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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The Best Things To Do In NYC On Father’s Day

Picture the scene: it’s Sunday morning. You wake up and take a shower. Midway through your breakfast you get a calendar notification. Your heart sinks. It’s Father’s Day. And you forgot. Images of your dad sitting at home, staring blankly at the TV as a single tear rolls down his face fill your mind. You are a terrible child. How could you? The only day dedicated to dads in the whole year and you forgot. Never fear, we’re here to make sure you save Father’s Day, and become the hero your dad knows you are. Here are the best things to do in NYC. The Father’s Day Experience Guide COPY CODE Deno’s Wonder Wheel The Crown Jewel of Coney Island’s famous boardwalk, Deno’s Wonder Wheel has been around nearly as long as your dad has, and when you go, definitely make that observation. He will love it. At the very top, you can savor a view of the city, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. And when you’re done, there are plenty more amusements to amuse him with, and places to eat and drink too. The Empire State Building Why not take Dad to one of New York’s most famous landmarks, and head up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building? It’s one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World, so it’s the perfect place to show your dad that he’s the wonder of your world. The most breath-taking views of New York, and on a clear day, you can even see as far out as Pennsylvania! Central Park Bike Tour If your dad’s getting a bit thick around the waist, why not help getting him into shape with an exhilarating bike tour around Central Park? You can book a 2 hour guided bike tour to discover the park’s highlights, or simply challenge him to a race to prove the student has become the master. And don’t worry, if he tries to weasel out of it because he doesn’t have a bike, there are lots of places to rent them. Let nothing get between you and a victory you’ll never forget. The Guggenheim Museum One of the world’s most revered modern art galleries, and an architectural masterpiece, the Guggenheim is a great place to take dads who appreciate a bit of culture. Make your way up the grand spiral designed by Frank Lloyd Wright back in the 50’s, and ponder some of the most interesting paintings and collections our species has ever created. Don’t forget to check out their new ‘Artistic Licence’ exhibit. Museum Of Modern Art Dads who pretend to understand art will also love the Museum of Modern Art, a huge collection of over 200,000 works spanning painting, architecture, film and photography. Once you’re through agreeing with your dad’s preposterous interpretations of the exhibits, you can take a moment to reflect in the peaceful Museum gardens. Film Forum Does your dad fancy himself a bit of a cinephile? Why not take him to New York’s premier independent movie theater – Film Forum. See some of the best films doing the rounds on the award circuit, as well as older foreign pictures and classic cinematic favorites. See if he knows the difference between his Kubricks and his Kurosawas. Food On Foot Tours Give Dad a guilt-free trip through New York’s cultural cuisine with a Food On Foot tour. Sample authentic favorites from some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, and since you’ll be walking everywhere, you needn’t worry about his beer belly getting any bigger. Peter Luger Steakhouse Vegans can skip right past this one. But nothing says “I love you Dad now be quiet and eat that steak” quite like the Peter Luger Steakhouse. A New York institution since 1887, prepare to loosen your belts and gorge on some of the best beef around. There’s burgers, steaks, and every combination in-between. Or if you’re both feeling brave, try and overcome their 44 ounce ‘Porterhouse for Two’. Good luck! City Winery Tour If music, food, and wine are up your dad’s alley, you can’t do much better than City Winery. Indulge your senses with top-end culinary and cultural experiences, while tasting some of the finest wines around, courtesy of your very own wine expert. Definitely one of the best things to do in NYC on Father’s Day. Yankee Stadium Tour Experience some of baseball’s best history with a tour of Yankee Stadium. The 27-time World Series Champions have a huge amount of history to discover. One of their experienced tour guides will show you around, and tell you about the various events that have taken place throughout the stadium. This isn’t just for Yankees fans, but for all baseball enthusiast dads. The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club If you’re looking for a bit of activity, why not challenge your dad to a game of shuffleboard at Brooklyn’s Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club? Good for experienced players and newbies alike. It’s a great place to sink a few drinks and play a few rounds. There are just some of the best things to do in NYC on Father’s Day. Are there any we missed? Let us know on our Facebook page.
Dom Bewley
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Things to do in New York for your Birthday

Psst. Hey, you. Yes, you. Are you looking for fun things to do in New York for your, or someone else's birthday? Wondering what shenanigans you can get up to, but the thought of actually doing your own research sounds super dull? You've come to the right place. We have placed the burden of boring research on our own shoulders, so sit back, put on your best monocle or other reading utensils, and read on as we blow your freaking mind with our recommendations for the best things to do for your birthday in New York! Including: Game of 1000 Boxes Catacombs by Candelight Escape Virtuality Drinks, drinks, drinks and more! Gameshow Shenanigans What's a little friendly competition among birthday celebrators? If the bow on your big day involves you beating your fellow partygoers on a faux-gameshow, then check out Game of 1000 Boxes. This immersive, sensory overload of fun pits teams of four against one another. Through a series of escalating challenges, you must score points and beat out the other teams. Exercising your teamwork, puzzle-solving, and trivia muscles, you'll work your way towards the ultimate prize - a mystery box. Oooh. What could lie within? Who knows. The only way you'll find out is by heading there and seeing for yourself! A Creepy Birthday Crypt Crawl Fancy adding a sprinkling of spookiness to your celebrations? Why not venture into the crypt beneath St. Patrick's Old Cathedral for a spooktacular time courtesy of Catacombs by Candlelight? Throughout 90 minutes, your guide will steer you along the underground tunnels beneath the streets, reeling off ghoulish stories of the ghastly goings-on under New York. You'll even come face to face with the final resting place of historical figures from the city's past. Perhaps the ghost of Lincoln's friend Thomas Eckert will appear to talk battlefield tactics? Who knows. Are ghosts even real? To answer that, you'll have to descend into the belly of the city and see, won't you? Enter another reality If reality is a bit too humdrum for birthday fun, why not enter another world at Escape Virtuality, New York's best VR experience! Explore four unique virtual reality experiences that throw you into the heart of the action. You and a friend can hook yourselves up to the state-of-the-art Xtrematic system and run away monsters, zombies, and other creepy critters, or race down a ski slope as you battle to beat your opponent! Xtrematic moves with the game, so you'll feel every turn, every hill, and every near-miss! Or, hop behind the wheel and race around a virtual track, or board a rollercoaster and go for a ride you'll never forget with the Speed Simulator. You could even try your hand at rock climbing, or jumping out of a plane! A world of wonder awaits you at Escape Virtuality, making it easily one of the best things to do in New York for your birthday! Go on a delicious food tour Is all that excitement getting you feeling a bit hungry? Why settle for one restaurant when you can try a bunch on a Food On Foot Tour? This award-winning tour will take you to a number of authentic New York eateries, letting you sample New York-style pizza, chow down on some delicious street food, and much more! Covering a number of international cuisines, you can pick and choose what to have, and how much to have, at each stop. You'll also have the chance to meet both local and visiting foodies to exchange notes, and maybe numbers should the food gods dictate it. And best of all, the whole thing's on foot, so you'll have the chance to burn some of the many calories you'll be consuming! Drinks that hit different And finally, no birthday bonanza would be complete without a tipple or twelve. You could go the usual route. You know, standard bars with standard drinks and nothing much else. But why not add a little birthday excitement to your session with some of our leftfield suggestions? At Elsewhere, you can pair your beer or cocktail with some live music, a DJ set, or even a performance! This trendy Brooklyn hangout spot is making quite the name for itself in the party scene, so why not check it out? You can even book a party package if you want to guarantee a spot for you and your troupe of celebrating chums. Or, unleash your inner Viking at Kick Axe. 'What does that mean?', we hear you cry and wail in the night. Well, it means you can down beers and throw freaking axes while you do it! Axes. Like, real axes. Yes, Kick Axe takes your drinking experience to another level, thanks to its brilliant drinks menu coupled with cathartic ax-throwing. Or, combine your food and drinks needs for the evening, and marry it with some sun, fun, and a spot of dancing at Nowadays. This outdoor foodcourt slash bbq slash party bar has it all, and surrounds you with a taste of nature while it does it. Things to Do On Your Birthday in New York With its world class sights, thrilling attractions and unique experiences like hot air balloon rides, skydiving and private yacht cruises, New York City offers you plenty of options to make your birthday the best day ever. Whether you want to relax and take in the views from one of Manhattan’s many iconic skyscrapers, or get adventurous with zip-lining over Brooklyn or kayaking on the East River, there’s something for everyone here. Plan an intimate party at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum or just enjoy a delicious meal with friends — whatever you choose to do in New York City will make your special day an unforgettable one! And those are our recommendations for the best things to in New York for your birthday!
Dom Bewley
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Fall in New York City: Take a Tour

When does fall start? Fall officially starts September 23rd, 2019. There are exactly 12 hours of dark and 12 hours of light on this day. The word "fall" gradually overtook use of the word "autumn" in the U.S. in the 1600s, influenced by poetry and literature describing the "fall of the leaves". When does fall end? December 22, 2019, when the U.S. enters the winter solstice. The seasons may have changed, but that won't stop New York from being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And with the crowds thinning out and weather cooling, this could be the best time see this iconic city. This list of New York City fall tours will make sure you see the best sights in town. When visiting NYC in the fall, wrap up in a light knit and jacket and a scarf; pack an umbrella in case the skies open. Then grab a steaming coffee and kick through the leaves on an outdoor walking tour. Fall Walking Tours Central Park Sightseeing Walking Tour Take an adventure through the United States' 1st major landscaped park and discover 843 acres of beautiful scenery. The orange leaves falling from the trees make for a memorable 2-hour tour in Central Park. Greenwich Village Walking Tour Explore the bohemian capital of New York City, Greenwich Village. You'll get a chance to stroll through Washington Square Park and pass some of the city's most interesting dining options. Why not find out what seasonal options they have on the menu? High Line-Chelsea-Meatpacking Tour Get a new view of New York City as you walk on the High Line, which is an elevated park/walkway stretching throughout Manhattan's Midtown section. This walking tour also takes you to key areas in Chelsea, showcasing the history of the Meatpacking district. Fashion Windows Walking Tour Tour the city in style as you venture to some of New York's most famous and iconic storefronts. You'll get a first-hand look at high-class fashion on 5th Avenue in the "Fashion Mecca of the Eastern Hemisphere". Perhaps you are interested in a bicycle tour. There are many bike tours as well as bicycle rentals that can give you a front-row seat to New York's gorgeous fall scenery. Fall Biking Tours Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals Similar to the walking tour, Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tour is a 2-hour excursion in New York City's Central Park. This tour allows you to enjoy the outdoors and explore an iconic landmark. If you're looking for the perfect spot to get a picture or two, head over to the area known as Pond at Central Park South between 5th & 6th Avenues. Gapstow Bridge there lights up with colors making it a favorite fall spot for photographers. Hudson River Sightseeing Bike Rentals Take your time enjoying the sights of New York City in the fall with a 24-hour bicycle rental. Experience picture-perfect autumnal landscapes and stunning undisturbed views across to Manhattan - the perfect photo taking opportunity. Experience Chinese dining and decorations in Chinatown at its best. And visit Time Square: one of the brightest and most popular areas in the world. Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours Choose between a full-day bicycle rental and a 2-hour guided tour of Brooklyn Bridge with Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours. Indulge in the scenery of the city while riding to the Statue of Liberty, set against the gorgeous skylines of Brooklyn and Manhattan. As you can see, there are many great opportunities for sightseeing in New York City during the Fall Season. Whether you prefer to tour the city by bike or on foot, the New York Pass makes it easy for you to visit your favorite destinations and plan out your itinerary. For more ideas on attractions and tours in New York City, click here and view a full list of tours offered on The New York Pass.
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