There are enough guide books that tell you what to do while visiting New York City. As a public service, I thought I’d do a series of posts telling you what to AVOID during your stay. So far, I only have this one idea, so this may be as far as it gets. Leah, if you have any ideas, jump in.
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A few years ago, in an effort to enhance revenue, the TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission; a powerful government regulatory agency) decided to allow small flat screen TVs to be installed in the back seats of taxi cabs. They purport to play brief snippets of local news and weather but what they really are is yet another in-your-face way for advertisers to promote their products.
Once you step into a cab and the meter is activated, Taxi TV boots up automatically. TV is so ubiquitous in our lives that it’s difficult to tear your eyes away from one once it’s turned on. There are flat screen TVs in the elevators at A Company Called Malice, Inc. and it’s the same way. People ride up to their floors starring into the glowing screen with blank looks on their faces. I wish I had invented elevator TV. I’d be posting this from Tahiti.
Can you imagine? All of Manhattan is rolling by just outside your window and people opt to stare at a TV instead. You could miss the beautiful façade of The Waldorf Astoria or someone being shot outside of the Port Authority bus depot.
Thank God almighty you have the option to turn these things off. When they were first installed the ad industry, of course, did not want to allow the on/off option. But in an uncharacteristic moment of clarity, the TLC insisted on it. When visiting New York, turn off Taxi TV! Life is too short and Manhattan too interesting to waste your time watching another Claritin D ad. The “off” button is in the upper right corner.
I’ll bet it’ll be a cold day in hell before you see these insidious devices installed in London cabs.
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Tomorrow at 5:00! The beautiful people of Fashion Week!