Taxi, New York City
Even when you're trying to pay attention, it's sometimes easy to lose track of what you're doing when you're traveling and busy. So if you happen to accidentally leave something in the back of taxi cab, don't freak out (completely anyway) there are some steps that you can take to try to get your things back. If you suddenly realize that you've left your purse/shopping purchases/baby or whatever in the back of a taxi as it pulls away try to get the cab's identification or license plate number. Then call the city's helpline (311 from any city phone) and follow the instructions for reporting a lost item in a yellow cab. If you happen to figure out that your stuff is missing long after the cab has gone on its way and don't have its ID number, you can still call. You'll just need to know where you were and the time of day when you got out of the taxi. You will have to fill out a missing item report, giving a full description of the lost item(s) and your contact information. You will be asked what borough of the city you live in. (It's Ok to give the information of your hotel if you're visiting, or ask the people at your hotel's front desk to help you do this). In addition to calling, you can also fill out a missing item report online at this link
Though it doesn't always happen, lost items are returned to people from taxis all the time. Cab drivers are trained to turn them in, so as long as the fare after you doesn't take your stuff, you're odds of getting your lost things back are better than you'd think. At least it's worth a try.
Note: You'll only be able to report missing items in this way if your lost you stuff in a yellow city taxi. Private cars or illegal taxis aren't included.
Like it, don't like it, but learn to live with it. Gratuities are a way of life. Save money on the big stuff, not the small stuff. Tips are small stuff. Generally tip more than average, but not extravagantly. Yes, budget hotel maids only do the basics, but I have always found that when you take care of them, they will take care of you. Consider that they are lucky if they earn minimum wage. Most amateur travellers simply do not tip maids, - so when you do, you become special to them. If you stay for any length of time you will really feel their additional services, - such as fresh new bedcover etc. = not to mention genuine smiles of recognition. Consider the overall savings in the long run with cabdrivers. If I need a cab more than once I always give a nice tip and ask for his card, and ask him if I can call him first. Yes, even in New York, they just might surprise you. I tought this to my now ex-wife (but good friend). She and her sister went to Washington D.C. for Obama's inauguration. Imagine the chaos. Following my advice, she had a personal cab driver/guide for the entire stay. He even invited them to share dinner with his family. Oh, and the cost was overall less than seperate cabs at full price, and minus the exasperation of attempting to secure any cabs in D.C. at that time. As my page tagline says: "Don't sweat the small stuff"
Fondest memory: New Yourk has great diversity and great food.
Here's my advice for your bike-problem! I have lived and worked in NYC for 10 years - also as a tour-guide. And that is why I agree with the other responses you got: LEAVE THAT BIKE ALONE! The second day after my arrival in NY my very expensive bike disappered in front of FAO Schwarz, the toy store, together with a huge chain around! You are lucky if you survive on those streets on bike! The worst are the cab-drivers, sorry to say. USE YOUR LEGS AND THE SUBWAY! I recommend a longer distance by subway and then work your way back by foot! Only by walking you see most of this challenging city - and don't always keep your eyes towards the top of the high-rises, like almost every tourist is doing...
Have tons of fun!
Favorite thing: Well, after you walk all over the lower Manhattan and through the Wall Street district and across to the west side again, you are pretty bushed. Great water views as you sit on a park bench and wait for the water taxi!! A short but wonderful little ride across to where we started at the New Jersey side...at the train station which is part of the Ellis Island complex. I rather liked travelling that way. We took a different taxi from the Ellis Island building over to Battery Park. Check it out, these taxis are really fun. Great views of the city.
Favorite thing: haleing a cab in New York City is just something that must be done by every tourist. and It is pretty darn easy to master. I thought this was one of the most interesting aspects to NYC. In Los Angeles, you have to actually CALL a cab to come pick you up at a location, but not here... they are literally EVERYWHERE. so give it a shot... hale a cab!
Go sightseeing. My mom and I saw the sights in a taxi cab. There were a lot of tall buildings. Some seemed taller than a cathedral!
Fondest memory: Actually, the only noteworthy thing I remember is the taxi ride. Maybe that's best because 9/11/01 was so scary that I'm just glad I wasn't there on that day! I've had some acting experience, so I guess I could go back to return to being an actor. The cost of living there is probably expensive. Besides, I did my acting in the Atlanta area.