Beware! As the temperatures drop, it's much more difficult to get a cab, especially during rush hour. At that time, folks compete to get to the theatre, catch the train home or meet someone for dinner.
I had to run to a meeting on Thursday at 4:30 pm. Usually I would take the subway, but this was an emergency. It was very chilly and no available cabs were in sight. Out of desperation, I contemplated taking a pedicab (!).
A gypsy cab pulled over and we talked about price. Gypsy cabs, also known as livery cabs, are unlike the typical yellow cabs that New York is known for. They are usually black or grey sedans and don't have meters.
Gypsy cabs are generally fine to use as long as you negotiate a price beforehand, preferably while you are standing on the sidewalk. In the outer boroughs such as Brooklyn, livery cabs are plentiful and operate out of car services that are open 24/7.
Anyway, I had to get to 65th Street and Madison Avenue, only 20 blocks away. The driver wanted 20 dollars, that is, one dollar for every block. Astounded, I walked away out of principle.
Of course, ten minutes later, I was hailing down another gypsy cab. Twenty bucks was the going rate, and twenty bucks it was. It was that or running 20 blocks uptown.
Related posts: Riding in Style, in the Village, Before a Tour, Pedicab Style and The Twinkling View at Rockefeller Center.