When I first rolled into New York City on a Greyhound from the Martha's
Vineyard ferry terminal back in 1981, I never dreamed I would spend at least
the next 26 years of my life here. I was crashing on the floor of my former
college roommate's studio apartment in the far West Village and I hoped, as
I meandered about those maze-like streets, that downtown Manhattan would someday be my home. After protracted periods of life on the Upper East and West sides, I finally settled in Greenwich Village with my family of five. With an office in Soho, downtown is pretty much my full-time stomping ground.
Mornings are perfect at Balthazar in Soho, where the locals meet for blazing hot coffee, bread, and pastries baked at the Balthazar Bakery next door. Farther west on 12th Street, the new Cafe Cluny has a quiet neighborhood feel and plenty of free newspapers to peruse while ... [more]
Andy Arons, Gourmet Garage
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.