Willie Sierra, a bellman at the Mandarin Oriental New York ($$$$), shows us how to flag down a cab like a real New Yawker.
• Step off the curb and extend your arm. It’s the best way to claim your corner. If the medallion number on the roof of the cab is lit up, it’s available.
• Need a ride to the airport? Flap your arms like a bird. Pedestrians may stare, but hacks will get the message.
• If you want a quick lift, make a “C” with your thumb and index finger—it means you’re looking for a “shorty.” You may even get an off-duty driver to pull over.
• Tell the driver your destination after you get in and just give an intersection (only tourists name an exact address).
Marguerite A. Suozzi is an associate research editor at Travel + Leisure.