Imagine a taxi ride free of drivers’ cell-phone conversations and Arabic pop music, a ride without the need to question the route or glance at the escalating numbers on the meter, a ride where you never had to contend with any traffic or decrepit shock absorbers or broken seat belts. And the salt spray—well, that’s simply a bonus. For a mere $5, the New York Water Taxi will pluck you from the South Street Seaport (a locale most New Yorkers would happily pay $5 to escape) and deposit you in the infinitely more pleasurable environs of DUMBO, Williamsburg, or Red Hook. Most pleasurable of all: the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City—just off the dock, a half-acre of sand (fresh from Jersey), beer and frozen drinks, and barbecued burgers and dogs awaits. Volleyball, too. And did we mention the best part about the water taxi? You don’t have to tip. And that means more hot dogs!