OMGoddess, are you traveling to the right city for Accessible activities. With the exception of things like the trapeze school and the new skyscraper climbing adventure in Hudson Yards; you can pretty much do anything in that city. (Just avoid restaurants and bars in basement levels there).
New York has come a long way over the years with how accessible it is (Accessible NYC), but I want to be fully honest with you; there are still some challenges to deal with. Although most intersections all have ramp-curbs, sidewalk levels can change from block to block; so stay aware as you venture around the city to be safe.
The best thing to do before making any specific plans to visit somewhere in the city is give them a call first. I’ve noticed most businesses have some type of accessible accommodation for entry if it’s not a zero-level entrance; but it’s not always something visible and obvious from the front door (may use a side door or service elevator from back of the building). Don’t worry, everyone is very friendly with helping make sure you get the same access as other customers; to the best of their ability. There are always the occasional mezzanine or spiral stairs to a floor below in an older building; but those seem to even be improving each time I visit.
As for transportation, besides Uber; I like to use the city’s special accessible Yellow Cabs. They have a special app called “Accessible Dispatch NYC” and it’s available on the Apple and Android store; and very easy to use. It also has different size accessible vehicles to select from, pending what type of accommodation and amount of additional passengers traveling with you. Between you and me, I think I pay less there than I did for a regular taxi 10 years ago. They will also call your phone back right after ordering your vehicle, just to confirm exactly where you are so that the taxi goes to the exact spot. They seem to mostly be rear loaders; so try to order one near a curb-ramp to make it easier on you when they arrive.
I have one suggestion when it comes to the subway… DON”T DO IT! Don’t get me wrong, I used to love the subway when I could walk; but it is not a good system if you are using a wheelchair or scooter. First you have to make sure that where you are starting from and where you are going has elevators , or you can get stuck in the station you want to go to. Second, transferring from train to train can be a bit tricky and make you dizzy in some stations. Or the elevators between platforms aren’t working. It’s just too risky and not worth messing up your trip with that headache.
If I had to endorse one activity to make sure you do when in New York City, it’s see a show! What’s New York without performances? Thankfully, most things in the Broadway section are accessible, but each theater has its own way of handling access to their special seating. Special inside tip**: Contact the box office of the shows you really want to see; even if it says the showtime is sold out that you want to attend. I have found that they sometimes still have their accessible tickets available through the box office only and others don’t think to ask when they noticed its sold out. You can get into some great shows that way. Here is a link that gives you more info on what you need to know about theater accessibility. And if you get a chance and your hungry, tryout Juniors Cheesecake for a meal. SOOOOOO GOOD. (Then sneak a slice of cheesecake into the theater……shhhhh).
I don’t want to pretend to be an expert about anything in NYC, especially with so many of our AccessibleGo members who actually are and know that city inside and out. Now if you want to see a Drag Show or hit a Ball, then I’m your person.
Can’t wait to hear how your trip went. Please come back and share with everyone how it went and what you did. We would love to hear what you found and hopefully it will help the next person wanting to head to the Big Apple? (And eat… every chance you can get there!)
Have a great trip.
Keep on traveling everyone; It’s our world too!