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The Classic Rides of Coney Island

Coney Island conjures up the idea of an old-time beach and amusement park. It has been a magnet for a seaside recreation since the mid-1800s when roads put it within a couple of hours of New York City.  The resort has had ups and downs over the years.  Arguably is is one of the places where American pop culture was born. Today, the island is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy. But the resorts and amusement parks have survived fires and hostile politics for almost 200 years, always coming back to charm and amuse another generation.  The Wonder Wheel, a classic ride on the National Register of Historic Places is already back in service.  Here are a number of classic rides that we hope will once again lure you out to this Brooklyn peninsula come springtime.

Wonder Wheel - This ferris wheel from 1920 is a giant steel circle that stands 150 feet high and holds 144 riders.  You can see it at night outlined by neon tubes in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

The Cyclone - This famous old roller coaster was built in 1927 and is still a favorite of aficionados.  It has one long 60º drop that will leave your heart trailing behind you the whole way.  The City owns the ride, but it is operated by Astroland under franchise.

Parachute Jump - This ride opened in the 1939 New York World’s Fair and was the first ride of its kind anywhere.  People were hoisted almost 200 feet in the air before dropping on guy-wired parachutes.  You can’t ride it anymore, but it is still considered a landmark, sometimes being called Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower.

B&B Carousell - This traditional carousel, still misspelled the way its original builder did, is no longer in an amusement park, but still turns to the tunes of a traditional roll-operated fairground organ.  At the moment it has been dismantled, but there are plans to reopen it this year.

Haunted houses - There are two traditional haunted house “dark rides” on Coney Island.  These are haunted houses where you ride through specially lit areas with animations, music, sounds, and special effects.  You can try out the Spook-a-Rama at Deno’s or the Ghost Hole on 12th Street and see which one  scares you the most.

Bumper cars - Bumper cars had their heyday starting in the 1920s and there are 3 bumper car rides on Coney Island today at Deno’s, 12th Street, and Eldorado’s Arcade.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Simple Online Pricing and Reservations Available 24/7

If you are not sure about renting a limo or car, or about which company offers the best deal, you can go online and explore options
Category:NYC Limo Information

Happy Drivers Mean Happy Customers

A limousine service is more than just vehicles.  What makes our service so valued is the people we employ.  Luxor Limousines offers its patrons a unique combination of professional and personal service.

As a company, we demand a lot from our drivers, and you can expect professionalism in every aspect of their work.  We require they be professional in their dress, wearing black suits.  We require that they be English speaking so that they can understand the wishes of their passengers and communicate effectively. We expect them to be prompt and courteous without being intrusive.  We ask a lot of them but we also but we also take care of them. Why?  Because happy drivers equal happy customers.  A simple equation. The human element is the key to our success. We believe the manner of employees in relation to the public is a reflection of the manner of management toward its staff. We take care of our drivers so they genuinely want to take care of you.
Category:NYC Limo Information

Ten Reasons to Hire a Limo for New Years Eve

  • With a limo, your driver is not part of your group, and so nobody is left out. No designated driver among your friends means all of you can celebrate.  It may seem like no big deal before the big night, but one person sticking to soft drinks while the rest of the group parties means that person will be out in the cold by the time midnight rolls around.

  • The limo picks you up and drops you off right at the door, so no staggering around and possibly getting into trouble. Even if you don’t drink much, your friends may not be so careful, and one or two roaring drunk friends can make it hard to walk the few blocks to your parked car.

  • A chauffeur is not distracted by the fun of the night and is a professional at driving safely in the city and avoiding mishaps with bad drivers and distracted pedestrians. You and your friends may be fine, but the other cars on the road are out of your control.  After a night of play, you may not be alert enough to avoid the dangers of a drunk driver on the road with you.

  • Door-to-door service means the ladies will not have to ruin their feet and fun hiking from car to restaurant to club.  Guys may not mind a hike from parking to party, but if a gal is dressed to dazzle, that will include some seriously high heels.  Walking even a city block in those can make feet hurt and smiles vanish. Plus, legs in heels look so sexy stepping out of a limo.

  • A limo means you don’t have to worry about something happening to your car.  Your car in the city on New Years Eve is at risk for all sorts of damage.  Valet parking has to pack the cars in bumper to bumper and side to side like sardines to make it pay, and that means tiny scratches and dents that you do not want to see come the morning.

  • The whole problem of parking in the City is gone when you hire a limo.Finding parking can be a drag on the fun.  Driving around looking for a place when you could be eating, drinking, or dancing does steals the time away from the whole reason for going out: celebration.

  • If you’ve got a limo, you can club hop till you find the perfect place to ring in the new year.  Say you’re at a club and it sucks.  You’d like to go somewhere else, but it took you so long to find parking, or you paid for a whole night already at a lot, that you’re kind of stuck.  You could call a cab if you can find one.  You could grin and bear it. Your friends are not likely to want to go out in the cold and start over.

  • With a limo, the party can start from the moment you get picked up and it can continue uninterrupted from place to place with music, drinks, and snacks.  If you go to more than one place in your night out, you will have to bundle up and put the party on hold while you make your way across town.

  • With a limo, you walk out of a club into the limo and step out at the door of the next.  The weather may be fine or it may be wet and dreary.  Even if a restaurant or club has a valet service, you still have to wait in the weather while your car is brought to you.  You could be drenched by the time you reach your next club, or chilled to the bone.  The driver always has an umbrella, so you don’t need to worry about the weather, only the fun.

  • A limo has style, and while you may not have a date for New Year’s Eve, a limo might just help you get one before the night is out.  Can you say, “Ladies, may we offer you a ride home in our limo?”
  • Category:NYC Limo Information

    The Invisible Chauffeur

    Most people don’t really notice their driver when they hire a car.  And not being noticed takes a professional.  That may sound backward, but think about it.  Your chauffeur shows up wearing a t-shirt.  You’d notice that.  Or you tell him where you want to go and he doesn’t understand you correctly because English isn't a language he speaks very well.  If at all. You’d notice that.  Or your driver shows up late.  Or gets lost.  Or swerves and brakes so violently you cannot relax.  You notice everything that goes wrong, everything that stands out.  But to show up dressed in a black suit, to be pleasant without being familiar, to be able to communicate easily, drive smoothly, to show up when and where you wish, these things all require skill.  When you hire a car from Luxor Limo, you get more than a car.  You get a professional chauffeur who makes your passage to and from your destination seem effortless.
    Category:NYC Limo Information

    That Too-Good-to-Be-True Price Is Not Too-Good-to-Be-Towed

    Imagine you got a GREAT deal on a limo for your big night out. Fabulously low. You can’t believe how much other people will pay, when they can get a limo this cheap for a whole night.  Traffic is terrible and you are glad you can kick back, and party from the moment you and your friends climb in the limo.  You can see the driver’s talking hands free with somebody, but the divider is up, and you don’t mind.  The evening goes great, and then heading home, somebody switches lanes on the expressway and uh-oh, there’s a fender bender.  Bummer, but it’s not your car and you and your friends continue the party.  Until the cops notice that the limo is unlicensed.  The cops impound the limo right then and there. Happens all the time. Suddenly you are out on the street in your evening clothes. The neighborhood is not good, your smartphone says the nearest subway stop is a hike, and you are a little too buzzed to control your temper.  You know you shouldn’t argue with the cops, but you do. Suddenly your party is over, your girlfriend is watching you be driven away in a cop car and you are worried about her getting home okay. Your evening is ruined.  Possibly so is your relationship.  It’s a great scenario for a movie, but not a scene you actually want to live through.

    Comparison shopping is a basic part of the free enterprise system.  It lets people get the best product or service for a fair price.  But don’t confuse a fair price with a too-good-to-be-true price.  Too-good-to-be-true isn’t.

    In limo services, for example, the City of New York requires companies to be licensed, which guarantees that the vehicles are insured and in good working order, that drivers actually have drivers licenses, and that all employees are paid in accordance with the law.  Unlicensed services may be cheaper because they don’t have to worry about those fees, about fair employee pay, and most importantly, about having professional drivers or safe vehicles.

    If the NYC police stop an unlicensed stretch limo, the vehicle is immediately towed and you are walking the rest of the way.  You might be someplace in the city where there are no cabs and the subway is a hike. If you’ve been partying hard, finding yourself stranded could pose some serious safety issues as well.  And good luck getting a refund, since most of these “companies” don’t really exist.

    More importantly, your driver should not be just anybody.  NYPD has started publishing accident statistics, and it turns out that in every borough of the city, the police reports show that the majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by the driver’s distraction or inattention, followed closely by a host of operator errors that no licensed professional would do.

    Use a reputable company. You will get a shiny limo, a courteous, professional driver who speaks English, and a carefree evening in luxury and style from start to finish.
    Category:NYC Limo Information

    Planning for Transit Times from the Major NYC Airports

    If you are heading into New York from one of the airports on business, you need to know how much time it will take you to get to your destination once you are on the ground.  Here are some general drive times* when coming in to the city from the Big Three:

    JFK to NYC  ≈ 1hr
    LGA to NYC ≈ 30-45 min
    EWR to NYC ≈ 1hr

    *NOTE: drive times in peak traffic can take 50% longer

    In scheduling your time, you also need to take into account the realities of airport transit.  Taxi lines can be very long, especially during peak travel times.  And shuttles decide the order of their customer drops based on geography, which could mean much longer transit times if you are the last passenger.  The most efficient way is to book a limousine when you book your flight and transition smoothly, safely, and stress-free from the airport to your appointment in town.
    Category:NYC Limo Information

    Limo Pickups: Hassle-Free Transport

    Landing at one of the New York airports does not mean you have arrived. It simply means you and your luggage are on the ground somewhere in the vicinity.  When it comes to figuring out how to get to your destination in the city, you are on your own.  You could end up waiting in one more long line if you opt for a taxi, or pacing curbside until your shuttle arrives and hoping you are the first and not last drop off on the schedule.  None of that is pleasant and all of it is stressful.

    You may not realize that hiring your own limo and driver is both a reasonable and relaxing option.  You have two options for pickup: curbside, where the driver waits in a car with a sign on the window or meet and greet, where the driver comes inside to meet you either at baggage claim or the customs exit holding a sign with your name.

    At Luxor Limo, our current Meet-and-Greet Special offers you this extra service for no extra charge on suv, van and stretch limo pickups. Not only will one of our professional chauffeurs meet you inside the terminal, he will have an umbrella for you if it’s raining, escort you to your vehicle, and provide you a safer, smoother ride directly to your destination.

    Book your limo at the same time you buy your ticket to avoid the hassles that can make the last hour of your trip the most difficult.  At Luxor Limo, you can book online 24/7, or you can make a reservation via email or by calling and speaking to a customer service professional on the phone.  Let us know what your needs are regarding passengers and luggage, and we will handle it for you.  All our drivers are professional chauffeurs who speak English and know the best routes for a safe and efficient transit for the last leg of your trip to New York.
    Category:NYC Limo Information


    You’re planning a big sports night out in New York with friends, catching a game at the Garden or at one of the stadiums. So how do you get there?  Public transportation is great for the planet and your wallet, but it can feel ordinary and anonymous when what you want is for it to be YOUR night.  This is why, despite all the hassles, people want to drive their own car.  So that the event is more than the game, it’s the whole night.

    But driving in New York has some big downsides as well.  First off, you need a designated driver.  And that can mean there’s one person who is odd-man out, while everybody else can let loose.

    Then there’s parking. There are ten things that could mean you are looking at an unhappy end to an otherwise great night.

    PARKING TICKETS: Finding a legal parking space on the street is never easy, and if there is a big event going on, the chances of finding a legal space are almost zero. So what do you do if you see an open space?  Should you grab it?  Maybe.  Most of the time it will be fine, but there are some rules that could surprise you.  For example, the NYC government parking rule #50 says you can’t park in a crosswalk which makes sense, but then notes “Crosswalks are not always identified by painted street markings.”  The fine:  $115.  So if you are one of those people who just refuse to pay for parking, allow tons of time and don’t push the boundaries of legal.  A parking tickets in the city costs anywhere from $65-$180.

    TOWING: If you think you can park somewhere that you haven’t paid for, or want to push the envelope on street parking, you may have to find alternate transport home.  A city tow has fixed rates depending on the size of the vehicle from $185-$370. You will also have to pay the ticket, and you must pay before you can get your car. Every one night in impound costs another $20. Then there’s the private towing from parking in somebody’s space that you don’t have the rights to, and the price on that is whatever they can charge.

    FINE PRINT: You might decide to drive and just park in a garage.  You see a sign that says $10 and you are interested.  But be careful of the fine print.  The city says rates must be posted, but doesn’t say how big the print has to be.  There are many exceptions and special conditions on signs in parking lots and once you are in, you owe whatever it says.  Parking lots in certain areas know this and structure their fees to get the most out of the unwary.

    EVENT RATES: Even though rates must be posted, lots can get around that with a simple phrase: event rate in effect.  This allows them to hike up the price without having it posted.  Almost anything can qualify as an event.   If you’re in town with your car for something special, chances are it qualifies as an “event” and you should expect event rates near the venue.

    FLAG WAVERS: Many garages employ flag wavers who sometimes look rather official.  They will direct traffic to their garage which is usually off the main path (hence the need for flag wavers to get you there) and are often hard to get out of once you are there.  These places, though off the main drag, are often more expensive, not less.

    TAXES: Wherever you park, the price is not quite the whole story.  City taxes on parking garage fees add another 20% to the cost.  A $50 fee means a $60 bill in the end.

    TIPS: There are fees, taxes, and then tips.  Be ready to tip your valet going in and out.  The reality of space in New York makes self-service lots less cost-effective.  Valets can park cars literally bumper to bumper within inches on either side, packing them in.  The tip going in is a request to be extra careful.  How extra careful do you want the valet to be?  You say that with the size of your tip.

    BUMPER DAMAGE: Even if a valet is careful, their job is to pack the cars in.  If you don’t want your bumper scratched from the wall or your sides dinged on the side, you should make sure you have bumper protectors and car door guards.

    BIG VEHICLE SURCHARGE: If you’ve got an SUV you will likely have to pay more.  It’s all about the premium of space, and if you take up more space, you have to pay for the extra real estate.  Even if the sign says one rate, you could be looking at a serious surcharge for that big vehicle .

    TIME WASTED: Valet parking often means a long wait at the end of the event.  There might be a line waiting for cars, or your car might be packed in behind others and so will take a while to extract.  (Oh, and did you tip well?  Because a good tipper might just get a bit quicker service in hope of a quicker turnaround). Or if you parked on the street a good distance from the venue, you will now have to hike back to your car.  Then sit in traffic, burning gas.  If you want to go somewhere else not in the neighborhood for a post-game party, you have all the same parking problems.  Time wasted handling the hassles instead of having fun with your friends.

    When you add up the hassles and the cost (not to mention the potential costs of damage or towing), you might consider going with a chauffeured car for the night.  Let the driver worry about the traffic.  You have all the privacy and control you would have in your own car.  And you and all your friends can party as much as you want.  There’s no time wasted searching for a parking space, walking back and forth from a spot a mile away, no bumper dents on your car, no worries at all.  Just a great game, a great night, and all on your own terms.

    Do you have a parking “night out” horror story?  Tell us about it.  We’d love to hear from you.
    Category:NYC Fun Facts

    Top Ten Power Lunch Spots in New York City

    Power Lunch.  Business dealings smoothed over by fine food and drink.  Everyone leaves satisfied.  According to an exhibit at the New York Public Library, “Lunch Hour NYC,” the first power lunch restaurant in New York was Delmonico’s Steak House in the 1830’s, though it wasn’t called that back then. The phrase “power lunch” comes from an Esquire magazine article in 1979, “America’s Most Powerful Lunch” about the Grill Room at the Four Seasons Hotel.

    The power lunch scene is not as fickle the way it is for nightclubs and even restaurants.  The Grill Room is still shows up on just about every list of this year’s power lunch spots. The atmosphere conducive to the conduct of business is not trendy.  It is conservative and comfortable.  Some places are more about being seen than the food, perhaps, but the place should never interfere with the work being conducted in tandem with the meal. Seating at the “best” tables is reserved for patrons of some stature, and some have a mandarin hierarchy for who gets placed where.

    Many have a prix fixe menu, which usually offers the quality of a la carte items not just a lower price but a shorter wait time.  Power lunch, after all, is an interlude, it isn’t the whole work day.

    Michael’s New York
    Michael’s New York shows up on everybody’s list.  The cuisine is California contemporary with a fair amount of seafood on the menu.  During the day, there’s plenty of natural light and the pleasant, stylish decor provides a bright backdrop without intruding.
    The Grill Room at the Four Seasons

    The Grill Room was the inspiration for the phrase “power lunch” and it retains top honors to this day, showing up on every list, sometimes before and sometimes after Michael’s. A mid-town modernist icon with indirect lighting, tall ceilings, and towering windows, the tone is classy all the way.

    This airy, chic restaurant in the Trump Tower offers food that is a fusion of French, American, and Asian.  The colors are light and muted and the views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows of Columbus Circle and Central Park are stunning.  The food at Jean-Georges makes it the only restaurant on the top ten list with Michelin stars, and it has a whopping 3.

    The Standard Grill
    Located under the High Line (read article here) in the meatpacking district, the Standard Grill aims for an American Bistro feel.  Like the bistros of France, The Standard Grill has tables in their glassed-in patio with a bright, life-in-the city feel and rich leather booths inside have the weight of a plush club.

    Service is the god of the staff at Nobu. The food is Asian, with a Peruvian (yes, Peru) influence.   The decor has a timeless Japanese feel and with very modern overtones.  The subdued tones and wood tables make this the place to do a deal over a meal in TriBeCa.

    Asiate, 35 stories high overlooking Central Park in the Mandarin hotel, has arguably the best view in the city. The Asian/French fusion food is served in a dining room that is a fusion of hot and cold itself.  The warm gold tones of the upholstery and screens contrasts with the icy crystal of the ceiling light sculpture and glass partitions.

    21 Club
    The 21 Club in Midtown Manhattan began as a Prohibition speakeasy, the kind with levers to tip move walls and tip tables to dispose or or hide the booze whenever there was a raid.  The food is “country club classic” as is the decor.  And although the restaurant no longer requires a tie to enter, you’d never know it to look at the lunch crowd in their suits.

    Casa Lever

    The booths look like spaceship pods as imagined by the 60s, an era suggested by the Warhol prints on the wall as well.  Wine racks instead of walls separate the booths letting the light come through.  The little red tables in the middle give the place a friendly, intimate feeling. The food is Italian but the staff and feel is all Manhattan.

    Le Cirque
    With a name that means “the circus” you might expect a bright and raucous restaurant instead of a sedate bastion of old-style gravitas.  The high ceilings with cloth draping does evoke the big top tent a bit, but on the ground the restaurant is all business.

    Cipriani Wall Street
    For a power lunch in the Financial District, Cipriani has an expansive elegance with a 70-foot high ceiling finished with a  Wedgewood Dome.  There is also an outdoor terrace overlooking Wall Street for those interested in a mid-day cocktail as they contemplate their domain.

    How about you?  Have you eaten at any of this bastions of the business deal and have your own take on them? Or is there someplace you prefer?
    Category:NYC Fun Facts