From an art’s lover opinion stop and visit MoMa Museum (11 W 53rd St, New York) the art was amazing or as the French like to say Crème de la Crème. After that it’s time to eat something, I went to the Rockefeller Center for a snack and then with my belly full I started my shopping spree!

With some extra shopping bags I continued onto fifth avenue, which gave me the opportunity to visit one of the most famous churches in NYC, San Patrick’s Cathedral for example. After a quick pray I went straight until I could see a big lighted apple, that’s the Apple store, take a walk it will be well worth you time!

So now I have arrived at Central Park just in time to say goodbye to the sun! That was my trip, enjoy your weekend!

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Vi racconto adesso uno dei primi weekend nella grande mela: ecco come la mia esperienza ha avuto inizio. Grazie ad una bella giornata di sole decisi di partire da Times Square. Se posso darvi un consiglio: guardate sempre in alto quando camminate, c’è un mondo da scoprire, passo dopo passo, sopra la vostra testa.

Se anche voi come me amate l’arte allora non potete non visitare il MoMa Museum (11 W 53rd St, New York), e’ meraviglioso e ricco di famosissime opere!

Fatto ciò mi sono concesso una merenda al Rockfeller Center e proprio li, con la pancia piena, ho cominciato il mio shopping. Dopo alcuni acquisti ho continuato sulla fifth avenue, che mi ha dato l’opportunita’ di visitare una delle piu’ famose chiese in NYC, la cattedrale di San Patrick.

Dopo una veloce preghiera ho proseguito tutto dritto fino a che non mi sono imbattuto in una grande mela illuminata: non poteva quindi mancare la visita all’Apple store!

Cosi’ mi ritrovai a Central Park giusto in tempo per salutare il sole!

Questo fu il mio primo weekend! Divertitevi!

Off The Beaten Path: Brooklyn Flea Market

Brooklyn Flea 1

Lamps, tables, WWE Wrestlers, cufflinks and one of a kind artwork. These are all things I came across as I visited the Brooklyn Flea market this past week. I can hands down say it’s one of the coolest treasures of New York City. It still being winter, the Brooklyn Flea has been tucked away in a more or less abandoned building in Williamsburg. In a few weeks it will spread out to their tremendous three locations in Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Park Slope. Each location has over 150 vendors and some great food, so shop and work up a large appetite!

The Brooklyn Flea has been around since 2008 and has grown its reputation over the years. One of things I was most impressed with is the quality of goods that were being sold. This was not your mom and pop garage sale. If you’re not a New Yorker and just visiting, this is also a great place to get one of a kind souvenirs or some of the vendors will even ship some of the larger items home for you so you will always have your own piece of New York!

You can find out all the information you need here: http://www.brooklynflea.com/

Brooklyn Flea 2

Un italiano all’estero: An Italian Abroad

times square at night

Lorenzo will be joining our team for the next few months, this is the first time he is in New York City and will be periodically checking in with us on his experience here in the States.

It’s my first time in New York, I’m a tourist and I like to discover new things, new realities. My first impression, as soon as I arrived in Times Square, was: “Wow! It is like being constantly in the middle of a concert!” Everything is completly different from what I’m used to seeing everyday: neon billboards, advertising, people on the street disguised as cartoon characters, skylines.

All these things don’t exist in my country.

I think that if we turn-off all these lights, in a second we will understand that New York is just high buildings and cement, all the magic would be lost. But one thing is certain: New York has its own identity, its own uniqueness. And I like it!

Please director, don’t turn off the lights!

times square night

E’ la prima volta che vengo a New York, sono un turista e mi piace scoprire cose nuove, nuove realtà. La prima impressione che ho avuto appena giunto in Times Square è che vivere qua è come essere perennemente nel bel mezzo di un concerto. Tutto è totalmente diverso da ciò che sono abituato a vedere normalmente: megaschermi illuminati ovunque, pubblicità, persone per strada trasvestite da personaggi dei cartoni animati, grattacieli. Tutto questo non esiste nel mio paese.

Penso che se spegnessimo tutte quante queste luci, in un istante ci renderemo conto che New York è soltanto alti edifici e cemento, forse perderebbe ogni magia. Ma credo che, indipendentemente dai gusti, una cosa è certa: New York ha una sua identità, una sua unicità. E mi piace.

Chiedo al regista di non spegnere mai le luci!