You've seen all the movies, you know how it's done: You walk out into the middle of the rainy street with your coat wrapped tight, you raise your hand and you make an insanely loud whistle noise and a cab comes out of nowhere to pick you up… right? Well turns out that's only a part of the story, especially in the 2020s.
First things first: Don't walk out in front of traffic, and don't walk out into the rain, because you're sure just to get hit by a delivery person on an electric bike and get all wet!
Secondly, we've now got the power of apps which means that we can hail cabs right from our pocket, but there's one other tip that I recommend you get right:
Where to request pickup of a taxi cab
One sure-fire way to cost yourself a lot of money and get yourself caught in a traffic jam is to get into a car going the wrong direction.
New York City is filled with one-way streets and after a fun night out you will no doubt be tempted to request a car for the address you're sitting at right now, but this is where you're going wrong!
Have a think to yourself: Are you heading uptown or downtown (or crosstown)?
If you're headed downtown, request the car on an Avenue going downtown (on the correct side of the road if that's relevant).
If you're headed East, be sure to request the car for an even numbered street (remember: Even streets go East).
This is going to save you from having to do a big city loop, getting stuck behind a bus, getting caught behind someone “parallel parking” (I'm using air-quotes appropriately), or any number of other disasters that will turn your 5 minute jaunt into a 25 minute debacle (costing you, too).
It sounds obvious but after sitting in a cab for 35 minutes last week because we got caught in UN General Assembly traffic, I thought it was best to give everyone a heads up.
How to request a destination when you get into a taxi
Nearly every destination can be requested as the a “cross-street”, which in Manhattan is the combination of a street and an avenue to identify where you're headed.
The easiest way to get to a location, after you climb in is to clearly say to the driver “Can I please go to 12th Street and Avenue A” (or something similar) or “12th Street between 1st and 2nd”. That will at least get you moving in the right direction and once you get closer, you can refine exactly where you're headed.
How to whistle for a cab
If you can do that whistle thing, please do let me know, I can't for the life of me work out where that heinous noise comes from. Is it from between your teeth and tongue!?
If you can't do that, well lucky for you cabs can now be requested using the Curb app on your phone. Just like Uber, you can now request a taxi for any location with an estimated price.
The other thing to remember is that in this here big city you've got options! Here's a big list of transport options.
How to find something you left in a taxi
When I first moved to New York I had an evening where I left my bag in a cab. In that bag was my laptop, my keys, and basically all of my worldly possessions!
Here's the kicker though: I hailed this cab on the street, paid cash, and had absolutely no idea about the driver's details or the cab number.