When my husband, Bobby, and I went to New York City in July, I was more than a little nervous. See, I am a girl from a small town and while there was a time that I felt the draw of the city, that was a long time ago. Now I am much more comfortable in small towns and on two-lane roads. However, we were headed to the Big Apple because that was where the conference was being held that I was doing a presentation. So like it or not, I had to “soldier through” like Bobby says.
One of the smartest things I did, was to contact someone I knew from New York City to get her advice on what to do and how to get around. Thankfully I did, because I felt much more prepared than I did originally. I was still nervous, but now I had sort of clue of what to do. In that vein, I thought I’d share with you some of the ways we got around New York City. If it can be helpful to you, then great.
- By Foot, aka Walking — My friend told me to bring tennis shoes because NYC is a walking city. She was not kidding! I know, I’ve seen plenty of TV shows based in New York, so the idea of walking wasn’t unheard of to me. But truly, you walk (or can walk) almost everywhere. In fact, before we embarked on the trip, I had talked to a salesperson (Robert) at the Best Buy in Wooster, Ohio. We discussed fitness trackers, but I hadn’t purchased one at that time. (Come on, I was heading to NYC and thought I shouldn’t make that size of purchase.) However, after speaking to a few other conference attendees, who had the fitness tracker I wanted, and after having walked who knows how many steps on Friday, Saturday and the early part of Sunday, Bobby made the “executive decision” that we would make the purchase while we were there. Glad we did, too, because we could see that on Monday and Tuesday, we walked 10,000+ steps each day.
- By Motor Vehicle, aka Taxi — Due to the fact that I have seen plenty of TV shows and several of which are cop/mystery shows, I have seen what can happen if you get into the wrong cab. However, the taxis in New York are nothing like portrayed on TV. For the most part they are very clean and refreshingly cool compared to walking in the hot July day. (There was one cab that wasn’t, but I asked the guy to lower the window and he did.) I also didn’t think the taxis were that expensive. Maybe if I lived there it would be a problem, but for visiting it wasn’t cost prohibitive.
- By Mass Transit, aka Subway — One of the things my friend told me was that you could buy a 7 day pass with unlimited rides on the subway for $31. Bobby and I purchased the passes and used them quite a bit on Saturday. After that, because it was so hot, we really avoided the subway. If we thought it was hot on the streets of New York, it was worse under them! But the system to get around town is amazing. I guess that is why no one really has a car if they live there. I don’t think there is anywhere you can’t go that the subway won’t take you.
- By Horse and Buggy, aka Carriage Ride — Bobby surprised me on Saturday night by getting us a ride on a carriage being pulled by a beautiful white horse, named Snow White. She was a great horse. She obviously was a pro at pulling a carriage because she didn’t balk at any of the traffic. An added bonus was that Bobby convinced the driver to take us on a 20 minute ride that would drop us off at the Waldorf Astoria. That meant we could check out the sites a little bit and not have to walk back to the hotel. It was well worth the cost of the ride and obviously a unique way to get around.
- By Rickshaw, aka Pedi-Cab — This was a total blessing in disguise. We had gotten a cab to Columbus Circle because we thought we were going to be taking the walking tour at that time, but had I checked my email before leaving, I would have seen it was rescheduled. So we are right by Central Park when we found that out. We had plans to meet Bobby’s friend from high school for lunch so we had around 90 minutes to kill. Again, it was really hot, but we decided we would take a walk through Central Park. We were on our way when a driver of a Pedi-Cab stopped us. (There is no scarcity of people trying to sell you something on the streets of New York.) He tried to convince us to take a ride with him. Bobby said no–actually he started speaking in spanish to deter the guy. Not to be deterred, the guy told us we would enjoy the ride since it was so hot. Then he gave us a “bargain.” Whether it was or not, I don’t know. Their signs on the side of their bikes say $3 a minute, so based on that, it was a deal. However, I’m skeptical enough to think he got the better of us. But honestly it didn’t matter because he took us everywhere he could and even stopped to let us get pictures. He was really nice and pointed out different things that would be of interest to us–things we would have never known had he not been driving us around in his pedi-cab. Plus he was right, it was a whole lot cooler than it would have been walking!
- By Boat, aka Staten Island Ferry — I wrote about this in an earlier post, but taking the Ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island is definitely a way to get around. Plus it is free! So, if you are going, don’t miss this.
As you can see there are plenty of ways to get around NYC and this isn’t an exhaustive list! If you plan a trip there one thing you will want to bring are your tennis shoes. If you take no other advice from me, that bit will be enough.
- P.S., aka more information — We could have taken the bus, as there are stops everywhere it seems, but taxis were of abundance, sometimes making up a 1/3 to 1/2 of the vehicles on the streets. Another thing, more than one person recommended we use Uber, but we opted not to for the same reason we didn’t use the bus. However, it is an option. We also could have rented bikes, but if you think walking was scary to me, you can probably imagine how terrifying riding a bike in the city would be to me. Thus we did not do that either.