THE RIDE REVIEW – EVEN HOME GROWN NEW YORKERS HAVE FUN!
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 Iearned 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 Bldg. 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 theThird 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.