June 02, 2012

Struth! Not 'a-mused' at NYC whistle stop

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IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that bellmen in New York's ritzy hotels are up in arms over a City Council order to stop those at one of them from blowing their famous whistles to attract cabs for guests.

For as long as anyone can remember it's been tradition for New York hotel bell-hops to give an ear-piercing blast on their postmen's whistles when a guest wants a cab.

But the City has now ordered those at the 4-star Kimpton's Muse Hotel on busy Times Square to pocket their whistles and use hand-signals instead to attract cabbies' attention.

And it's all because residents in nearby apartments have complained about the incessant 24-hour whistle-blowing, with worshippers at the Church of St Mary the Virgin across the street from the Muse also putting in their dollar's worth in complaints.

Now bellmen at other New York hotels, particularly around the busy Times Square tourist precinct, fear that they too will be stopped from using their postmark whistles to attract cabs for hotel guests, diners and drinkers.

"Its New York, for Chrissake," one complained to The New York Times.

"Ya don' move t' New York for peace and quiet."

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