Yes very much a Manhattan cliche, but if Carrie and Big can do it, it’s good enough for me. Bring on my Hansom Cab.
The Hansom Cab got its name from Joseph Hansom who designed and patented the horse-drawn cart in 1834 and ‘Cab’ comes from the shortening of the word ‘cabriolet’ which reflects the design of the carriage. The Hansom Cab Company began transporting people in NYC in 1869 and cost thirty cents for a mile. Today, most of the horses come from Amish country and carriages can be found lined up along Central Park South at 59th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues) across from the Plaza Hotel.
Unlike a taxi rank, you can actually pick which carriage you want. For me, it was a white carriage (oh how Cinderella), with an Irish driver who looked like Santa Claus — maybe it was the top hat– maybe it was because he looked so jolly? For $50 (plus tip), you get a 20 minute carriage ride around Central Park as your guide points out the sites and where the celebs live.
But even with all of our new found New York knowledge, we still had one burning question…where do the horses stay at night? Not a good question to ask as this led to a huge speech on how they’re trying to shut down the Hansom Cab business in the NYC and raising rent. We never did find out where they sleep, but I did get to feed our horse a carrot. So if you’re in the neighbourhood, look for our Santa in a Top Hat and support him.