NYC is always changing. I like this about the Big Apple. Never sleeping means it is always rebuilding. If you go more than a year without visiting a given neighborhood, it’s like your first time when you do finally return to look for that one bar you really liked, once, when you were in college, that one time. Times Square is no exception. When I moved to NYC, Times Square consisted of boarded-up theaters and hookers. Granted, that was more than a year ago, but oh how it has changed. Sure, it still comes with all the downtown and crosstown traffic, the horde of tourists, almost as many parked police cars, and various Disney characters, but now there are also pedicabs getting in on the action.
New Yorkers know that hailing a taxi near the Theater District is nearly impossible right as the theaters are letting out. This past Friday, I found myself in the midst of the dismissal, with my dogs barking from walking around a museum all afternoon in my cowboy boots, and my sleep-to-beer ratio causing to me to look for the fastest way home. The only thing I had in my favor was that it was not raining. In a moment bad judgment, I gambled on a pedicab ride. I was not thinking about how fast the fare would add up at $3 per minute. I just knew I needed to go 8 blocks south and one avenue west, and I was to tired to walk and would not get a taxi.
As soon as my pedicab started to move, I realized I was in a traffic clusterf**k with no protection. No seatbelt, no helmet, no hard sides, and the pedicab driver did not keep to a “bike lane”, or any "lane" for that matter. He swerved around, cutting off seasoned and brazen taxi drivers as well as inexperienced and distracted bridge and tunnel drivers. Yeah, this was probably the scariest Halloween experience in all of NYC, and I chose it all on my own.
Thirteen minutes later, I arrived at my destination, thankfully in one piece, which could only mean one thing, that it was time for the fleecing. At $3 per minute, my amusement park ride through Times Square cost me $39, plus a tip. One has to be brainless to entertain this crazy idea of pedicabs in Times Square. Think before doing this for yourself. And then think again.