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Surviving the Summer Heat in NYC

Daniel restaurant in NYCSummer in New York City can be unbearable.  It’s hot and it’s humid and you feel like you’re cooking in a steamer whenever you’re out on the street.  Part of this is geography. Most Northeast cities suffer muggy, “dog days” in summer.  They share not only humidity but frequent severe thunderstorms that pelt the streets with water yet never seem to take the humid blanket of air with them when they pass.  At those times, you’re not only hot and humid, but you’re weighted down with dripping raincoats, rain hats, and umbrellas.

Then there’s something called the “urban heat island effect” which just is a fancy phrase for what you’d expect to happen if you covered green grass and trees with asphalt, concrete, and brick.  These not only collect more heat, they save it and continue baking like a brick oven after the sun goes down.

Finally, add the press of other humans, all trying to radiate away their own body heat, and you’ve got a pretty uncomfortable set of conditions. A day that the thermometer says is a hot-but-pleasant 85 degrees feels like it’s well over 100. The heat and humidity can take the spring out of your step and make your brain feel like a bowl of yesterday’s oatmeal.

Since the invention of air conditioning has made life much more pleasant, we can mostly ignore the weather when making plans for business or pleasure.  Yet folks who wouldn’t dream of staying in a hotel or renting a car without A/C travel to places like New York without really picturing themselves getting from place to place.  Since you’re not likely to drive yourself around the NYC, you’ll need transportation.  Most people figure they will just take a cab when they need one, not thinking that if the weather takes a miserable turn, everybody will suddenly be wanting a cab, even folks who usually walk or at least hoof it to the subway. In a sudden squall or during a brutal heat wave, cabs are hard to come by. Standing on the sidewalk at those times makes New York seem more like Purgatory than a mecca for business, culture and travel.

And when you finally do get a cab, it's A/C may not be working.The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has regulations requiring yellow cabs to be able to provide air-conditioning, but, according to the New York Times, that depends “more on luck than any rules.”

If you have to move around in the city all day on business or shopping, consider hiring a car and driver to make your goings and comings seamless with the rest of your air-conditioned life.  There’s no reason to suffer and all sorts of reasons why going from point A to point B should be relaxing and revitalizing instead of exhausting.  The same goes for a night out, where if anything the temperature and humidity go up even as the sun goes down thanks to the urban heat island effect.

If you value saving, think of saving yourself from fatigue, from sweat, from uncertainty, and from overheated discomfort.  Hire a car and driver to transform your New York City business and travel into one smooth ride.

Category:NYC Fun Facts

The Temptation to Text

Everybody knows you shouldn’t text and drive. Most people have enough willpower to resist … most of the time. But the more your social or business life revolves around your mobile device, the more likely it becomes that you have texted while driving.  Even if you are hyper-conscientious and have great willpower, you’ve probably slipped out your cell at least once telling yourself you’ll be safe if you’re extra careful because this is IMPORTANT.

Some people feel proud because they can think of many times they’ve resisted the urge to text while driving. However, each time you resist on any given day, you make the next time harder, not easier. Behavioral studies show this all the time, whether it’s with a diet that starts out good in the morning only to crumble late at night, or drinking, or even doing a series of tasks around the house.  Each act of “being good” draws a bit from your willpower and at some point in the day, if you’re depleted, you stumble and fall.

So if you have a busy day and are driving around while at the same time trying to coordinate activities, whether it’s a business deal or a wedding party, you’ll come to a point where you feel you just HAVE to take care of this one text. Even if you never text while driving normally, if you’re human, you’ll rationalize it and do it.  Now, if there’s an accident and the insurance company pulls up your text records, being human, being depleted, won’t count for anything.  Just because you don’t text 364 days out of 365 will not matter one bit.

If you can foresee a problematic day for texting, don’t risk it. Hire a car or limo and driver. Give yourself the freedom to focus on your business without worrying about the traffic.  Let yourself enjoy the big day, be it a wedding, a graduation, or a family reunion by being free to safely keep everyone in touch and coordinated without need to split attention to the road. Let the driver drive while you handle what you need to do.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Shuttle Vs. Hired Car - Don’t waste your time

If you’re flying out of town and usually book a shuttle to the airport, take a minute to consider hiring a private car instead to drive you there and back. On the surface, an airport shuttle is much cheaper, coming in at about 1/3 the cost of private car and driver airport transportation.  If you’re traveling with someone else, the price of the shuttle doubles but the hired car remains the same.  Now it’s only a difference of 1/3 the cost.

That’s where the time factor comes in.  Your time.  A shuttle has to coordinate the pickups or dropoffs of up to 11 people at as many as 11 different addresses.  The arrival time at the airport depends on the earliest departure among the passengers. Sometimes you spend hours of extra time in the van driving around and you might have another extra hour to kill in the terminal.

Taking a shuttle can double your travel time wit all the tedium of waiting and the circulation-killing sitting around.  You arrive twice as tired at your destination as you would have if you had gotten quickly and efficiently to and from the airport in on a schedule set to maximize your time.

A shuttle is not only longer, it is not a place you can conduct business or, if you are traveling with others, enjoy relaxed and open conversation.  The social contract means you must make your impact on others small.  You can lose yourself in your email, but you can’t talk to a client.  Joking around with your friends might interfere with another person’s desire for quiet.  Or you might be the one wanting some quiet while your fellow passengers continue their vacation party all the way from the terminal to their door.

When you consider your time, your comfort, and your energy, it becomes clear that the best transportation to or from the airport is in a hired car that picks you up at your door and takes you directly to your terminal with a minimum of time and a maximum of ease.  Next time you fly in or out of Greater NYC, book a car and driver with Luxor Limousines and see what a difference it makes in the quality of your whole trip.
Category:NYC Fun Facts