Jenny got nothing on me.

Over the weekend I decided to do something truly silly. I changed my Google Voice number with the express intent of making it public. It doesn’t ring to my real phone (and that number hasn’t changed and is still very private) be it for texts or voicemails, but I thought it would be fun to make it public.

Because most of the people who read this are all kinda crazy in their own ways.

So, with that in mind – my public number is (941) APKNAVE. Yup. There you go.

You can call it and leave me voicemail or text it or whatever. And eventually I will hear your messages and … you know – I’ll hear them. So there you go. totally 100% useless leveraging of technology!

For nothing resembling a good time, call (941) APKNAVE!

It’s true – sometimes I do things simply because they make me laugh and because I can. This here would be one of those times.

A Brief NY Field Guide: The rest

I am writing a series of posts about NY for people who are coming into town for BlogHer this August. My friend Jett suggested the idea and I ran with it. Today we’re going to finish it all up by answering your questions and tossing out a few things I forgot to mention throughout the week.

Many of the things I forgot were noted by other people reading this and for all of those people I want to say: Thanks. Some of the stuff just didn’t fit because if you go into too much detail everything gets more confusing and sometimes I just forgot little things here and there in my efforts to get everything down. But some of NYers who did read this wanted to help, and offer advice and correct stuff which I appreciate.

So let’s see what we have out there to add!

First up a quick note about cabs. Someone reminded me of one tiny bit to mention to you. When looking at that meter:

In the far corner, and sometimes it is in the right corner and not the left, depending on the model of meter, there is a lone “1.” That is the Fare Type. It should always be a 1. If it is ever not a 1 but a 2 or 4 or whatever, mention it to the driver and ask. Different fare types have different meter rates and though sometimes changing the type is an accident, sometimes it is a scam. See, if they change the fare type to 4, say, the meter will run much faster and a ride that should cost 15 bucks will end up costing 22. So glance at it, just in case.
Continue reading A Brief NY Field Guide: The rest

A Brief NY Field Guide: Cabs

I am writing a series of posts about NY for people who are coming into town for BlogHer this August. My friend Jett suggested the idea and I ran with it. Today we’re going to talk about cabs.

You might take a cab while you’re in NY. That’s great! Cabs are a wonderful thing. There are, of course, some things you should know. All NY taxis are licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. They are all the same yellow color. They have indicator lights on the roof. We will come back to those lights, they are important.

But first, how do you hail a cab? This is fairly simple. You stand on the curb and raise an arm. That’s it. You don’t have to shout, whistle or wave. In fact, please don’t do any of those things. Here, for example, is Cameron Diaz hailing a cab:

Continue reading A Brief NY Field Guide: Cabs

A Brief NY Field Guide: The Subway

I am writing a series of posts about NY for people who are coming into town for BlogHer this August. My friend Jett suggested the idea and I ran with it. Today we’re going to talk about the subway.

While you’re in NY the quickest and cheapest way to get around town, besides walking, is the subway. The NY Subway, run by the MTA, is a wonderful system. Many people decide it is too confusing and scary – those people have, in many cases, never actually ridden the subway.

The NYC Subway system has 22 different lines running across all five boros. It is a huge, complex system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and transports over 4.3 million people around the city each day. So if you need to go somewhere, chances are you can get there by train.

You will want to consult a map before riding the train, unless you have a friend who gives good directions and knows the subway system very well. There are also trip planners and other resources to help you get from A to B while riding the A and B.
Continue reading A Brief NY Field Guide: The Subway

A Brief NY Field Guide: Walking

I am writing a series of posts about NY for people who are coming into town for BlogHer this August. My friend Jett suggested the idea and I ran with it. Today we’re going to talk about walking.

Now, I’m sure you are familiar with the basic concept of being mobile. Please note that through I use the term “walking” for all of this the concepts apply regardless of if you are walking, in a wheelchair or anything else. So let’s just leap right in. Also, for real, wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking in NY and you want your feet happy. Comfortable shoes may be the single most important thing you bring to BlogHer and, really, to NY.

When walking in NY please keep a few things in mind, won’t you? While walking along a street, stay to the right side of the sidewalk. No matter which way you’re walking, stay to the right. You’ll notice most everyone else is as well. That way you don’t have as many clusterfucks with people just trying to push past each other. It’s a simple rule and one that will help a lot. The right hand rule applies to staircases and escalators as well.

You stand to the right on an escalator so people who are walking can get by. If you walk up or down the escalator, then stay to the left and walk till your heart is content. But if you are going to stand there and ride, stay to the right.

Now when you’re walking along a street you may have friends with you. Do try to not block the entire sidewalk with your group. You can hear each other talk fine if you are a small cluster instead of a wide line. As a wide line across the street you are blocking people going the other way and possibly slowing down people behind you. It’s rude.

Also when you need to stop, for any reason, pull over to the curb (Not into the street, there are cars there. Don’t get hit by one. Or a bus. That’s also bad. Or a bike. Do you see what I’m saying? Stay out of the street!) or over to the side of a building and stop there. If you’re at a corner either pull to the side of a building or a few feet away from the corner itself at the curb.

Think of walking in NY like driving on a highway. Imagine, if you would, that you’re driving along a highway and need to stop for a second to get something out of the back of your car. Would you just hit the brakes and stop in the middle of a four lane highway? I hope not. No. I know not, because if you did that there is a really high chance you are dead right now and not reading this.

To any ghosts reading this, I apologize. But you’re still dead. You’re reading this, though, ghost friends, and so, hi! How’s the afterlife treating you? Bet you wish you hadn’t stopped in the middle of the highway like that.

Because you pull over to the shoulder and do your business there. You don’t block people, slow down the world or otherwise make life harder for other people. Just not good form.

If you do just stop in the middle of the street you may get snarled at, bitched at, cursed out, gestured at and/or bumped into. You did it to yourself. No one will feel sorry for you, except possibly some of your friends who also don’t know any better than to be rude people.

And note I am not saying you have to walk quickly or rush around. I stroll around the city quite often myself, with friends. We just leave space for people to get around us, listen for folks behind us saying “excuse me,” and walk on the right side of the sidewalk.

Everyone is trying to get somewhere. Fast or slow, we’re all moving. There are a lot of people. It pays to be polite and follow some simple rules for ease of sidewalk use.

Because, seriously, no one has any problem bumping into you and cursing you out for not knowing how to walk down a damn street. But if you don’t want to walk, maybe you would rather take a subway? Come back tomorrow for some subway talk.

And don’t forget to leave questions for NY, whatever they are, in comments! Come Friday I will do a special, final post that is your questions and their answers.

Other posts in the A Brief NY Field Guide series: General Stuff | Subways | Cabs | The rest

You can also find information , theoretically, about things to do in New York City at UpTake, a site that speciifcally asked me to link to them, and sorta-bribed me to do so. They might even be useful! Who knows!

A Brief Field Guide to NY: General Stuff

I am writing a series of posts about NY for people who are coming into town for BlogHer this August. My friend Jett suggested the idea and I ran with it. Today we’re going to talk about some general purpose things, and later in the week we will cover three things that many visitors have issues with: Walking around, riding the train and taking a cab. On Friday we will end with a post answering any questions you leave in comments during the week. But that’s later.

Today let’s just discuss some basic NY stuff. First of all, welcome! I do hope you enjoy your time in NY and come back. We need your tourist-y money. We love it. We really, truly, do. Also, you are probably a wonderful person and your mere presence will enhance the city for all of us. But, just in case you aren’t, your money will do.

Let me dispel some rumors and preconceived notions for those of you who have never been to NY before:

Please note we aren’t jerks. We aren’t rude, mean and nasty. Not by default. In general we end up being rude, mean, and nasty to tourists who approach us in a rude, mean, or nasty manner to begin with. If you are lost or confused, feel free to ask for directions. “Excuse me,” or “Pardon me,” both work as a way to stop someone. Then you can ask them your question, in a nice and polite manner. Many people in NY will go out of their way to give you helpful directions. Not only have I done this more times than I can count but I see it all the time. All the time.

On the other hand… when someone randomly touches me when I go by, grabs some part of my body or simply goes “Hey!” in my face and then demands answers about where a certain location is I will cheerfully and happily give them bad directions. You know why? Because fuck you, that’s why. Seriously, I have been stopped by people who have demanded “Where’s Carmine street? Hurry up!” and that’s going to get your silly ass sent to Queens, motherfucker. Also if you get an answer along the lines of “I don’t know,” accept it. We really don’t know every little restaurant in the world. Bitching us out for trying doesn’t help. It might also get you “Oh, wait, you said Trinity? Oh right!” and then you’re back out to Queens, aren’t you? Yes. Yes, you are.

NY’ers are very polite by nature. when you live in a town as small as this with 8 million other people you really only have two options: Be polite or kill a whole lot of people. While I don’t deny the existence of the occasional member of group two, most of us are in group one. So that’s that.
Continue reading A Brief Field Guide to NY: General Stuff