Monday, January 09, 2006

A publicist, an actor, and a porn star


These are the rules posted in the taxi hold lot at JFK, where I spent some time tonight, as usual. I think my favorite is "Do not prepare any types of food."

The most annoying thing that happened today was when some lady tried to stop another lady from getting in my cab in front of Bed, Bath & Beyond on 6 Ave and 18th St. I was dropping off a passenger there and the first woman was hailing a cab. I pulled up right next to her because that's where my passengers wanted to get out. The meter was off, which means that the roof light was on (the two are connected: when the meter is on, the roof light is off, and vice versa), and the people were paying me. The lady on the street scowled at me and walked back to the cab behind me. Then, when another woman started getting in my cab, she walked back up and told the woman getting in that she shouldn't take my cab. Then she turned to me and through the window said, "It's really tacky to do that." I was completely confused, so I asked, "Do what?" She replied, ""Your light was on but you still had people in your cab, and you were trying to get me to take you. It's not right. There are other cabs behind you that are free." The lady getting in looked at me to see what I was gonna say, so I was just like, "I have no idea what you're talking about. They were paying me. That means the meter was off, which makes the light go on. I don't have any control over that." But she just walked away in a self-righteous huff and the other lady ultimately got in, but what the fuck? I am so utterly sick of people thinking every cabbie is out to rip them off or do some shady shit. Has this woman never taken a cab before? We drop people off, and other people get in after the first people have paid. That's how it works. And besides, it's the nature of the game that we cabbies have to play with each other. We try to get the next passenger we see, at the expense of the cabs behind us. It was a minor event, but it was annoying. And since I went to work in a bad mood to begin with, this ignorant bitch only made it worse.

But eventually the night got better, especially when I picked up three people in the Meat Packing district going to the Waldorf Astoria. One was a publicist and the other two, a man and a woman, were her clients. The guy said he was "on MTV." I didn't recognize him though, since I don't have cable, and who watches MTV anymore anyway? The other woman said she was a porn star. Apparently these two had been married for a little while until the guy came out as gay. When I asked to take their picture, the guy said no because he couldn't be seen in a picture with the porn star. Then they tried to guess my age and I half-jokingly proposed a wager. We decided that if they guessed correctly, their ride would be free. If they guessed wrong, they said they would give me triple the fare. I look much younger than my age, so I was pretty confident they would guess wrong, which they did. When we got to the hotel, the fare was $9.40. They gave me $11 total. I wonder if they would've insisted on the free ride if they had guessed correctly.

Later on, a young guy and girl got in on the Lower East Side wanting to go to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. Immediately the guy said, "Do you do a blog? I think I recognize you." He had read the blog! I was pretty excited and told them how Diego had a passenger last night who recognized him from the picture I posted a month or two ago. (And it appears this passenger has left a comment under the previous post, by the way.) We had a pleasant chat and, at the end of the trip, he gave me $20 on an $11 fare. Funny how that works: nice regular people from Brooklyn tip much more generously than porn stars and publicists who stay at the Waldorf.

In the meantime, though I may only be able to make money from doing this blog in the form of generous tips from the few passengers who've happened upon it, someone else appears to be capitalizing off of it. I recently noted one commenter on this site has created New York Hack t-shirts (albeit with the image of a London taxi on it, not a Crown Vic). Whoever you are, can I by any chance get one of them? For free?

32 comments:

Carl said...

By the way, has the TLC approved London Taxis for use in NYC yet? Test taxi 5P42 has been on the streets of NYC for over a year. See photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uknyc/49775603/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/capndesign/36338403/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhurst/26941893/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/witz/36293164/

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your taxi stories each day from the barren wilderness of Milwaukee. You are a very good writer.

Anonymous said...

You can use cafepress.com to create and sell your own Newyorkhack stuff for free, and get a leg up on the impostor. You seem to be read enough to make it worthwhile to throw something together. Have a design competition if you have trouble making the designs... (Of course, you still pay a little if you order your own stuff.)

Anonymous said...

I agree. MP - don't let your growing popularity get exploited by others cashing in!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Alaska and I find your taxi stories to be funny and fresh. Keep up the good work girl!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work girl. You put a little color in my alaskan days.

Charlie the X cab driver said...

Hey, I used to a yellow cab in the big apple in the 60s when everyone was trying to figure out who they were. Figured out I wasn't a cab driver but I'm glad you are because I love reading your blog. Just wish you enjoyed it more. Wanted to say you deserve that tee shirt. I don't think of you as a cab driver; to me you're a writer. One of my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Ummm... I too am a fellow hack... and I saw "my" record high of 3 female hacks at LaGuardia earlier today (Monday night shift, and as I saw each of them, I was wondering if it was you. At the end, I concluded, two of them definitely couldn't be you, for various reasons. BUT the other ONE... umm telephone number for garage on a sticker on the rear bumper and some type of q train advertisement on that top triangle thing...looked as if you were reading something or maybe it was just the trip sheet and it was at the Delta holding lot (sorry for the huge run-on)... was that you???

Anonymous said...

I have just discovered your blog today. It is pretty interesting. I'm glad to know that there may be nice cab drivers out there because I don't think I have ever met one. Living in Astoria, a lot of cab drivers get really pissed off about taking me home and sometimes even refuse. I know that's not allowed so I usually get in even when they try to ask me where I'm going before I get in. Then when I tell them they usually drive like a psycho on purpose and act pissed off the entire ride. They stop short and make the ride very uncomfortable with their grunting. Sometimes if you are drunk or not paying attention they take you to the wrong street so you have to pay more. Then they get mad when I don't tip them more than a dollar because of their attitude. It's refreshing to see that there may be hope out there that some of you guys are ok.

April said...

I love your blog! I'm right there with ya! I don't know who people think they are sometimes. (ignorant in this case) We are all just people. It's hard sometimes not to let their attitudes get to you. Just know that the majority of us agree with you and are sending you much love!

Later, April :)

amy said...

Hi,

I found your blog while googling "urine gone." I had wanted to see what other people thought about whether it worked or not.

I ended up not only reading your post about the older cabbie who tried to get rid of his urine smells, but everything else, and within ten minutes, I was hooked.

I am a straight female but I feel no hesitation in saying I love you and I love your blog. There is something so normal yet brilliant in your writing. You show yourself to be intelligent, articulate, and complex, but when I read your words I feel like I'm just chatting with a friend sitting by my side.

Loving and appreciating you from Los Angeles,
Amy

Anonymous said...

You posted a pic? I've been reading since day one (via RSS) which includes all the photos you post, but I never caught it! I can't say I've ever ridden with a FCD before, I need to put a face to a name so I can tip you well! ;)

John said...

This is so true...

I was a cabbie years ago in Madison, WI, and one day picked up this blowhard "I'm the best harmonica player in the US" musician who kept yammering about how he made so much money he didn't know what to do with it. Finally, to shut him up, I said, "You could give some of it to your fabulous cab driver." Silence. When he left, 50 cent tip. Nice....

Jana said...

This is the first time I have ever even considered reading a blog because it hasn't really interested me until I came across yours. I'm a Texan and have never rode in a cab but would love to ride with you if just for one nite to see the "true" New York at its best or worst LOL. You are a facinating writer of your daily life. Keep it up !!

Jana

Restless Girl said...

Hi! You can make bank from your blog if you put ads on it:

www.avnads.com

Free to register and you approve all text ads before they appear :) I just started doing it for a few of my sites.

Love your blog!

junebee said...

My brother used to live in Carroll Gardens.

Dwight said...

I see you are not permitted to prepare any food while you are at the airport. Beets come in a can so you do not need to prepare them; unless of course opening a can is considered preparing...I will investigate that through my investigation company as I am a private eye like Jim Rockford. That is all

Dwight

Anonymous said...

your empathy and intelligent writing is a welcome, if unusual, addition to the many things i miss about no longer being able to visit manhattan

Anonymous said...

Well, it just goes to show you that money can't buy you class. And that the people who have too much of it ($ that is) also attach too much value to it.

Your blogs are very entertaining. Thanks for the break from my otherwise dreary schedule.

Anonymous said...

I took a cab once in New Orleans. When asked where he came from, the cabbie explained that he was exiled from his country for being a terrorist!Thankfully this
was pre 9/11! Not that it made us feel any safer. He was well tipped though! Enjoying your blog in Maine!

Steve said...

I think you should write a book. You're really good ! I enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

Regular people have a tendency to tip better as they know what it means to work for a living. The publicists & porn stars have elitist trash attitudes. Here's hoping you fare well with many working stiffs as fares.

bobs

Gaurav said...

you are basically in line for a book deal or a tv show. i shit you not. its in your future. you just keep going and do whatever you can to pursue it.
wicked stuff.

Anonymous said...

NYH, you should consider checking into the Google Adsense program, targeted ad boxes appear on your site, you and google split the money per click that the clicked upon advertisers pay.

by the by, nice blog!

Anonymous said...

Hey! You definitely have a talent. I learned about your blog on canoe.ca while reading various news articles at lunch. I haven't visited Canoe since I started reading your blogs. They definitely keep me interested and I always look forward to new ones. If only we had great taxi drivers like you in Toronto! I hate taking cabs just becuz I feel like I can't trust them. I once was taken on some huge taxi escapade just to get me home! Anyhow, you've got something special so continue to share it. I know I'll definitely support you!!! Awesome Work!!

From fares to fans! said...

Your stories are awesome and they remind me of my past employment. Out of all the "so called" respectable passengers that were in a position to give me a career boost, it was a homeless man! Please feel free to read my incredible story at www.ifedanangel.com

Ken

Anonymous said...

I grew up a poor kid in Brooklyn and worked my way through NYCCC (now City Tech) driving a cab in Manhattan at night in the late 60's. Life has been good to me since those days, and I am now a self made millionaire, and live in the middle of the Redwood forest in the coastal mountains of California.
Enjoying sitting here in the woods reading your blog, it makes me nostalgic and stirs many memories from when I was a hack driver.

Yes it always seems that it is the regular people who have enough compassion and sensitivity to tip well, and the rich narcissistic dogs that either stiff you or seriously under tip. Don't know why this revalation surprises me.

I once picked up a lady on Park Avenue wearing a Mink coat who insisted I make an illegal turn to save her the cost of the extra blocks it would have taken to get her to her destination legally. For some reason I obliged her, and when we got to her destination the fare came to $4.90. She gave me a $5.00 bill and told me to keep the change. I rolled down the passenger window and tossed a dime back at her and said "here lady, you obviously need it more than I do." before I drove off. It was always the ones who could afford to most that would stiff you! Hope they get theirs down the road. Meanwhile folks, tip those who serve you well and I am hopeful the Karma will come back to you.

Keep up this great blog and watch out for those amateurs on the road. - Peace

Bill from Tampa said...

Hi..just discovered your Blog today..Suggestion: Have a link to Visa or Mastercard on your blog site so us regular guys can tip you when the Fortune 500 types and wannabe's are too busy counting their fortunes..You have a nice creative touch..

From fares to fans! said...

Great job writing! Come work with me? www.ifedanangel.com

Anonymous said...

I have been a taxi cab driver for about 3 months now, and already have enough
stories to fill a few chapters. In training, the underlying message was
'expect the unexpected' and 'seeing is beleiving followed by a therapist'.
Seriously though, this is one of the most interesting jobs I have had to
date. Since I don't sit waiting at the posh hotels for fares - I get the
leftovers. The runs nobody wants to take because they are in areas that
you just don't wander around in after dark. I am 33 years old and until
a few days ago had never witnessed two men practicing gay anal
I'll get to that story after while, but let me tell you - that shit will
wake you up in a heartbeat! more taxi cab stories

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Stroke King said...

At first i really thought that your a writer by profession. honestly i enjoy reading your blog, your day to day activities is fun. i admire a taxi driver like you.fair and have long patience.