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Two Great Experiences
Two Really Great Reviews
THE RIDE Review
August 27, 2015
by Ellen Eichelbaum
Why, you ask, would a lifetime resident of New York pick a New York attraction, on her birthday yet, to celebrate the occasion?
Well, I just couldn’t help it. The reviews were phenomenal.
And, Trip Advisor, which is my favorite place to check out any and all hotels, shows, attractions, etc., gives it their ultimate award, then how could I not give it a try?
First of all, I have to say, I had so much fun.
And, better still, I learned things I didn’t know about my fair city. And I say, MY fair city, because I (thought) I knew it so well.
Let’s start at the beginning. Scott and Jackie were our tour guides on the bus. They were constantly giving us facts and figures about New York landmarks that were surprising even to me. Did you know that when workers built the Chrysler Building back in the early 1900’s that it was expected that one worker would fall and get killed for each floor built? Yup! And no one was killed. There was no scaffolding or protection back then and the workers just stood on big beams with nothing beneath them and built this historic building. Today, with all the protection workers have to keep them safe, we’ve unfortunately lost many due to accidents.
Did you know that the ceiling in Grand Central Station had so much ash on from cigarette smoking (lots of smokers back in the ‘day’), that one small spot was left with ash after the incredible to show the contrast between ‘then’ and ‘now.’
I didn’t know the 42nd Street NY Public Library, which has 20 million books, was a reference only location, except for children’s books which can be taken out?
Who knew? Well, I should have. Now, I know. I learned something. A New Yorker who thinks she knows everything, doesn’t.
Information was just a small part of this 75-minute attraction on wheels. We were treated to lots of stuff on the street. Here it is 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, the streets are filled with tons of people on the phone, walking with baby carriages, talking to friends, eating, and doing all sorts of things, when, what do you know, there’s the UPS guy, just trying to deliver his little package. We give him a big wave and the sound system goes on, and he puts down his package and in his little brown outfits does a break dance to kill! America’s Got Talent should give this guy a call. The bus stopped as we admired his skill on the street.
I won’t spoil the rest for you, but suffice it to say, there are lots of treats to experience on this advent-ure.
And, you notice I didn’t say, lots to ‘see,’ cause I truly meant, lots to EXPERIENCE!
And let me add a very important note here: THE RIDE is a year-round, day and night experience. I imagine the night tour is amazing as the entire bus lights up and tourists experience the experience. And, in the winter you can cozy up and have a ball.
And, aside from the normal, everyday talented street experience, I also had great close-ups of many of the incredibly gorgeous buildings in our city.
I even got to see the New Year’s Eve Ball and, thank you, Scott, for giving our former Mayor Giuliani credit for bringing 42nd Street back to the people and allowing Disney to make this area a tourist attraction. And, so I also learned from Scott and Jackie that by 2017 the whole 42nd Street area will be a no-car zone.
Little ones and big ones alike all 49 of us on the bus, had a great time. We laughed, sang and interacted all through the trip.
By the way, do not confuse THE RIDE with all those touristy buses you see going up and down streets, with passengers hoping on and off. This in NOT that.
This is THE RIDE my friends. The one thing you should do when you are in New York.
And remember, just because you may have been born in New York City and lived there your entire life, you will experience something you never knew or never saw. Trust me!
Recently awarded its FIFTH TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Award, THE RIDE has just now been inducted into THE TripAdvisor® HALL of FAME. Previously honored with a nomination for the 58th Annual Drama Desk Award in the prestigious is a Unique Theatrical Experience Category and named the Third Most Successful Youth-Primed Attraction in New York City by FODOR’S Travel, THE RIDE has most recently been nominated for a 2015 CONCIERGE CHOICE Award in the BEST TOURIST ATTRACTION category which will be presented at a black tie dinner on September 21 at Battery Gardens. All of this homage and accompanying critical acclaim has led to THE RIDE becoming the singularly most requested ticket at Travel Agents’ offices all over the country.
The concept is a brainstorm of design that has resulted in a fleet of multi-million dollar motor coaches whose interiors are a state-of-the-art wonderland of electronic wizardry that guide 49 dazzled tourists around the most fascinating city in the world. THE RIDE’S original genius was its realization that the streets of Manhattan are a fifty-mile stage exhibiting the most riveting visuals on earth. Adding its own actors to the crowded mix on the street, the huge motor coaches deliver a show worthy of the standing ovations and group euphoria that results at the end of each RIDE.
The motor coaches are events in their own right. They are specifically designed theatrical vehicles; the tallest allowed by federal law, fitted with stadium-style seating that orients the 49 fortunate participants sideways so as to look through the massive windows that deliver New York as the most successful Broadway show on earth. These unanimously acclaimed coaches are equipped with surround sound, 3,000 LED lights and 40 video screens. They are, in essence, rolling state-of-the-art theatres that introduce their travelling audiences to an interactive experience that only the most interactive city in the western hemisphere could deliver. Each motor coach’s external speakers and lighting allow riders and on-board performers to interact with THE RIDE’S street performers as well as anyone else they pass on the street.
THE RIDE is an EVENT whether you are on the bus or on the street. But it’s better on the bus. A fact mightily agreed upon by both Broadway critics and audiences alike.
For more information on THE RIDE and to buy tickets go to TheRideNYC.com THE RIDE’S TWO BOX OFFICES: 234 West 42nd Street (between Broadway & Eighth Avenue) 1200 Sixth Avenue (at 47th Street TICKETS: $74 Individual Tickets: TheRideNYC.com & 866-811-4111 Group Tickets: 212-244-2551 x168
THE TOUR Review
June 19, 2015
by Darryl Reilly
“The Empire Hotel was built in 1923. Aaron Copland stayed there. On the television series Gossip Girl it was owned by Chuck Bass,” are among the many eclectic factoids woven into the lively commentary delivered by the ebullient young woman who the was the guide during The Tour.
It’s a 90-minute New York City bus tour that is an exhilarating contrast to the standard double-decker experience.
The lavish coach with its unique window design and high viewing angle transforms what’s outside into true street theater. Tourists, vendors, The Naked Cowboy, and weary commuters all became interactive real life characters during the event. It’s like a reality show on wheels. The experience is mutual as those outside can see those inside.
“The Tour Navigator” often hilariously engaged with pedestrians on the passing streets or on corners while waiting for the light change. She called out to them and there’s a lot of waving, good will, cranky expressions, and sometimes conversation as her microphone could be heard outside when desired.
She seamlessly and enthusiastically held all of the elements together with her tremendous charm and presence. An occasionally screeching child provided comical fodder and there was mild audience involvement that was never overbearing.
The Tour follows in the success of the same company’s The Ride that is an audience participation theatrical version of a New York City bus tour.
CEO/CCO Richard Humphrey has conceived, produced, directed and co-written it. His grand achievement is that of an immersive overview of New York City through a fast-paced city tour with novel elements.
Touted as the tallest allowed vehicle by federal law, the motor coach used for this is awesome. With a capacity of 49 people arranged in rows of stadium seating facing out the length of the bus along on its side.
The panoramic views are from huge clear windows as well as from the windowed ceiling. It is extremely comfortable on all levels and it was cool seeing a rainstorm from inside.
Strategically placed throughout are television monitors where illustrative images are shown while in motion. These include period photographs contrasting with the sights presently being seen and images of subjects discussed in the commentary. There are also lighting and sound effects replicating a NYC subway ride.
The 5.5-mile route focuses chiefly on The West Side of Manhattan and begins near Broadway and 45th Street in the heart of the theater district and concludes a block away. In between are the numerous points of interest including Hell’s Kitchen, Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, Central Park, Fifth Avenue, The Garment District and Herald Square, among the 55 sites seen from the bus.
“Powered by The Ride” meant that in addition to the Tour Guide, there were also recorded interjections narrated by a deep voiced male in an engaging announcer style.
The combination of the very well-researched and delivered commentary from both sources was simple, clear and entertaining.
First time visitors, those seeking alternative vacation activities, and actual New Yorkers will find The Tour to be a delightful way to see the city.
THE TOUR (seven days a week at various times) For tickets and information call 212-221-0853 Or visit http://www.thetournyc.com Running time: approximately 90 minutes without intermission