I snuck up to NYC yesterday morning on the cheapo bus ($35/rt to NYC from DC). This was the first time the view from the bus/train of the south end of Manhattan near Wall Street minus the World Trade Center towers has NOT left me feeling profoundly sad. In the beginning, I couldn't look at all.
I went with my friend Mary from Iowa. She and I both lived in Iowa City back in the 80s, but we didn't know each other. It was only when she started work as a grad assistant at Publications and Information that we met. And now we hang out once in a while. We stayed at the Sheraton Manhattan on 51st and 7th Ave, and walked down to the Village after we checked in.
Times Square was jammed, although these photos don't show it. Everybody, their baby, and their dog was visiting NYC yesterday. Mary said she heard many languages being spoken.
We stopped at a bar around 35th Street and 7th Ave, and discovered an Irish barman and an Irish pal of his celebrating happy hour. We ordered a couple of drinks. Mary (left) asked for a "half and half," pictured here.
It's a lovely creation to look at, although I don't personally go for that dark beer. I had a cosmo with a shot of Grey Goose on the side (to add to the cosmo, which most happy hour emporia seem to think consists of lots of ice, a dribble of vodka, a squirt of some kind of hawaiian punch from a hose, and a slice of lime.
We walked and walked...almost all the way from the hotel to the end of Hudson Street down in the Village and back to Madison Square Park to the Shake Shack for supper (deelishus burgers!). We took a cab back to the hotel after that, since it was getting dark.
The NYC cab drivers don't get much for their labors these days--at least not half as much as the ones in DC do. NYC drivers have meters, and the DC drivers have a weird zone system that clearly was set up by Congress. E.g., you can drive anywhere in Georgetown for one zone's worth of fare, but for me to take a cab from my front door to Dupont Circle (a 10 minute walk, and a 3 minute drive) is two zones. I am a liberal tipper, which means by Midwestern standards, I "overtip." According to some standards, that leaves me open to ridicule by the cab drivers! This notion says that the cab drivers will not respect me if I overtip. Ooooh!
All I know is that the first cab driver in NYC yesterday asked us if we would please get out of the cab since we were only 5 or 6 blocks form the hotel, and he was not making any money in the jammed-up traffic. I asked him how he was going to drive anywhere else--across the sidewalk and over the park??--but then I said to Mary, "Let's get out...I'm tired of this guy's whining." So we got out and hopped on the subway, which took us within two blocks of the hotel. I was happy that Mary had said she was paying for the cab ride, since she religiously pays a 15% tip...wrings the nickels out to make it come out precisely. Served that guy right to get his measly 15%.
I tip at least 20-30%, often more--up to 100%, since I love taxis and taxi drivers, and they work like dogs for hardly anything, and now that I do not own a car myself, they are like angels from heaven. They take you where you wanna go, and then they go the hell away. You don't have to put gas in the car or park it or pay the insurance. What's not to like?