Open Phones: Importing and Exporting from Your Vacation

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

You know the feeling -- you go somewhere new and you discover that something is done differently there and you think: "we should import that, that's a great idea". So what would you adopt here? The Paris-Plages (temporary beaches) right here on the East River? Wifi on long-distance buses? Cable cars like in San Francisco? A giant ferris wheel like the London Eye? What would you import, and what would you export?

Whether you were able to get away for Labor Day weekend or for a longer stretch this summer, we want to hear about what you learned during your vacation. What do you think should be imported from somewhere else to NYC? And is there something we should export to another part of the world? Call in to 212-433-WNYC, 212-433-9692, or leave your comment below!

Comments [26]

Annie D

I went to England and absolutely loved Cornish pasties. I think they'd totally do well in NYC. Let's import them!

Sep. 04 2013 03:29 PM
steve from queens

I would export Donald Trump. and maybe Anthony Weiner, though it may be better to keep him around to laugh at.

Sep. 04 2013 02:35 PM
william J. Lawrence from Brooklyn NY

came in late on your importing vacations and having visited the Azores this summer and more than 30 nations over the past several years, NYC airports are the only ones that charges new arrivals a fee to use luggage carts at either customs or departure areas. Newark does as well. Do we really earn enough revenue from this policy to make up for the impression we make to those who come to our shores as visitors not to mention as citizens. I have never witnessed a fee in any other airport I have ever entered or left a nation from.

Sep. 04 2013 01:00 PM
TXC from Sutton Place South

The caller mentioning Toronto was completely wrong about the Beer Store--they are unpleasant and have limited hours. He was right on about Maynard's Wine Gums! (However, we can get Maynard's Wine Gums here in NYC, in speciality food stores.)

Sep. 04 2013 12:00 PM
Julia Wagner from Highland Park, NJ

From Europe in general--more seating opportunities at venues of all kinds. And those beer stores mentioned by a listener who visited Toronto? They have them Pennsylvania!

Sep. 04 2013 12:00 PM
Henry from Manhattan

New York City needs to import the street hygiene of nearly every other city I’ve been too.

It’s just filthy here and I notice it even more acutely when I return home from abroad.

Sep. 04 2013 12:00 PM
Ray in Westchester from Pelham

Import the one-way flow of entrance and exiting in the Underground of London and the Metro in Paris!

Sep. 04 2013 12:00 PM
Madeline from Germany

I was in India a number of years ago, and they had the most genius way of serving street food: on compostable dishes made out of steam-pressed, bowl-formed dried banana leaves!

I WISH we were using this brilliant technology in the West, rather than EXPORTING our trend of plastic, plastic everywhere... plastic has become a public waste disaster in countries like India.

Sep. 04 2013 11:59 AM
GLADYS CARBO FLOWER from weehawken

Who goes to Paris to buy Pizza?
That was a bizarre call...

Sep. 04 2013 11:59 AM
Robert from NYC

Most other countries that are civilized have direct service to the airport. We again are way behind most in that too! Even Pisa, a tiny little city in Italy has direct service from airport to city. Yup we are behind again.

Sep. 04 2013 11:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian, I was thinking of the Select Bus System when the caller described something similar where he'd traveled. But it's not the same as the limited buses; the 2 just overlap in some places. 1 thing about the Select Bus stops: I wait till I see the bus coming to swipe my card, because the 2-hour transfer begin when you swipe it, not when you get on the bus. And I want my transfer to last as late as possible.

Sep. 04 2013 11:58 AM
Henry from Manhattan

Yeah, direct transport to the airport, from say, Grand Central, would be sweet.

Sep. 04 2013 11:57 AM
Robert from NYC

People in the Bahamas are the friendliest, they say "good morning" and "hello" whenever and wherever you pass them on the streets.

Sep. 04 2013 11:56 AM
hmi from Park Slope

Just about everything to do with cell phones in Italy is better than in the US, starting with sound quality (in the US providers bleed off bandwidth for non-voice purposes, leaving all voice calls sounding crappy). Next, phone acquisition and service are much more separate, so any handset can be used with any provider—just change your GSM chip. One result is that there are much better prices on services (plus the fact that incoming calls are not generally charged for). There's more, but that does for a start.

Sep. 04 2013 11:56 AM
Henry from Manhattan

The caller talking about Japan’s public toilet access.

He’s not kidding, it’s amazing! No matter where I was in Tokyo or Kyoto, a clean, free, bathroom was close by

And not just any toilets, but electronic ones with fancy gadgets that squirt water if you want.

What they don’t have are paper towels in most of the public bathrooms. I did notice that locals just carry their own handkerchiefs to dry their hands. Reduces a lot of paper waste I suppose, and wasn't a big deal not to expect paper towels.

Sep. 04 2013 11:56 AM
john from Gowanus

Import: San Francisco's emission-free MUNI bus system.

Sep. 04 2013 11:55 AM
Robert from NYC

Yes Select Bus Service, and many european cities use the buy the ticket first system, it's very common there. Yes folks, once again Europe had that idea first!!!

Sep. 04 2013 11:55 AM
JT from NJ

Replace buses with light rail on main avenues and streets

Sep. 04 2013 11:53 AM
Robert from NYC

That bag thing in SF was in the news recently because NYC was thinking about charging for bags in order to encourage customers to bring canvas or some kind of bag. The SF thing was brought with regard to that story.

Sep. 04 2013 11:53 AM

From London and/or Paris: a daily/3 day/7 day travel pass for visitors; the easy to read signs on the station and the route maps on each door on each subway car; the easy to understand announcements so you know where you are and where you are going; let's trade that beautiful St. Pancras Station and give them Penn Station!!!

Sep. 04 2013 11:52 AM
Rob from Englewood

I went to Venice.
It was so convenient going from the airport to the city over water taxi or shuttle.
Manhattan is an island...we should export a water transportation system from JFK or Laguardia to Manhattan...No Van Wyck traffic to deal with....!!

would also charge for plastic shopping bags in supermarket (10 cents)

Sep. 04 2013 11:52 AM
SJ Stoner from Brooklyn, NY

I traveled to Italy for the first time this summer, and the thing I'd like to import to the US is the way Italians in cities really collectively possess public spaces. It had something to do with legal public drinking, it had something to do with differences in policing. I loved how it felt to be in those spaces.

Sep. 04 2013 11:51 AM
keith from inwood

I would import from Paris that all the parking is free for the entire month of August! Since Bloomberg imported the munimeters and Velibe from Paris, maybe he could bring that too. Also I second everyone driving on the right and passing on the left. Makes driving much more enjoyable and safe.

Sep. 04 2013 11:50 AM
antonio from baySide

Portland has exquisite streetcars. Despite our great system of transportation in New York, we fall behind in alternatives. Buses are for the stone age!

Sep. 04 2013 11:47 AM

I am so glad that we have imported Bike Share. I wish we would also do more to reduce light pollution as in done elsewhere. I visited a "dark sky" area in Quebec a few years ago and it was lovely. We don't have to go to that extreme, but there is a lot of easy things we can do to reduce light pollution here.

Sep. 04 2013 11:18 AM
BK from Hoboken

I would like to export from NJ to NY state some of our "Keep Right Pass Left" signs. I spent 10 wonderful days on the North Fork but had a terrible drive there and back on the LIE. Hey New Yorkers- the first lane to the right of the HOV lane is STILL the left lane, ie the passing lane, even though there is an HOV lane to your left. Stop blocking the entire roadway, check your mirrors more than once every 10 miles, and move to the side!

Sep. 03 2013 10:14 AM

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