Take your romantic horse-carriage rides while you can. One of Mayor de Blasio’s promises was to rid the streets of horse-drawn carriages and the current City Council leader sponsored such a ban in 2010.
The Times has a good article focusing on the animal-care concerns, with some interesting details about the livelihood of carriage-drivers:
Mr. Hernandez and Teddy had eight fares for the day, excellent for a post-holiday Sunday. Waiting on the hack line, Mr. Hernandez fed Teddy oat pellets and corn, and allowed tourists to feed Teddy carrots. He gave Teddy a manicure of sorts, applying black polish to his hooves. The front left hoof bore his number: 3527.
Mr. Hernandez himself earns $10 for every 20-minute ride, and $20 for the less common 40-minute rides that cost $90. He keeps whatever tips he gets. The rest he gives to Teddy’s owner, Angelo Collura.
Mr. Hernandez first rode horses as a child on his grandmother’s farm outside Mexico City. He came to New York as a teenager and worked for nearly five years as a stableman before studying to become a driver like his uncle. He and his wife, who works in a restaurant, live in the Bronx with their two children. After work, he goes to school to become an electrician.
Read the full story here.