I bet one of the signature NYC images you have in your heads is a hand extended to hail a yellow cab. It’s true. You don’t order cabs here, or you do it very rarely – in case you really need to be somewhere on time or you happen to be travelling from the outskirts of Brooklyn to Manhattan or JFK. Usually (90% of cases) you just walk onto a Manhattan corner of your choice (it’s definitely easier to get a cab in Manhattan than it is in Brooklyn) and you raise your hand.
Many times you don’t even know where they’re coming from: usually, they just appear within a split second. What’s interesting is to observe just how rapidly your chances of hailing the yellow vehicle become once the weather goes bad. As soon as it starts to rain or snow, you will be passed by ten cabs, each already carrying a passenger. New Yorkers are convenient by nature and they don’t like to get their shoes soiled and or coats drenched. At night, you may well feel like hookers, since cabbies will keep honking at you. After midnight, the Manhattan traffic drops down, which is why cab drivers try to hunt down people walking down the streets. Sometimes at night, before I walk down two full blocks to my subway stop, I see a cab honking and blinking lights. It’s like shouting at me: “Hey? Will you get in? You’re not going to walk like that, will ya?”. Sometimes I do get in (I’m not going to walk like that, right…?), and every time the situation is identical: the guy behind the wheel (I keep hearing of female cabbies, but have yet to see one), usually with a turban on their head, ask me in broken English: “Where?”, I give the destination, to which I hear: “OK”. That’s it for our talk. I always get to the destination swiftly, and our silence rarely gets broken.
The starting price for each ride is $2.5. It’s not expensive to travel by cabs in NYC, but if you have some doubts and your destination seems far away, you can always ask the driver how much will you pay. Chances are you will understand each other.