"For lunch, which, for the nature of my business, is my favorite time to go around to interesting and off the beaten path restaurants in New York City, a great place with counter service on 11th St. and 2nd Ave. is Momofuku Noodle Bar -- great soup and a major hang out for chefs and people in the restaurant business. Barbuto, in the West Village, is lots of fun. If you like Italian, Lupa in the Village is definitely one of the best. For lobster rolls, try Mary's Fish Camp – fantastic, and Fatty Crab on Hudson St. – funky place, great food. I love these places because aside from great food, they represent the most innovative ideas in restaurants. So, if you have two or three hours during the late morning / early afternoon, you can try a few of the places one after the other, like we New Yorkers do."
Pino Luongo, Restaurateur & Author
Nothing cries 'tourist' more than waving one's hands vigorously
and fruitlessly as off-duty and fare-carrying taxis speed by.
Here's the simple rule: if the taxi's numbers on his rooftop are
lit, he's free. If they aren't lit, he's not. And if they are flanked
by "off duty" lights, he's not. Here's the exception: sometimes
an off-duty driver can be convinced to take you to your
destination: if it's on his way home. If he stops for you, inquire.
Here's another vehicular tip: those town cars honking at you
as you stand on the corner are livery cabs. They are not
licensed to carry passengers but have a brisk business. If
you are desperate for transportation and air-conditioning,
it's an option.