Visiting New York City? Here are six things to keep in mind to make your visit go more smoothly.
* Don’t accept rides in taxis that are’nt yellow Taxi and Limousine Commission vehicles. Anyone approaching you with a sign and offering a deal for $20 could head you right for trouble, rather than your destination. If you can’t find a taxi, look for the nearest subway or a bus stop. New York City has wonderful public transportation options. If you do choose a taxi, be kind and tip. Taxis are like restaurants – we suggest offering 15-20% of your fare for a properly completed trip. Www.Mta.info is a great resource. If you’re really stuck, a good car service to call is Carmel, 1-212-666-6666.
* Always keep at least $20 and a Metro card with you. This will tide you over should you find yourself in a place where the taxi meter isn’t working or you can only pay in cash (not credit card) or you can’t get to an ATM.
* Be careful when using your smartphone. Phones are ubiquitous, but so are pickpockets. Keep it on hand, in your front pocket if you’re a male and in your purse if you’re a female. Too much valuable information is on your phone. If you have an iPhone, be sure to enable the Find My iPhone feature. Use Foursquare so you have a record of where you’ve been if you happen to misplace it. Importantly, try to use WiFi wherever possible to access your mail. Some of the subway stops have added it, and many buildings have it. This will help keep your expenses down and your roaming charges from going crazy, particularly when the cellular signal can be blocked by so many tall buildings.
* Ask a Local. New York City has a reputation for being unfriendly. We’re actually VERY friendly, we’re just busy. Since we all love our city, most people are more than happy to help you find something, even if you are a local who can’t figure out the non-grid streets of the West Village. Seek out concierge advice, but only after you’ve done your homework, especially regarding restaurants and sites. There tends to be an element of bias from concierge recommendations.
* Travel light. Wear comfortable shoes and carry a small tote. Make it easy for yourself to “run” around the city, chase after taxis, or just walk and walk and walk. That’s what New York City is really about anyhow. It’s the best way to soak up the energy in the city.
* Be adventurous in your dining. New York City has it all, including food of every nationality. You can eat affordably and well by trying some of the smaller ethnic restaurants. Servers will be happy to help you decipher the menu.