Cab Etiquette Rules That Everyone Should Know

By Go City Expert

This article was originally published in www.newyork.com on July 14th, 2016 [spacer height="20px"]
New York City is the land of cabs — 13,237 at last count — and catching one is only half the battle (see our story, 6 Surprising Tips for Catching a Cab, for more on that aspect). Once you’re in and on your way, there’s a lot to know about what to expect from your ride and how to behave if things start to go wrong. Read on for our four handy tips for navigating the interior yellow cab experience with style and aplomb.
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Is it ever acceptable for a cab driver to refuse you service? Technically, the answer here is yes, but only if the trip will take more than 12 consecutive hours, which is illegal, or if the light on top of the cab is off, indicating that the cab is off duty. Otherwise, drivers are obligated by law to drive you to the destination of your choice within the five boroughs. Most New Yorkers wait until they’re safely inside a cab with the door closed before revealing their destination, especially if it’s to an outer borough. Can you insist that a driver hang up the phone if he’s in the middle of a hands-free call? It’s happened to all New Yorkers. You jump in a cab happy to be on your way, but the driver is yapping away on his mobile, blasting music or ignoring the comfort of the rider. Once you’re inside a taxi, you have rights. Too hot on a summer day with the windows rolled up? Request the driver turn on the air conditioning. Can’t hear yourself think from the cell-phone chatter? By law, drivers should not be using mobiles, smartphones or other such devices while driving (even hands-free), so don’t hesitate to ask them to get off the phone. What’s the right amount for a tip? Tipping is a way of life in New York when it comes to restaurants, hotels and taxis. In most American cities the tip threshold is lower than in the Big Apple, around 15 percent according to many surveys. But, hey, this is New York and everything is better, bigger and more expensive. That doesn’t mean you can’t tip 15 percent or whatever number you think is fair, but it’s important to remember that 20 percent is the general rule. If you pay by credit card, there are automatic gratuity settings of 20, 25 or 30 percent gratuity, although you can add any amount. If a cabbie has been incredibly helpful and friendly, it’s always good to show your appreciation, especially if he or she helps you with unwieldy luggage. If they are flat-out rude or get completely lost, tip at your own discretion.
Cab driver NYC

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Is it acceptable for a cab driver to tell you to stop talking on your cell phone? Legally, a driver can’t make you hang up your phone, but as a rider it’s common courtesy to avoid loud conversations and rude conduct. “I think drivers overall appreciate being respected for their professionalism and the service they provide. Driving a taxi is incredibly difficult, and requires great patience and skill, and the more passengers convey their understanding of this, the more drivers value it,” says NYC TLC Commissioner/Chair David Yassky. The best advice is to treat your driver with respect, and you’ll likely earn their trust and get to your destination quickly and safely. Is it rude to pay with a credit card if the driver asks you to pay in cash? Taxi drivers love taking cash just like every other New York business, but don’t let that stop you from pulling out the plastic. All New York taxis are required to take credit cards, so if a cabbie tries to tell you the machine is broken, don’t take the bait. Another common trick is for a driver to say that he (or she) has already hit the “cash” button, but don’t let that fool you either — switching from cash to credit is as simple as pushing a button. After the transaction, ask for a receipt. That tiny piece of paper can come in handy — it has the official medallion number on it, which is important if you lose something or need to file a complaint. What do you do if a cab driver refuses to comply with your requests? As a paying passenger you have rights, including the option to get out of a cab at any time. If serious issues arise, write down the medallion number, which you can find located on the license plate, hood of the vehicle, on top of the taxi, and on your receipt. You’ll need this to submit an official complaint online at nyc.gov or by calling 311. What’s the best way to acknowledge a driver for exceptional work? A nice tip is more than enough to show your gratitude, but if you’d like you can also commend a cabbie for going above and beyond the call of duty on the same website that the city uses to track complaints.
For more New York City tips, visit www.newyork.com.

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Mountain Bike Trails & Bike Trails Near You

More riders are hitting the mountain bike trails, bike trails and cycle paths than ever. Fact. Which is why World Bicycle Day is the perfect day to get on your bike and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. But where should you go if you're looking for mountain bike trails and bike trails that stray from the beaten path? If you live in a major city like London, New York, or Paris, you may want to head out of the urban sprawl to one of these top tier bike trails. Get on your bike - bike trails Sunrise Ride at Grand Army Plaza - US Yes, you can take this ride at any time of the day, but it truly becomes something spectacular if you're there at sunrise. The trail begins in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, right at the northern tip of Prospect Park, passing Fort Tilden. You'll take this to Bedford Avenue and will ride through some of the most beautiful and often under-experienced neighborhoods in all of Brooklyn. Along the way you'll pass Brooklyn College and arrive at Sheepshead Bay. If you time it right, you'll be able to see the morning boats departing the dock. Riding over Jamaican Bay in the morning is beautiful and there's a cooling breeze. This ride is longer at 27 miles, but it's not hilly and always a pretty comfortable ride. Plus, it isn't as busy as some of the other trails and parks throughout New York, which gives you the sunrise almost all to yourself. Ocean Parkway Ocean Parkway makes the list of top bike tours in New York City because it was the first actual bike path in the entire United States. Created in 1894, it is seven miles long and travels down Ocean Parkway, beginning (again) at Prospect Park and heading out to Coney Island Beach. This path is away from pedestrians and a shorter route. Plus, it ends at Coney Island, so make sure to stop off for a hot dog or a ride. Either way, it's a great way of taking in some American history while getting fit. Tamsin Trail When you're in London and want a leisurely ride, The Tamsin Trail is perfect as it is 12km that has plenty of built-in stops. There are also a ton of ice cream shops, making it perfect for a summer cycle. The Tamsin Trail is London's largest royal park, so you'll be riding through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in London. Of course, if this path is too easy you can always hop off and take the National Cycle Route 4's hill climb. This will really work your legs and is one of the most recognized bike paths in all of London. Westminster Bridge to Box Hill This is a longer path of 42km. It's also more of a challenge, so only tackle this bike path if you've been riding road bikes for a while now. In fact, the "Zig Zag Road" portion of the path was part of the 2012 Olympic road cycling route. Taking this longer trail also brings some incredible views with it. The trail heads out of London along Richmond Park. Now, you can take the hill, but with this path there's no need to. You'll hit plenty of hills during the path and it's best to not blow your energy all at the beginning. Beyond Richmond Park you'll pass Hampton Court Palace and ride into Surrey. When you hit Box Hill you'll climb 120 meters over about the next 2 kilometers. You may want to stop at the base of Box Hill and grab some refreshments at National Trust Cafe. Plus it's just a nice little spot to relax a bit. Stalingrad to Bois de Vincennes There's plenty of fantastic bicycle paths in and around Paris, so you'll have your pick. However, one of the best is Stalingrad to Bois de Vincennes. You'll start off at Canal Saint-Martin and head past Bastille as you take a left just after Opera Bastille. You'll take this until you hit Viaduc de Arts. You will need to carry your bike up the Promenade Plantee stairs, which gives you a fantastic view from the overpass. You'll then take your bike and finish at Bois de Vincennes. Thankfully, there will be plenty of chocolate shops along the way if you're feeling like rewarding yourself for this bike ride. More and more people are taking to the saddle every year.Ride every mountain - mountain bike trails Jura Mountains - France The Jura Mountains, with its cool green pine forests, secret landscapes and immutable topography. It's the perfect place to get your adrenaline and your Zen, all in one go. The well-marked and maintained routes feature challenging and varied terrain to suit all levels. Find flatter terrain further south if you're a fledgling rider. Follow the trail out of the trees, to the Grande Traversée du Jura to enjoy stunning meadow-scapes, or if technical difficulty is your thing, the northern section skirts the Doubs gorge. Epping Forest - UK Just outside of London, Epping Forest is known for its varied and, let's be honest, muddy, mountain bike trails. The route is 95 per cent off-road and 90 per cent singletrack. The highest point is located at Pole Hill, at 91 metres. But be wary: navigation can be difficult due to the trail being largely unmapped. But you’ll never be far from a road or a landmark. The trail is never more than 4km wide and 19km long. Epping Forest is near several car parks located at the edge of the woods. Look out for the free weekend parking on the residential streets. Lippman Park - US A proud community asset to the Town of Wawarsing with a name that means "where the stream bends". Lippman Park is a well-maintained mountain bike trail for intermediate to advanced riders, with a singletrack of 14 miles and 301 ft elevation. This beautiful area features a park that plays host to both open and woodland areas, so be sure to stop off to relax once you're done. And look out for the brewery near the park's entrance. These are just some of the few bike tours to consider for World Bicycle Day if you live in London, New York or Paris. Don't fancy leaving the city? No problem. Celebrate World Bicycle Day by taking a Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tour! That and a number of other top London attractions are free with The New York Pass.
Suz Pathmanathan
rain nyc
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Things to do in New York When it Rains

Rain; the burden of humanity. For millennia we've built roofs to keep it out, and created devices to keep it from touching our delicate skin. While you may be tempted to stay in when the heavens open, why let an entire weekend go to waste? Get out there and see what things there are to do in New York when it rains. Don't worry about the research; we did all that for you. Simply scroll down and learn all about the best things to do in New York when it rains! Including: American Museum of Natural History Madame Tussauds New York & MARVEL Universe 4D New York's amazing art museums Escape Virtuality Area 53 and more! Image courtesy of Mykolastock/Shutterstock Get historical, naturally What better way to dodge mother nature's shower than dipping into a museum? New York's full of the beauties, but we'd recommend the American Museum of Natural History. Why? Well, because it has freaking dinosaurs. What else do you need? The site of the famous Night at the Museum movies, inside you'll find one of the biggest collections of dinosaur bones on the planet. But of course, there's much more than just that. How does a 94-foot whale model sound? Equal parts awe-inspiring and terrifying? Absolutely. How about a giant, 2000-year-old sequoia tree? Brilliant. Why not top things off with a 563-carat sapphire named the 'Star of India'? Yes. All that and much more awaits you in one of the world's premier museums. So why wait? Easily one of the best things to do in New York when it rains. Image courtesy of Alina Zamogilnykh/Shutterstock Rub waxy shoulders with the stars Hollywood has become somewhat synonymous with plastic surgery. The ever-evolving need to reach perfection has resulted in generations of body augmentation. But if you think Hollywood is plastic, wait till you get a glimpse of the static stars at Madame Tussauds! Everyone's favorite fame celebration is here, letting you snap photos with all the stars. And best of all, there won't be a streak of blur in sight! Throw gang signs with Donald Trump, hop on E.T.'s bike without his permission, and mingle with other people who do acting! And, for you superhero fans out there, you can also attend Marvel Universe 4D, an immersive cinema experience that brings your favorite spandex-wearing heroes to life. And best of all, it's all inside! If it wasn't, would the famous people melt? Who knows? Get some much needed culture in you Speaking of ducking the rain, why not fill your mind while doing it? We're talking art, ladies and gentlemen, and New York's got more art museums than you can shake a brush at. Let's start with the Museum of Modern Art — or 'MoMA', because you've got to love an acronym in this day and age. It's one of the most influential modern art museums in the world, with a fantastic collection of contemporary pieces housed within its delightful walls. See the likes of van Gogh's 'Starry Night', and Warhol's 'Soup Cans' up close. And take photos aplenty, of course. Or, go check out the famous Guggenheim, another brilliant collection of works from artists around the world. With big hitters like Picasso, Manet, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Renoir on show, you're bound to find something inspirational within its beautifully-designed walls. Or, for more modern art from more alive artists, go hide in the Whitney Museum of American Art. Focusing on active artists from the US, it helps ensure the American art scene survives and thrives throughout the years. And who knows, maybe you'll discover the next big thing there, or find your new favorite artist? Whichever you decide to go to, having your mind blown at one of New York's art museums is definitely one of the best things to do when it rains in the city. Reality, but virtually better What better way to avoid the reality of a rainy day in New York than to escape our reality completely? Discover new, exciting realities via a funky headset at Escape Virtuality - NYC's biggest and best virtual reality fun house! Challenge a friend, or a stranger, to a myriad of sports, activities, and other immersive experiences. Glide down a mountain on skis, or run from monsters in a haunted house. Climb a sheer cliff, jump out of a plane, or hop behind the wheel of a souped-up racecar. Let your imagination come to life, thanks to the movement replication of Escape Virtuality's ergonomic setup. Feel every hill, every fall, and every turn. It really has to be seen to be believed, so go and get your mind blown on the next rainy day! Area 51-adjacent Sometimes, the thrill of outdoor adventure is too good to pass up. We all have to get extreme sometimes, right? But if you're averse to a little downpour, you needn't throw cold water over the idea. Instead, head to Area 53 - New York's funner, safer alternative to Nevada's secret UFO base. Whether you're with friends, family, or planning a date, Area 53 has a wealth of fun activities on offer. Take your chances on the ninja course, try and escape the laser maze, bomb it down slides, or go head-to-head in the Battle Beam arena (think laser tag meets foam party). All that and much more awaits you at Area 53. Oh, and if you're looking for some kid-free fun, they also host over 21s nights with no rascals and sight, and a packed bar to boot. Secret drinks Let's round off our list of the best things to do in New York when it rains with a more refreshing downpour. We're talking bars, but not just any bars. Nope, today let's talk about secret speakeasies. Like many big cities these days, New York has seen the recent craze of faux-speakeasy slash cocktail bars hit its shores. So why not duck out of the rain and dive into a drink or three? La Noxe is one such place, and you'll find it tucked inside the 28th street subway station. Along with its rather diverse and affordable cocktail menu, you'll find a delightfully low-key ambiance, tapas bites, and smooth tunes in the background. Or, head to The Little Shop in Lower Manhattan. On first glance, it looks like your average convenience store, with snacks, household items, and other necessities on offer. However, head to the back, and you'll make your way into a secret speakeasy with a brilliant drinks menu. Your discovery will be the talk of the water cooler come Monday. And finally, pop into Attaboy, snuggled secretly into an often-overlooked part of Eldridge Street. This little speakeasy even has merch if you want to represent, and a patio - when the weather clears up. And that's our list of the best things to do in New York when it rains!
Dom Bewley
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Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection

When the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright subverted typical art gallery layouts with a spiral ramp, he opened up a new perspective for enthusiasts of avaunt garde art everywhere. "I think the legacy of this building is in the message that architecture does not have to lie down and play dead in front of art," said Paul Goldberger, an architecture critic for The New Yorker. "That there are other ways to show art than in a neutral space. That an architect can do something, that's powerful in itself, and that enhances the experience..." © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Sixty years on, the Guggenheim is celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright’s contribution to the enjoyment of art with its first-ever artist-curated exhibition. Presented by Cai Guo-Qiang, Paul Chan, Jenny Holzer, Julie Mehretu, Richard Prince, and Carrie Mae Weems, the collection highlights works of art from the turn of the century to 1980. What is Artistic License? Artistic License presents nearly 300 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and installations. Some of these works have never been exhibited before and engage with contemporary hot topics. Think early modernist dreams of utopia and the charged political debates of the 1960s and ’70s as just some of these themes. © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation The artist collective curating the exhibition have drawn upon their own practises and influences when selecting the artworks. In this way, every one of the six ramps in the rotunda is a starkly new reading of the collection. Curator profiles and what to expect Cai Guo-Qiang Influences and work: Eastern philosophy and contemporary social issues. Featured artists: Featured artworks include Vasily Kandinsky’s Munich(ca. 1901–02), Piet Mondrian’s Blue Chrysanthemum (ca. early 1920s), Mark Rothko’s still life Untitled (Still-Life with Rope, Hammer and Trowel) (ca. 1937), and works on paper by artist Hilla Rebay, who was also the Guggenheim’s first director. Installed salon style. Location: High Gallery and Rotunda Level 1 Themes: Primordial passions that ignite the creation of art on paper by artists known for their abstract or conceptual practices. © 2019 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Paul Chan Influences and work: Experimental projects. Chan is known for a diverse practice that ranges from animated video projections to charcoal drawing, public performances, and haunting sculptures. Featured artists: Chan’s selections range from Fernand Léger’s late painting Starfish (1942) to Lawrence Weiner’s conceptual work (1970), and from Willem de Kooning’s canvas ...Whose Name Was Writ in Water (1975) to Laurie Simmons’s photographs of dollhouse-scale bathroom scenes from the 1970s. Location: Rotunda Level 2 Themes: Bathers in Western art history and ideas about water, relationships between pleasure and the human body. Exile in the canon of twentieth-century art will also be explored. © Laurie Simmons Jenny Holzer Influences and work: The deconstruction of how meaning is created in Western culture’s patriarchal, consumer-oriented society. Featured artists: Lee Bontecou’s sculptural relief Untitled (1966), Louise Nevelson’s monumental wall sculpture Luminous Zag: Night (1971), Adrian Piper’s self-portrait The Mythic Being: Smoke (1974), a selection of Chryssa’s neon works and a canvas from the 1960s and ’70s. Location: Rotunda Level 6 Themes: This presentation illuminates gender disparity and the exclusion of women from art history. Holzer has selected works made exclusively by female artists. © Adrian Piper Julie Mehretu Influences and work: Large-scale paintings and works on paper. Mehretu’s work is inspired by global urban landscapes, political unrest, and modernist history. Featured artists: Featured works include Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Crucifixion (March 1962), Romare Bearden’s gelatin silver print (photostat) Evening 9:10, 461 Lenox Avenue (1964), Matta’s painting Years of Fear (1941), and David Hammons’s body print Close Your Eyes and See Black (1969)—a recent acquisition. Location: Rotunda Level 4 Themes: This presentation reflects on how trauma, displacement, and anxiety in the decades after World War II found expression. © 2019 The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London Richard Prince Influences and work: Prince pioneered the use of appropriation in his early photo-based works and “Monochromatic Joke” paintings to comment upon the way desire is created and perpetuated in the mass media. Featured artists: Featured works include those by Martin Barré, Conrad Marca-Relli, Georges Mathieu, Kenzo Okada, and Judit Reigl, among others. Prince has also included two canvases by Stuart Sutcliffe (an early member of the Beatles). Location: Rotunda Level 3 Themes: The stark similarities in the formal qualities of the museum’s international holdings of abstract painting and sculpture from the 1940s and ’50s. He raises the question of how, ultimately, taste is formed. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Carrie Mae Weems Influences and work: Interrogations of systems as they relate to the constructions of power, race, gender, and class. Featured artists: Featured works include Joseph Beuys’s installation Virgin(April 4, 1979); Franz Kline’s Painting No. 7 (1952); Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1969/70); examples from Ana Mendieta’s Silueta Series, which she began in 1973; and Martin Puryear’s sculpture Bask (1976). Location: Rotunda Level 5 Themes: The formal and metaphoric use of a strictly black-and-white palette across different decades, mediums, and genres. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn June 18: Cai Guo-QiangJuly 30: Jenny HolzerSeptember 24: Julie MehretuOctober 8: Paul ChanNovember 19: Carrie Mae WeemsDecember 17: Richard Prince Enjoy free entry into the Guggenheim Museum with The New York Pass. Need another art fix? Check out our MoMA blog.
Suz Pathmanathan

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