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Thread: NYC travel

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Philadelphia, Pa

    NYC travel

    I am from the Philly area, and have been researching info for a 3 or 4 day stay in NYC. If I can, I'd prefer not to take my van. I read that if you are in the city, and dial '311', you can call for a wheelchair-accessible taxi. Has anyone had success using this?

    I'd be interested in visiting the Metro. Museum, MOMA, Top of the Rock, a harbor cruise around Ellis Island, and perhaps a Broadway show. Is there a hotel location that is best?


  2. #2
    Don't know about the wheelchair accessible taxi but don't take your van. My wife and I went back to visit the city a couple of years ago and you will wind up circling Manhattan looking for a parking place you can drop your lift.

  3. #3
    Do you have a manual chair? If so, take it! I've had good luck just having my friend or son load my chair into the trunk. That requires a good transfer, I guess. NYC buses all have lifts...and about 60% of them work. Be prepared for dirty looks, tho, as your being lifted will slow down the other passengers. The subway is a no-go. I haven't tried but a friend wound up in Brooklyn looking for a way to get off in Battery Park.

    Re Broadway...the theaters are old and inaccessible. They usually have me transfer into a seat on the aisle, and they whisk my w/chair away until intermission, and bring it back then and at the end. It sucks but is what it is. I saw Cabaret at Studio 54, it was far more accessible b/c the audience is seated at tables around the stage, and is sort of integral to the show itself. You can't usually get seats in the balcony/mezzanine in NYC, b/c they have stairs only, no elevators.

    Call though, maybe you'll get lucky. Or maybe they've upgraded, I haven't been since '03 or '04.

    I've done the harbor cruises, think I walked on tho. You need to call about those also. (I used to be a functionally walking quad, then I got a muscle wasting disease. Transfers are still easy for me but the walking onto boats = a thing of the past.)

    Don't fret. It's do-able. We get to the front of the line at the Empire State Bldg, a huge bonus. Have fun, that city rocks so hard, I love it.

  4. #4
    Yes, dial 3-1-1 for accessible taxis. I've never done this as I transfer easily into the front seat, but I have a friend who does call. Only a small fraction of taxis are designated as wheelchair accessible, so the wait could be a hassle.

    All the buses are accessible and, in fact, it's rare to come across one where the lift is out of service. They're very reliable. As for dirty looks, I'm too many decades into this condition to even bother looking at passengers' reactions -- and it's NYC, seeing someone in a wheelchair simply does not rate as a novelty and people are used to having to wait for things -- let alone caring if someone feels inconvenienced.

    Subways? Yes, I ride them but only select stations have elevators. I wouldn't recommend that a wheeler unfamiliar with subway system tackle this independently, and I don't know the limits of your mobility, but it's doable and a HUGE convenience if you can swing it.

    Most (maybe all) Bway theatres are now accessible.

  5. #5
    311 saved my rear at JFK after I returned from a trip to discover my van died. I had a taxi within minutes (of course, he was already in the queue) and paid the same rate as everybody else. (Don't be fooled if they claim you have to pay more. And insist they use the tiedowns.)

    I've never had a problem getting into a Broadway theater, although there have been a few times where the accessible seating area was less than optimal. Off-Broadway is dicey, though... I had to go to Atlantic City to finally see Blue Man Group because the Astor Place Theater has stairs, and I had to watch The Fantasticks from a landing on the staircase.

    Don't attempt the subway without
    1. making sure both stations are accessible
    2. the elevators are in working order that morning (see
    3. allowing extra time for getting lost or missing trains because the gap between platform and train is too big

    I have no experience with cruises around Ellis Island, but you can take the ferries to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island; the gangways are steep at low tide, but the deckhands will help. Staten Island Ferry is accessible, and quite level when docked. You can now even take ferries to Governor's Island, although I would not recommend the small water taxis as I find them too unstable.

  6. #6
    I've just heard back from Circle Line, and they say all of their boats (except the 30 minute speedboat rides) are wheelchair accessible. Haven't been on one of their tours yet, but hopefully I'll get to it this summer.

  7. #7
    The best time to take a boat ride around Manhattan is on a hot summer night.

  8. #8
    call United spinal as well for info and NYC mayor's office has a brochure on accessible things to do.

    if you're not taking your van how do you plan to get here?
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  9. #9
    I'm just back from a short trip to Phila. & NY City. I tried the 311 number but it was always busy. If you are near Penn Station, someone will try to find you an accessible taxi. I stayed at the Hampton Inn in the theatre district & the room worked out well. The staff was able to find an accessible taxi, using a direct phone number. The museums are accessible and easy to roll with good surfaces & also good restrooms. When its hot & humid, indoor activities are great.

    A great place to visit is called High Line, an old rail line converted into an urban park. Very accessible and above the street noise.

    In the dime stores and bus stations, people talk of situations, read books, repeat quotations, draw conclusions on the wall. ......Bob Dylan

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