I lean back and take it all in. 15 minutes ago I got in the taxi at Newark. My first trip back after the lockdown.
I listen to the African conversation between my taxi driver and his friend on the phone. I love the sound of the exotic words and sentences. Here and there I catch a French one. I feel lucky.
Lucky to be back.
The taxi ride from the airport to the city is always the most excited one. The anticipation of the city. The thrill of spotting the skyline. The start of a new adventure. All those feelings in the back of this yellow taxi.
I’m double lucky, cause my driver is giving it all to make it the most glamorous experience. He’s in his late twenties. Dressed in a gorgeous anthracite grey suit. Helping me like a real gentlemen with my luggage. Which was rather heavy with all the Belgian chocolate I brought as presents. Keeping the conversation light, but filled with information about NYC life during the pandemic.
I’ve probably overtipped. But then again I was his first international passenger in 18 months. He dressed for the occasion. I gave him a compliment and hoped all my taxi rides would be this stylish….
Fancy or maniac....
Let’s face it. Not all rides will be fancy like this.
Some drivers don’t even stop their phone conversation long enough to hear the address you’re going. Some talk too much. Some don’t say a word. Some say words you don’t understand. You have all shapes and sizes when it comes to taxi drivers personalities. But when they drop you off safely a 15% tip is standard rate. If they helped you with luggage, didn’t drive like a maniac you might even want to tip 20%. (More on tipping in NYC here.)
Now that we’re talking maniac drivers. Whether or not you are life is at risk. You should always wear your seatbelt. It’s mandatory as of November 2021.
When nearing my destination I’ll have a look at the meter and add tip. So at arrival I can quickly pay and jump out. Cause time is money my Loves!
Want to know where you money goes to? These schemes break it down for you. While the left side is an overview of taxi costs depending on the airport.
Which taxi to hail?
Signing to the driver and he doesn’t stop? You might be hailing the wrong one my Love. It’s all about the light. Taking selfies. Hailing taxis. It’s all about the light.
- when all 3 lights on the top panel are on, the taxi is off duty. If your stop is on his way home, I might take you along anyway.
- when none of the lights are lit, there are already passengers inside.
- when the middle light is on, the number, you have a winner!
So hold your clutch in one hand, put your other one in the air, sign to the taxi which has the middle light lit and release your inner Carrie.
Hailing a taxi the Carrie Bradshaw way (source pinterest)
How to hail it?
First things first. Don’t yell ‘Taxi’? I know, I know. We all have this strong need to do it at least once during our trip. Very movie like. But let’s not give away we are tourists, shall we?
Street corners are the ideal place to hail a taxi. Stand on the street which makes you stand out of the sidewalk traffic, but for the love of Chanel, be careful. One hand in the air like you mean it. Give him the eye. A good eye so he knows you are serious, but don’t give him your number :).
The most important tip…
Watch the traffics direction. Going Uptown? Don’t hail a taxi on 5th, but walk a block to Madison. This will help you save both money & time.
Taxi vs Uber vs Subway
We don’t have Uber here in Belgium so I’m not a specialist. I did try it during my latest visit and it’s so, so easy. But call me old fasioned, I love the romance of hailing a taxi on the streets…I’ve seen way to many movies.
I can help you better when it comes to choosing between a taxi or the subway.
First, there is the price. Doing everything by taxi will be rather expensive (and waist of time). I would suggest combining both. The subway is perfect for longer distances, when you are with a bigger group or during rush hour.
Taxis on the other hand are my go to when my feet are killing me 😃 and at night. Specially when traveling alone. A girl has to feel safe, wouldn’t you agree?
Uber has an app, but so do the yellow taxis. Download Curb and book your taxi up to 24h in advance.
Getting to the correct address
Say the address when you get in. Taxi drivers are obliged to take you where you want. Even if this means Brooklyn.
They all know where the Empire State Building is and the most known hotels. But if you want to go to Manolo Blahnik you better say Madison & 64th. Please.
If you ever say ‘Follow that car’.
Please. Make a reel and tag me!
Always in an Empire State of Mind,
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